Trump told to ‘move on’ as Biden names top staff


Another of Donald Trump's closest allies has implored the US President to concede, recognise the election is over and "move on".

Stephen Schwarzman, who is chief executive of The Blackstone Group, urged Mr Trump to accept he has lost and allow president-elect Joe Biden to transition into the White House.

Mr Schwarzman told news website Axios he was a "fan of good process" and "the country should move on" as the outcome of the 3 November vote was "very certain today".

More than 100 former Republican national security officials have also signed a letter demanding party leaders denounce Donald Trump's refusal to concede the presidential election, labelling it a dangerous and anti-democratic assault on US institutions.


It comes as President-elect Joe Biden announced more members of his senior staff including Antony Blinken, Secretary of State; and former presidential candidate John Kerry who has been named Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

Despite all of this, Mr Trump remains defiant despite repeated failures by his legal team to prove their allegations in court.

The president, meanwhile, has largely halted at least his public work duties, while heading out to a golf course he owns in Virginia half a dozen times since the election.

On Monday (local time), the White House once more announced that Mr Trump had no public events scheduled.

He has also not taken questions from reporters since the election - a previously unimaginable silence from a president who for most of his time in office sparred near daily with the press.

His options, however, are dwindling rapidly.

With Mr Biden having won a comfortable victory, Mr Trump is seeking to disrupt the normally routine process of state-by-state certification of results, followed by the formal December 14 vote by the Electoral College.



His campaign's latest focus is on seeking a two-week delay to certification of results in Michigan, which Biden won by 155,000 votes on November 3.

A Michigan state board was set to meet on the issue on Monday (local time).

Pennsylvania, another crucial state in Biden's win, was expected to issue its certification after a federal judge threw out the latest baseless Trump challenge on Saturday.

More cracks appeared in the facade of Republican unity over the weekend with Mr Trump confidant and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie calling the president's legal team a

"national embarrassment."

Senator Patrick Toomey, from Pennsylvania, said after the court ruling there that Mr Trump had "exhausted all plausible legal options."





It comes as Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein named the 21 Republican senators who he claims have "privately expressed" their "extreme contempt" for Mr Trump.

In a series of tweets on Sunday evening, Mr Bernstein, 76, listed 21 Republican senators who he claimed had expressed concern to him over Mr Trump's presidency.

"I'm not violating any pledge of journalistic confidentiality in reporting this: 21 Republican Sens - in convos w/ colleagues, staff members, lobbyists, W House aides - have repeatedly expressed extreme contempt for Trump and his fitness to be POTUS," the legendary journalist tweeted.




"The 21 GOP Senators who have privately expressed their disdain for Trump are: Portman, Alexander, Sasse, Blunt, Collins, Murkowski, Cornyn, Thune, Romney, Braun, Young, Tim Scott, Rick Scott, Rubio, Grassley, Burr, Toomey, McSally, Moran, Roberts, Shelby.

"With few exceptions, their craven public silence has helped enable Trump's most grievous conduct - including undermining and discrediting the US electoral system."

Mitt Romney, Pat Toomey, Lisa Murkowski and Ben Sasse have all criticised Mr Trump for refusing to concede 3 November's election to President-elect Joe Biden and for filing multiple lawsuits in several swing states after falsely claiming voter fraud.

While Texas senator John Cornyn has criticised Mr Trump for refusing to give intelligence briefings to Mr Biden as part of the White House transition.





Meanwhile, US President-elect Joe Biden announced more members of his senior staff on Monday (local time).

Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his foreign policy and national security team including Antony Blinken, Secretary of State; Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security; Avril Haines, Director of National Intelligence; Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Jake Sullivan, National Security Advisor; and John Kerry, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.

"The American people are eager for our Administration to get to work, and today's appointees will help advance our agenda and ensure every American has a fair shot. In a Biden administration, we will have an open door to the Hill and this team will make sure their views are always represented in the White House," Mr Biden said.

The nomination of deeply experienced Antony Blinken for secretary of state highlights his message that a steady hand is back at the helm, in contrast to Mr Trump's ongoing but flailing attempts to overturn the election.

Mr Biden's selection signal the Democrat's overriding desire to lower the temperature in Washington and restore traditional US leadership abroad



Mr Blinken, a former number two of the State Department and a longtime adviser to Mr Biden, would spearhead a fast-paced dismantling of Mr Trump's disruptive "America first" policies, starting with rejoining the Paris climate agreement and the World Health Organisation and resurrecting the Iran nuclear deal.

The appointments of Jake Sullivan as national security adviser and career diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield for UN ambassador were predicted.

Like Mr Blinken, they are both strongly rooted in government service careers and served under president Barack Obama when Mr Biden was vice president.

Mr Biden also named Reema Dodin and Shuwanza Goff as deputy directors of legislative affairs Monday. Both are women of colour, further fulfilling his campaign promise to shape an administration that reflects the diversity of the country.

The picks underline an emphasis on professionals whom Mr Biden already knows well, in contrast to the Trump White House where officials were often picked without having traditional background for the job or proved incompatible and departed in acrimony.

The expected announcements come against an unprecedented backdrop of Mr Trump refusing for the third week to acknowledge his election defeat and blocking Mr Biden's access to the normal process for preparing an incoming government.

Mr Biden is to be sworn in on January 20, but so far only a slowly growing minority of Republican leaders has denounced Mr Trump's conspiracy theory that mass fraud robbed him of victory, despite there being no evidence for this.

Many of Mr Biden's cabinet picks will require confirmation in the Senate, where Republicans hold a narrow majority, although this could change if Democrats score an upset victory in two Georgia Senate run-off elections.



Originally published as Trump told to 'move on' as Biden names top staff