After spending nearly the entire day off of Twitter, President Donald Trump spoke out in an early evening tweet about the GSA’s decision to finally release the federal funds to underwrite and support the transition efforts of President-elect Joe Biden.
News broke sharply at 6 p.m. that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy finally appeared to accept that Biden was the winner of the 2020 general election, succumbing to increased pressure that she accept the results and allow Biden to begin the peaceful transition of power as is required by the Constitution.
In a letter to Biden, Murphy wrote, “Because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certification of election results, I have determined that you may access the post-election resources and services described in Section 3 of the Act upon request.”
But she also made clear in her letter that she came to this conclusion on her own, writing “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts.” She added “I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official-including those who work at the White House or GSA-with regard to the substance. or timing of my decision.”
This is a significantly different narrative, however, than that told by President Trump in his tweet acknowledging the news. After thanking Murphy for her service and her “steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country,” he appeared to take credit for the decision.
“Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same,” Trump wrote:
I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused – and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good…
…fight, and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
To suggest that the timing of Trump’s tweets is curious is not the most original take, as evidence by Los Angeles Times’s Chris Megerian, who made the same astute observation:
— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) November 23, 2020
Trump’s apparent acceptance of the GSA transition funds being released is an enormous turning point in the transition of power, and as New York Times White House reporter Maggie Haberman observed on Twitter, “this is the closest to a concession Trump is going to get.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 23, 2020
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