Biden and Harris to discuss economic plans during joint appearance in Wilmington on Monday
The Democratic duo will speak "on the economic recovery and building back better." The scale of their plans will hinge on control of the Senate.The duo will speak "on the economic recovery and building back better in the long-term," in their first speech addressing the country’s economic situation since their victory in the presidential election.
WASHINGTON – The lame duck is stirring.
President Donald Trump has stayed mostly out of public view in the two weeks since his election loss to Democrat Joe Biden. On nine of the 14 days since the Nov. 3 election, his daily schedule has been summed up in a single sentence: “The president has no public events scheduled" – the longest he has been out of public view since taking office in January 2017.
Behind the scenes, however, Trump has occupied himself with the work of the presidency.
Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.
President Trump's defeat may give Supreme Court a rest from personal, policy lawsuits
Many cases tied to Trump's policies or personal entanglements are likely to become moot or, at least, undeserving of the Supreme Court's attention.Even in the autumn of his presidency, little has changed. The administration came before the justices the week after Election Day in hopes of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the most celebrated achievement of his predecessor. Later this month, it will defend its plan to exclude noncitizens from the census count used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives.
While still protesting the election results, Trump has been holding meetings to consider ordering a military strike against Iran, cutting the number of military troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, selling oil leases in the Alaskan wilderness, reducing government regulations and taking other actions designed in part to poke President-elect Biden. He's also fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and top Pentagon leaders and Homeland Security cyber chief Christopher Krebs, who called the election secure. He is considering parting ways with FBI Director Chris Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
Trump spends most of his days behind closed doors – he has made only two public statements since his angry Election Night speech at the White House – watching cable news and rage tweeting about Biden. He follows television news accounts of the election dispute, aides said, but is also tending the jobs at hand.
Sen. Lindsey Graham faces ethics complaint over call to top election official in Georgia about ballots
Sen. Lindsey Graham was the target of an ethics complaint after his phone call with an election official in Georgia over how the state counts ballots. Your browser does not support this video Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger accused Graham earlier this week of pressuring him to find ways to exclude or invalidate legally cast absentee ballots and reverse Trump’s loss in the state, an accusation the South Carolina Republican called "ridiculous." Graham said he had also spoken with Arizona's Republican Gov.
“It’s not really changed operationally,” said one official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss Trump's actions in private.
In many respects, historians say, Trump's lame duck actions are in line with what his predecessors did in the final weeks of their presidency.
Election fallout: Latino voters who fled dictatorships fear election was stolen from President Trump
Trump holds meetings in the Oval Office, aides said, and often acts like he still expects a second term. He shuttles between the second-floor residence at the White House and the Oval Office in the West Wing, speaking with aides and friends on his ever-present phone (and tweeting).
He has spoken to staffers about COVID vaccines and holds regular meetings with aides, particularly his national security staff. He met with national security aides on the Afghanistan and Iraq drawdown plans announced Tuesday – an unusual event in that Trump did not appear in person to announce the withdrawal and did not issue any kind of written statement.
'That's his first love': Biden has more foreign policy experience than his 4 predecessors
The president-elect already knows many of the players on the world stage – from Vladimir Putin to Angela Merkel to Benjamin Netanyahu.“I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy,” Bush told reporters at a joint news conference, in what turned out to be an embarrassing misconception. “I was able to get a sense of his soul.
Presidents' busy final days in office
Other presidents who lost their bids for re-election or were nearing the end of their second terms have discovered that the responsibilities of the presidency don’t disappear just because they’re about to leave office.
In that sense, Trump is no different than his predecessors, said Allan J. Lichtman, distinguished professor of history at American University in Washington.
Most of the initiatives Trump has pursued since the election have been behind the scenes, “and we don’t know what’s going to become of them,” Lichtman said.
So far, however, Trump hasn't taken any policy actions that are fundamentally different than what his predecessors did during their lame duck period, Lichtman said.
Election fight: '100 percent dead': Court ruling could torpedo some lawsuits challenging Trump's loss
Previous lame-duck presidents have tried to use the period between the election and their successor’s inauguration to “go big” or pursue policies that will burnish their legacy, said Ross Baker, a distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University–New Brunswick.
Judge dismisses last election-related case pending in Arizona
Jimmy Carter, who lost his 1980 re-election bid to Ronald Reagan, found his transition consumed with negotiations to return American hostages in Iran.
