U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has announced his choice of longtime adviser Ron Klain to be his White House chief of staff.
Klain previously served as Biden’s vice-presidential chief of staff during the administration of President Barack Obama, and was the official Obama put in charge of the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in 2014.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday.
Klain called the new appointment “the honor of a lifetime.”
Biden is continuing to meet with his transition advisers, who include experts familiar with issues he will face early in his administration, as he plans for taking control of the American government when he is inaugurated on January 20.
The projected winner of the November 3 election, Biden has named an array of advisers to look at the operations of agencies throughout the government. He said Tuesday he could announce some key appointments before the annual Thanksgiving holiday on November 26.
Trump seeks to overturn election results
President Donald Trump has not conceded his apparent loss to Biden in last week’s national election and has filed numerous lawsuits contesting the outcome in key battleground states.
With scant evidence so far, Trump has claimed that voting and vote-counting irregularities cost him the election. He is seeking to overturn Biden’s victory and claim a second four-year term in the White House.
So far, however, judges have dismissed all the Trump lawsuits, with more yet to be considered. Election analysts interviewed by VOA and other news organizations say they do not think Biden’s claim to victory will be reversed.
According to unofficial vote counts, Biden has won more than the 270-vote majority in the Electoral College that determines the outcome of U.S. presidential contests. He is ahead in the vote count in two more states, Georgia and Arizona, that could ultimately give him a 306-232 advantage in the Electoral College, where the most populous states have the most votes.
Biden’s possible final Electoral College tally is the same total as in 2016, when Trump came out on top, unexpectedly defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Congratulations from leaders worldwide
Leaders of U.S. allies in Europe, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have called Biden to congratulate him, ignoring Trump’s contention that he will yet win. Biden spoke late Wednesday with the leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Biden visited the Korean War Memorial in Philadelphia on Wednesday in observance of Veterans Day.
Trump traveled to Arlington National Cemetery near Washington. It was Trump’s first public event since last Thursday, when he leveled a string of unfounded allegations about widespread election fraud.
Trump has continued his barrage of complaints about the election outcome on Twitter, posting the comments of Republicans supporting his claims that he was cheated out of winning.
Most Americans view Biden as election winner
However, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Tuesday indicated that nearly 80% of Americans, including half of Republicans, say Biden is the rightful winner.
Meanwhile, Biden told reporters at a Tuesday news conference that Republican leaders, most of whom have not acknowledged his victory, are “mildly intimidated by the sitting president.”
Biden said Trump’s refusal to concede is “an embarrassment, quite frankly. How can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the president’s legacy.”
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Even though the Electoral College vote is determinative in U.S. presidential elections, Biden is leading Trump by 3.2 percentage points and more than 5 million votes in the national popular vote count as final votes are tabulated.