USA TODAY’S coverage of the 2020 election continues this week after former Vice President Joe Biden won a bitterly fought election against President Donald Trump and states work to finish counting their remaining ballots. Nearly all states have been called at this point as the Trump campaign challenges the outcomes in many states. Biden meanwhile is continuing with his transition, meeting with advisers and world leaders, and possibly naming staff in the days and weeks to come.
Be sure to refresh this page often to get the latest information on how things are going.
USA TODAY has live election information from across the country.
Congresswoman-elect Cori Bush says Republicans were confused by mask with Breonna Taylor’s name
Cori Bush, who is one of the incoming freshman members of Congress who gathered for a House orientation on Friday, said that several of her Republican colleagues called her by Breonna Taylor’s name after reading it on her face mask.
“I am Breonna Taylor as far as I could be a Black woman murdered, murdered in my bed tonight, you know,” Bush told reporters. “But I am not Breonna Taylor. This Breonna Taylor was murdered in her bed at night and she does not have justice — murdered by the police.”
Bush, a Democrat elected as the first Black woman to represent Missouri in Congress, was wearing the mask with the name of the 26-year-old Black woman who was shot six times by police officers and died in the hallway of her South Louisville apartment in March.
As mass protests took the nation during the summer, Taylor’s death was one that caught national attention and calls for justice. The officers involved in a raid of her apartment did not see charges related to her death, but one was charged with wanton endangerment.
Bush said “ I didn’t hear it once. I didn’t hear it twice. I heard it several times” throughout the day, and that she was disappointed leaders elected to Congress were unaware of who Taylor was.
“And it just saddens me that people in leadership, people that want to be in leadership don’t know the struggles that are happening to Black people in this country,” Bush said.
“It hurts. But I’m glad they’ll come to know her name & story because of my presence here.,” she added on Twitter.
— Jeanine Santucci
Did Trump acknowledge a ‘next’ administration? Almost.
President Donald Trump appeared to slip on his words Friday during remarks about the coronavirus pandemic by suggesting another administration — presumably one led by President-elect Joe Biden — might consider a national lockdown.
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully the, the — whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration will be? I guess time will tell,” Trump said during remarks in the Rose Garden. “But I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”
Trump’s remarks came as he has refused to concede that Biden won the election, citing baseless claims of widespread fraud.
The president’s comments came after networks projected Biden had won Georgia and the Associated Press and others called North Carolina for Trump. The final tallies gave Biden states with 306 electoral votes and Trump with 232 electoral votes – the same totals as four years ago when Trump topped Hillary Clinton.
— David Jackson, John Fritze and Courtney Subramanian.
Trump singles out New York for vaccine criticism
President Donald Trump took a swipe at drug maker Pfizer and the governor of New York on Friday over their previous comments on a coronavirus vaccine during his first public remarks since his Democratic opponent won last week’s election.
Trump described his administration’s response to the virus as “single greatest mobilization in U.S. history” and said a vaccine would be widely available by April. While there have been promising signs in vaccine development, none have yet received government approval.
Trump slammed New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in his remarks, saying the administration would not deliver the vaccine to the state “until we have authorization to do so.” Trump said Cuomo would “have to let us know when he’s ready for it.”
The president’s remarks appeared to be a response to Cuomo announcement this fall that the state would set up an independent panel to review the vaccine.
Trump did not mention the election or President-elect Joe Biden in his opening remarks but did make an oblique reference to another administration.
“Whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration will be. I guess time will tell,” he said. “But I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”
The president also criticized drug maker Pfizer for what he described as an “unfortunate mistake” in saying their candidate vaccine was not part of the administration’s Operation Warp Speed.
Trump last spoke in public Nov. 5, angrily briefing reporters on his complaints about the election. He traveled to his golf course in Northern Virginia over the weekend, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Veterans Day and has frequently posted tweets about the election.
But Trump has not made public remarks since before Biden won the election on Saturday. The period marked his longest absence from speaking on camera of his entire presidency, according to the nonpartisan website Factba.se, which tracks the president’s calendar.
Shortly before Trump emerged, Biden released a statement calling for a “robust and immediate federal response” to the coronavirus and called for “urgent action” by the Trump administration,” starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”
— John Fritze and David Jackson
Trump to make first public remarks in more than a week
While protesting Joe Biden’s election win behind closed doors, President Donald Trump on Friday encouraged supporters who are planning Saturday rallies on his behalf, and said he may stop by one of them.
The scheduled rallies include “a big one on Saturday in D.C.,” Trump tweeted. “I may even try to stop by and say hello.”