President George H.W. Bush, who lost to Bill Clinton in 1992, had an active lame duck period. He authorized a military action in Somalia, signed an arms treaty with Russia, and pardoned aides who had been ensnared in the Iran-Contra scandal.
Even the nation’s first one-term president, John Adams, appointed a series of “midnight judges” to the federal bench during his last days in office. Adams saw the appointments as a way to preserve Federalist influence in the federal government during the tenure of his successor, Thomas Jefferson.
Refusal to transition
Trump, however, appears to be taking a different approach.
“It has been Trump’s decision to go kind of small – and go secret, almost,” Baker said.
Baker said Trump has been “incapacitated” by his loss to Biden and his refusal to accept the election results. “That’s why they are doing so many things under the radar,” he said.
Historian Joanne Freeman said Trump’s refusal to accept defeat and the roadblocks to Biden’s transition are unprecedented.
“Other presidents – and their party – sometimes did some last-minute damage to stack the deck against an incoming president and the opposing party,” she said. But, “not on the scale of what seems to be shaping up now, given the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic.”
Election 2020 live updates: Trump legal team distances itself from lawyer Sidney Powell, Biden taps Blinken as secretary of state
Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis distanced themselves from Trump team lawyer Sidney Powell. Joe Biden will tap Antony Blinken as secretary of state.Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on the election and the transition.
Staffing up: Joe Biden names 9 top White House appointees, including Rep. Cedric Richmond and campaign manager O'Malley Dillon
Pardons to come?
Back at the White House, Trump has a host of other items on his to-do list for his final weeks in office.
He is considering issuing pardons for former aides convicted in connection with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
One of his executive actions will be rolled out next week. He’s scheduled to pardon this year’s Thanksgiving turkey on Tuesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump walks up to speak about Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden at the White House on November 13, 2020 in Washington, DC. The is the first time President Trump has spoken since election night last week, as COVID-19 infections surge in the United States.
US President Donald Trump pumps his fist after speaking during election night in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, early on November 4, 2020. - The US election was plunged into chaos early November 4, 2020 as President Donald Trump prematurely declared victory and sought Supreme Court intervention to stop vote-counting -- even as his Democratic rival Joe Biden voiced confidence in his own chances.
Seniors On Medicare Are Getting a Big Pay Day in 2020
Slideshow continues on the next slide
President Donald Trump greets cheering supporters as he returns to the White House on Marine One on November 3, 2020 in Washington, DC. The President was returning from his final campaign rallies before polls open for the Presidential Election.
President Donald Trump speaks while Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the final presidential debate at the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020.
US President Donald Trump walks to Marine One prior to departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, October 2, 2020, as he heads to Walter Reed Military Medical Center, after testing positive for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden appear in the first Presidential debate in the Sheila and Eric Samson Pavilion at the Cleveland Clinic, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, in Cleveland.
US President Donald Trump addresses supporters during a campaign rally at Smith-Reynolds Regional Airport in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on September 8, 2020.
Expert: “This credit card is so good I signed up personally”
Slideshow continues on the next slide
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for his acceptance speech to the Republican National Committee Convention on the South Lawn of the White House, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Washington.
US President Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech for the Republican Party nomination for reelection during the final day of the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn of the White House on August 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.
US President Donald Trump speaks as delegates gather during the first day of the Republican National Convention on August 24, 2020, in Charlotte, North Carolina. - President Donald Trump went into battle for a second term August 24, 2020 with his nomination at a Republican convention where he will draw on all his showman's instincts to try and change the narrative in an election he is currently set to lose.
President Donald Trump catches a baseball thrown by former New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera on the South Lawn of the White House on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump and Rivera met with youth baseball players to celebrate Opening Day of Major League Baseball.
The 23 Hottest Gifts of 2020
Slideshow continues on the next slide
President Donald Trump wears a mask as he visits Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. on July 11, 2020.
Bill Ford Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Co., points to a collection of Ford GT vehicles while talking with President Donald Trump in a mask during his visit to the Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti on May 21, 2020. Mark Meadows, White House chief of staff, is standing in the middle.
President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, May 5, 2020, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Phoenix, Ariz.
President Donald Trump speaks during a Fox News virtual town hall "America Together: Returning to Work," event, with anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC on May 3, 2020.
President Donald Trump chats with Putnam County Mayor Randy Porter, Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee, Cookeville Mayor Ricky Shelton and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee Friday, March 6, 2020 in Putnam County, Tenn., after tornados ripped killed 25 people throughout the state.
