Will Donald Trump try to sabotage President-elect Joe Biden's transition to office? Here's why it may not be smooth sailing
'This thing is a declaration of war. He wants to turn this into the transition from hell,' said a Biden transition consultant
Nobody is expecting President Donald Trump to simply accept Joe Biden as the new President of the US. His own niece, Mary Trump, when celebrating Biden's win, predicted that her uncle will be having "meltdowns upon meltdowns right now". She also predicted that he is "not going to concede, although who cares. What's worse is he's not going to engage in the normal activities that guarantee a peaceful transition. All he's got now is breaking stuff, and he’s going to do that with a vengeance."
Sources close to the White House also revealed that the President is in "fighting mode" and refuses to accept Biden as the President-elect and continues to refer to him as "a phoney president". The source reveals that "he won't turn up on January 20 [inauguration day] as that would be an insult to democracy."
"He has no concession speech ready and no intention of recognizing Joe Biden's presidency," the source added.
All of this combined with his actions over the course of the last few days could pose to create some hurdles towards a peaceful transition. And if that happens, it would only snowboard into a much bigger problem. "A long legal battle would delay the transition, and that could be dangerous on the foreign policy front," one Republican congressional source told Reuters. "The world isn't standing still while we're all focused on the election."
US law has clear instructions for a transfer of power from one president to the next, but Joe Biden's path is expected to get rocky. Officially, as long as Donald Trump holds the office, he can do a lot to ensure that. Newsweek reports that this is hardly new behavior as several lame-duck presidents in the US do everything from "passing executive orders to presidential pardons, from regulatory decrees to judicial appointments and even military action" to undermine the new guy. And considering how Trump is known to not care about the law, he is prone to create chaos.
According to the report in Newsweek, "The October executive order looks like Exhibit A, particularly to some in the Biden camp who point out it could conceivably result in Trump issuing hundreds of pink slips between now and Inauguration Day, which might throw the work of a long list of government agencies from the Centers For Disease Control to the Environmental Protection Agency to the Social Security Administration, into chaos."
A Biden transition consultant spoke to Newsweek about Trump's executive order, "This thing is a declaration of war. He wants to turn this into the transition from hell."
The New York Times reports that Trump will, after all, have to admit defeat. "They [Trump's advisers] do not believe he will try in any way to block Biden from taking office, and said that if he has not delivered a formal concession speech by the time he departs, pressure may mount on his Republican allies, family members and friends to convince him that he must give in to the inevitable and let the American people know that he accepts their judgment."