The president described the demonstrations as “organic,” but there is evidence that pro-Trump organizations are helping plan the events. Participants began arriving in Washington, D.C., on Friday, many of them wearing pro-Trump T-shirts and flying deep blue Trump flags.
The president has spent most of the week inside the White House, except for a Veteran’s Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery on Wednesday.
He has not given any public remarks since Nov. 5, but is scheduled to break the silence Friday with a 4 p.m. EST statement on battling the COVID-19 pandemic.
– David Jackson
Networks call NC for Trump, Georgia for Biden just as recount starts
President Donald Trump is the project winner of North Carolina’s electoral votes, according to NBC, ABC, and CNN. Trump currently leads by more than 70,000 votes in the state.
And while votes are still being counted in a statewide hand recount, President-elect Joe Biden was projected as the winner in Georgia, according to the same TV networks. Biden leads in Georgia by about 14,000 votes.
Georgia and North Carolina were the last two states without declared winners in the presidential election.
Biden surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency Saturday after winning Pennsylvania.
Georgia is in the midst of an audit of the presidential election, which comes in the form of a hand recount of nearly all 5 million votes in the state.
The state’s deadline to certify its results is Nov. 20, and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has said election workers will work overtime to get it done. He denied claims the recount is in response to calls from the Trump campaign to recount the vote, and Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling said the recount would have happened if Biden were the one trailing in the state.
– Savannah Behrmann and Jeanine Santucci
Planned pro-Trump DC rallies raise concerns
Experts are warning some right-wing extremists may appear at rallies in Washington, D.C., on Saturday in support of President Donald Trump, though it’s unclear how many people will attend.
Multiple events with names including Million MAGA March, Stop the Steal and March for Trump are set to occur at Freedom Plaza around noon Saturday, according to several social media posts. As of Tuesday, there were at least 24 Facebook events using one or both terms, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department say they’re monitoring the events, but would not provide a crowd estimate. At least one counter-protest is planned by a leftist group.
Organizers are promoting the event as a way to protest “voter fraud,” to “show support for our President” and “demand a free and fair election,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Trump has refused to concede and leveled baseless allegations of voter fraud to falsely claim the election was stolen from him.
– N’dea Yancey-Bragg
Top aide says Biden will name a White House COVID-19 coordinator
President-elect Joe Biden will appoint a White House coronavirus response coordinator to lead the administration’s pandemic strategy, incoming White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Thursday night.
In his first interview since he was named chief of staff, Klain told MSNBC the coordinator would have “direct access” to Biden and would brief the president daily on the coronavirus crisis. The coordinator will also have a COVID-19 response team to help manage vaccine distribution, oversee supply chain logistics and work on improving widespread access to testing.
The incoming chief of staff said the “transition is moving ahead” despite the Trump administration’s refusal to sign off on the election results, which would allow Biden’s team to coordinate with federal agencies.
Klain who served as a “czar” to combat the Ebola outbreak in 2014 under President Barack Obama, pointed out that officials at the Department of Health and Human Services are busy planning for a vaccination campaign for February and March, when Biden will be president.
“The sooner we can get our transition experts into meetings with the folks who are planning the vaccination campaign, the more seamless the transition” from a Trump presidency to a Biden presidency can be, Klain told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.
Klain also said that on day one Biden wants to “issue a nationwide masking mandate, requiring that people wear masks where the federal authority extends, and then urging governors and other local officials to impose mask mandates.”
Earlier this week the Biden transition team announced a board of health experts – mostly doctors – to advise the incoming administration on the coronravirus crisis as the U.S. broke its own record for new coronavirus cases.
– Courtney Subramanian
White House continues to deny election outcome, insist on second Trump term
Despite suffering defeat in last week’s election to Democratic challenger Joe Biden, President Donald Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox Business Network on Friday, “We are moving forward here at the White House under the assumption there will be a second Trump term.”
When host Stuart Varney warned Friday it might look like “sour grapes” if Trump didn’t attend the Jan. 20 inauguration, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told him, “I think the president will attend his own inauguration. He would have to be there, in fact.”
The remarks echoed a comment from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who on Tuesday promised a “smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
McEnany claimed Trump was certain he would win, pinning the unrealistic hope on a Georgia recount, as well as legal challenges across other states, that experts don’t believe could realistically result in the election outcome being overturned.
Trump has so far refused to concede the election despite losing to Biden by large margins in both the popular vote and Electoral College. He has repeatedly made baseless allegations the election was “rigged” and claimed without evidence that there was widespread election fraud.