President Donald Trump meets CBP officer Donna Sifford who was shopping at Walmart at the time of the attack that killed 22 and injured 25 others. Sifford helped rescue people from the shooter on August 7, 2019.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump pause at the crosses representing the 23 people killed by the Sunday March 3, 2019 tornado in Beauregard, Ala., during his visit to the area on Friday March 8, 2019.
President Donald Trump delivers the State of the Union address on Feb 5, 2019, from the House chamber of the United States Capitol in Washington. Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) are behind Trump.
President Donald Trump arrives in McAllen, Tx to speak to offices and tour the U.S southern border on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The trip comes two days after President Trump delivered a nation wide address setting there is a crises along the border and calling for a wall or barrier.
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit with members of the military at a dining hall at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2018. In a surprise trip to Iraq, President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended his decision to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria where they have been helping battle Islamic State militants.
President Donald Trump walks with Melania, Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, alongside Tree of Life Synagogue rabbi Jeffrey Myers, near the memorial site to the 11 victims in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.
President Donald Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, and FEMA director Brock Long, visited the city of Lynn Haven, Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. A large parking area behind the devastated police department and City Hall buildings became a temporary location for local volunteers and people to compile and distribute supplies, food and assistance.
President Donald Trump takes questions from a gathering of reporters next to Air Force One at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati on Friday, Oct. 12, 2018. President Trump visited the Cincinnati area for a MAGA Rally at the Warren County Fair Grounds in Lebanon, Ohio, Friday night.
President Donald Trump acknowledges retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, right, during ceremonial swearing-in held at the East Room of the White House for newly confirmed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, left, on Oct. 8, 2018.
President Donald J. Trump awards Sergeant John A. Chapman the posthumous Medal of Honor on August 22, 2018 in the East Room at the White House for his actions on March 4, 2002, on Takur Ghar mountain in Afghanistan. Chapman's aircraft was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade, ejecting one teammate rom the aircraft, and crippling the helicopter after it crashed in the valley below. Chapman and the remaining joint special operations team members voluntarily returned to the snow-capped mountain, into known enemy stronghold, in an attempt to rescue their stranded teammate. Sergeant Chapman’s spouse, Valerie Nessel, and family joined the President at the White House to commemorate his example of selfless service and sacrifice on Aug 22, 2018.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin offers a ball of the 2018 football World Cup to US President Donald Trump during a joint press conference after a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018. The US and Russian leaders opened an historic summit in Helsinki, with Donald Trump promising an "extraordinary relationship" and Vladimir Putin saying it was high time to thrash out disputes around the world.
President Donald Trump embraces Pauline Conner the widow of Kentucky soldier First Lt. Garlin M. Conner posthumously honored with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, June 26, 2018, for his actions in World War II.
President Donald Trump speaks with Master Chief Special Warfare Operator Britt K. Slabinski, left, after awarding him the Medal of Honor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, May 24, 2018. Slabinski oversaw a daring 2002 assault and rescue mission on a snowy Afghanistan mountaintop and carried a "seriously wounded teammate down a sheer cliff face" while leading "an arduous trek across one kilometer of precipitous terrain, through waist-deep snow while continuing to call fire on the enemy."
President Donald Trump holds an executive order he just signed on rural broadband flanked by Rep Diane Black, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue Sen. Lamar Alexander, Sen. Bob Corker, Sen. Pat Roberts and Rep. Marsha Blackburn at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center Monday, Jan. 8, 2018 in Nashville, Tenn.
President Donald Trump talked about his tax reform plan at the Pennsylvania Air National Guard 193rd Special Operations Wing at the Harrisburg International Airport in Middletown, PA on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017.
President Donald Trump stands with Melania Trump, former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, before the Obama's departs on Marine One after the 2017 Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Jan 20, 2017.
Donald Trump takes the oath of office, while standing with Melania Trump and Barron Trump, during the 2017 Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office Jan 20, 2017.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: President Trump stays mostly out of view after election but is working, taking steps to, in part, poke Biden
Fact check: False claim that George Soros arrested for election-related crimes .
Claims that George Soros has been arrested are false. They were based on a doctored version of an indictment brought against six hackers in October.Some claimed false associations between Soros and Moderna, one of the companies working to develop a coronavirus vaccine. Others baselessly claimed he helped to finance and transport protesters to Black Lives Matter demonstrations.