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2020 Road to the White House

US State Department is Preventing Biden from Accessing Messages from Foreign Leaders

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The U.S. State Department is preventing Biden from accessing messages to him from foreign leaders, CNN’s Kylie Atwood reported Wednesday.

“A stack of messages from foreign leaders to President-elect Joe Biden are sitting at the State Department but the Trump administration is preventing him from accessing them, according to State Department officials familiar with the messages,” CNN reported. “Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages to State over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration, because President Donald Trump refuses to accept Biden’s victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received.”

Biden’s team is currently contacting foreign leaders and government officials on their own, but “would prefer to be using the State Department resources,” said a source familiar with the situation, who noted that the Biden team is having to deal with the unexpected challenge of facilitating these calls.

“It was helpful to have State ops place the calls and to provide translation services, and we were grateful for the cooperation from the Bush administration for making that happen,” said Denis McDonough, who served in the Obama administration and worked with Obama during the transition.

That extended hand isn’t happening this time around from President Donald J. Trump and his agencies toward President-elect Joe Biden.

The calls happening now are congratulatory ones, standard to what usually occurs after a new president is selected.

“These calls in the past have been handled on open lines. They are congratulatory calls,” McDonough said.

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2020 Road to the White House

Stacey Abrams Will Run for Governor in 2022: It’s ‘A Secret to No One’

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Stacy Abrams on the campaign trail

President-elect Joe Biden’s win in Georgia has further cemented political powerhouse Stacey Abrams in politics for years to come — and it’s little secret what she intends to do next.

Three Democrats with knowledge of the former state house minority leader’s aspirations told The Daily Beast that they expect her to run for governor in 2022.

“Stacey Abrams intends to run for governor again,” said Wendy Davis, a Democratic National Committee member who is on the executive committee of the Georgia Democratic Party. “I think that is a secret to no one.”

“Everyone in Democratic circles has the expectation that she will be the Democratic nominee in two years for governor,” she said.

“In my opinion, she would like to be governor of Georgia,” said close Abrams ally DuBose Porter, the former Georgia Democratic Party chairman, speaking in a personal capacity. “Stacey Abrams is about getting the work done.”

“Leader Abrams has made no decisions about her political future and is solely focused on electing Jon Ossoff and Rev. Raphael Warnock on January 5,” a spokesperson for Abrams said.

Abrams appeared on The View Thursday where she told the co-hosts, “I am interested in making certain that Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock have a place to lead by working with senators to help Joe Biden. One of the ways we were able to flip Georgia was because I have been working on it for 10 years.”

She continued, “I know the work we did across this country through Fair Fight 2020 made certain we had enough states that flipped back that we could work together to make certain Joe Biden became president, and now I’m focused on getting the last piece across the finish line, and that is the U.S. Senate race on January 5th in Georgia.”

Biden is likewise loyal to Abrams and her commitments and contributions to democracy. In fact, he vetted her for the post Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) now holds as vice president.

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2020 Road to the White House

History in the Making: Pope Francis Calls President-Elect Biden

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President-elect Joe Biden received a congratulatory phone call from Pope Francis on Thursday morning, making him the latest world leader to offer his thoughts on a successful presidential campaign.

Biden thanked Francis “for extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation for His Holiness’ leadership in promoting peace, reconciliation, and the common bonds of humanity around the world,” according to a statement from the Biden transition team.

Biden also “expressed his desire to work together on the basis of a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor, addressing the crisis of climate change, and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities,” the statement said.

The international community has reached out to Biden in recent days with similar messages of hope and welcome — dignitaries including French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Irish Taoiseach Micheál Martin, and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson among them.

Biden and Francis have met at least once before, when Francis became the first pope to address a joint session of Congress in 2015. Biden, then vice president, was seated behind Francis atop the House speaker’s rostrum as the pope delivered his remarks, according to Politico.

The history-making conversation is important to note because Biden is poised to become the first Roman Catholic president of the United States since John F. Kennedy.

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2020 Road to the White House

Another Trump Adviser Tests Positive for COVID After White House Superspreader Event: Corey Lewandowski

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Corey Lewandowski, President Donald J. Trump’s adviser who’s been issuing baseless lawsuits regarding illegal election activity in specific states, tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday, making him the latest person in Trump’s inner circle to contract the virus.

Lewandowski had visited Philadelphia days prior to his diagnosis, according to The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman.

“He was at the White House election night party, but tested positive eight days later,” Haberman tweeted Thursday.

Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff; Ben Carson, the housing secretary; and David Bossie, an adviser to Mr. Trump have also tested positive following the White House superspreader event on Election Day.

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