After three weeks of stasis, Joe Biden’s transition to the White House has suddenly taken off like the 1967 Chevy Corvette the President-elect has long proudly owned.
In his first interview since being declared winner in the 2020 election and one day after the General Services Administrator finally signed off on the process of shifting administrations, Biden on Tuesday gave NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt a glimpse of how things are going.
“Immediately we’ve gotten outreach from the National Security shop,” Biden told Holt in an interview filmed earlier today in Wilmington, DE.
Beyond a quip or two from the doorway to the chauffeured curb, Biden has had only brief interactions with the media in the past few weeks. As he was leaving the NBC interview taping Tuesday, the ex-VP was asked if he would meet with Donald Trump. “Of course I would, if he asked,” Biden responded before chatting a bit about the status of borders between Ireland and the UK’s Northern Ireland now that Britain is leaving the European Union next year.
The just-released NBC News clip is an initial look at the exclusive interview to air on the Comcast-owned network, with more of the sit-down to be shown Wednesday on Today and MSNBC, NBC News has said. In another tweet posted previously from Wilmington’s Queen Theater, Holt outlined some of the other topics the duo discussed.
Tune in at 6:30 ET / 5:30 CT on NBC (check your local listings). pic.twitter.com/vKrSn9VWb4
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) November 24, 2020
“They’re already working out my ability to get Presidential Daily Briefs,” Biden also told Holt of the now formal transition process and greater access to intelligence information. “We’re already working out meeting with the Covid team in the White House. And how to not only distribute, but get from a vaccine being distributed, to a person being able to get vaccinated.”
With just under 60 days until Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are sworn in on January 20, 2021, there are spiking coronavirus numbers with 12.5 million confirmed cases and more than 259,000 deaths – including about 1,700 today alone. The CDC and others worry that the millions traveling during Thanksgiving week will lead to another surge in cases and deaths going into Christmas.
In that context and in a manner now more suited to normal transitions between administrations, the fairly seasoned Yohannes Abraham-led Biden team is getting more high-security data and details from the outgoing Trump gang. Having unveiled most of his foreign policy and national security cabinet today and declaring that “America is back,” Biden had a characteristic upbeat mood about the transition process that had been cast in stone until Monday – even though Trump still refuses to officially concede.
“I think we’re going to not be so far behind the curve as we thought we might be in the past,” the President-elect told Holt. “And there’s a lot of immediate discussion, and I must say, the outreach has been sincere. There’s has not been begrudging so far. And I don’t expect it to be. So yes it’s already begun.”
With former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen likely set to become the first female Treasury Secretary in what is already an historic administration, Biden and Harris are expected to name more cabinet picks before and just after the holiday.
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