Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Donald Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien admits president has lost as he breaks ranks and promises 'a very professional transition' to a Biden-Harris administration

 President Donald Trump's national security adviser promised a 'very professional transition' to the administration of President-elect Joe Biden in an interview broadcast Monday, even as Trump continues to falsely claim he won the November election.

Speaking to the Global Security Forum hosted in part by Qatar, Robert O'Brien several times mentioned the transition and referred to recent peace deals that Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates struck with Israel as 'a great legacy for the president to have as he leaves office.'

While caveating that Trump did have outstanding court challenges, O'Brien's comments signaled some of the firmest statements yet from a senior administration official acknowledging Biden's win in the Nov. 3 vote.

President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien pledged a 'very professional transition' to the Biden-Harris administration if the Democrats are 'determined to be the winner.' 'Obviously things look that way now,' O'Brien added

President Donald Trump's National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien pledged a 'very professional transition' to the Biden-Harris administration if the Democrats are 'determined to be the winner.' 'Obviously things look that way now,' O'Brien added 

O'Brien (right) was asked about the transition by The Hill's Steve Clemons (left), as he addressed the Global Security Forum on Monday

O'Brien (right) was asked about the transition by The Hill's Steve Clemons (left), as he addressed the Global Security Forum on Monday  

Trump security adviser vows 'very professional transition'
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President Donald Trump maintains that he 'won' the election and has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden

President Donald Trump maintains that he 'won' the election and has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden 

Trump tweeted as much Monday morning, despite lagging behind significantly in both the Electoral College and popular vote totals

Trump tweeted as much Monday morning, despite lagging behind significantly in both the Electoral College and popular vote totals 


'If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner - obviously things look that way now - we'll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council. There's no question about it,' O'Brien said. 'They're going to have very professional folks coming in to take these positions.'

He added: 'We've passed the baton and had peaceful, successful transitions even in the most contentious periods.'

Since losing, Trump has made unsubstantiated claims about the election on Twitter. 

On both Sunday night and Monday morning, Trump claimed he 'won' the 2020 race.  

There is no evidence of widespread fraud in the vote. 

Officials from both the Democratic and Republican parties have said the poll went well, as have international observers. 

The federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency also says: 'The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history.'

O'Brien's tone was substantially different than what Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after the race was called for Biden. 

Asked by reporters if he'd cooperate with the transition, Pompeo made a quip

'There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,' Pompeo said on Tuesday.   

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also gave Trump cover to pursue legal remedies, however a number of GOP senators have now said Biden should begin getting intelligence briefings. 

Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly agreed. 

So far, Biden has taken Trump's refusal to concede with stride, laughing last week when bringing up Pompeo's name after the secretary of State had made the 'second Trump administration' comment.  

But Trump digging his heels in has prevented Biden from getting transition resources through the General Services Administration. 


GSA head Emily Murphy hasn't green-lit the transition saying the election outcome isn't known yet. 

The former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Walter Shaub, called her out on that because Trump said in a tweet Sunday said Biden 'won' but then complained about it - saying the Democrat did so 'because the Election was Rigged.' 

'Trump admitting that President-elect Biden won strips @GSAEmily of her cover story that the outcome of the election cannot be ascertained,' Shaub tweeted. 'If she continues beyond this morning to withhold transition resources, she will be tacitly admitting she's saboteur assaulting democracy.'  

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