President-elect Joe Biden said on Tuesday that nothing would stop the transfer of power in the U.S. government on 20 January, 2021.
Biden spoke in Delaware as outgoing President Donald Trump said without evidence the election was marred by fraud and some of his Republican allies backed probes.
Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has backed Trump’s right to launch a legal challenge to Biden’s victory in several battleground states such as Pennsylvania.
Some senior Republicans sought to sow doubt about the outcome.
Biden secured the more than 270 votes in the Electoral College he needs to take the presidency by winning Pennsylvania on Saturday after four tense days of counting, which was delayed by a surge in mail-in ballots due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden said his team was pushing ahead with forming a new administration to take over on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2021, no matter what.
We’re going to be going, moving along, in a consistent manner, putting together our administration, the White House, and reviewing who we’re going to pick for the Cabinet positions, and nothing’s going to stop that,” he said. Biden said it was an “embarrassment” that Trump has not conceded the election.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo predicted a “second Trump administration,” in comments at odds with congratulatory phone calls between Biden and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Ireland.
“The whole Republican Party has been put in a position with a few notable exceptions of being mildly intimidated by the sitting president, but there’s only one president at a time,” said Biden, who chuckled when asked about the Pompeo remarks.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a conservative whose blustery style is often likened to Trump’s, said he spoke to Biden on Tuesday by phone about working together.
“I look forward to strengthening the partnership between our countries and to working with him on our shared priorities – from tackling climate change, to promoting democracy and building back better from the pandemic,” Johnson tweeted.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan also congratulated Biden, a former vice president now heading to take over the White House after almost five decades in politics.
Taking questions from the media for the first time since his victory, Biden was asked what he would say if Trump were watching. He said: “Mr. President, I look forward to speaking with you.”
Judges have tossed out election lawsuits in Michigan and Georgia, and experts say Trump’s legal efforts have little chance of changing the result.
Trump’s campaign and Republicans have mostly sued over claims of procedural problems with vote counting and have not presented evidence of fraud in their lawsuits.
Attorney-General William Barr, a Trump appointee who heads the Justice Department, on Monday told federal prosecutors to “pursue substantial allegations” of irregularities of voting and the counting of ballots.
It was a break with the department’s previous policy of not carrying out overt investigations into alleged electoral fraud until any recounts have been concluded and results certified.