Journalist Geraldo Rivera, who has urged the president to say “goodbye with grace and dignity,” said Friday that in a phone call with Trump, the president told him he’s a “realist” who will do the “right thing” but wants to see how the states’ certifications of the results turn out. He told Fox News he did not believe Trump was “plotting the overthrow of the elected government.”
– William Cummings
Experts decry Trump fraud claims as ‘abuse of the rule of law’
A group of 1,000 attorneys, including retired federal and state judges, state attorneys general and law professors criticized the Trump administration over baseless claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
“Every candidate has a right to ensure that an election is conducted lawfully. However, court challenges, if any, must be based on facts, on evidence,” stated the letter, which asked public officials to stop making false claims of systemic fraud that President Donald Trump has claimed “stole” the election from him.
“The President of the United States has directed the filing of court cases seeking to stop ballots from being counted on the ground that there has been widespread ballot fraud. His sons have sharply criticized Republicans who are not backing their father’s claims,”
Republican lawmakers, including Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsay Graham and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, have made statements backing Trump’s lawsuits and baseless claims of widespread fraud.
– Kristine Phillips
Obama warns Trump’s refusal to concede is ‘dangerous path’
Former President Barack Obama says Donald Trump’s refusal to concede to Joe Biden is concerning but that he was even more troubled by prominent members of the Republican party echoing his baseless claims of election fraud, saying they are heading down a “dangerous path.”
“I’m more troubled more by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion,” Obama told CBS’ “60 Minutes” in a clip from an interview scheduled to air Sunday. “It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration but democracy in general. And that’s a dangerous path.”
In the clip of an interview the network shared Friday, Obama said, “you’ve got millions of people who think there must be cheating because the president says so.” The full interview will air on Sunday.
– Ledyard King
Latest vote count puts Arizona out of reach for Trump
President-elect Joe Biden’s lead over President Donald Trump is now officially insurmountable after Maricopa County reported results from its latest round of ballots. Biden leads Trump by 11,434 votes in the statewide tally – a margin greater than the estimated number of ballots remaining to be counted in Arizona.
The Thursday evening results from about 4,000 Maricopa County ballots went 53% for Biden and 43% for Trump.
Now, Trump has no path to victory in a state that’s long been a Republican stronghold.
This election marks only the second time the Grand Canyon State has supported a Democrat for president since 1948. The last Democratic presidential candidate to carry Arizona was then-President Bill Clinton in 1996.
The Trump campaign will challenge the results in the state. But Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, has rejected Trump’s claims of election irregularities there, saying “if indeed there was some great conspiracy, it apparently didn’t work.”
– Caitlin McGlade, Arizona Republic
Experts see Trump challenge consequences:Trump election results lawsuits push US toward ‘loss of democracy’
GOP senators tell Trump it’s time for Biden to get briefings
Senate Republicans broke with the Trump administration Thursday to argue that President-elect Joe Biden should get access to high-level classified intelligence briefings, even though the president continues to contest the election results.
Sen. James Lankford, an Oklahoma Republican, said he will intervene on Friday if the Trump administration doesn’t start allowing Biden to receive what’s known as the president’s daily brief, a summary of the most urgent and credible national security threats.
Incoming presidents typically have access to those assessments during the transition, so they can be prepared to deal with any national security threats on day one.
“This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task,” Lankford told Tulsa radio station KRMG-AM on Wednesday.
“If that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in,” said Lankford, who sits on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
– Deirdre Shesgreen and Matthew Brown
Georgia starts second-largest hand recount in US history
Georgia Voting Implementation Manager Gabe Sterling announced Thursday that the hand recount and audit of the presidential race in Georgia will begin at 9 a.m. Friday. The recount will conclude at midnight on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
“This will be the largest hand recount and audit in United States history,” Sterling said.
Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger announced the hand recount and audit on Wednesday, saying that the decision came down to the race having a close margin.
“This will help build confidence. It will be an audit, a re-count and a re-canvass all at once. It will be a heavy lift, but we will work with the counties to get this done in time for state certification,” he said.
President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Georgia have been casting doubt, without evidence, on the results and election process all week, including Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
The incumbent GOP senators called for Raffensperger’s resignation on Monday. They were followed by members of the Georgia Republican Congressional Delegation, including Rep. Buddy Carter and Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene, accusing the state elections office with “serious allegations of voting irregularities.”
No specific evidence has been presented as of Thursday. Raffensperger, Sterling and Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan have all dispelled rumors of voter fraud throughout the week.
– Zach Dennis and Nick Robertson, Savannah Morning News