Week offers snapshot of how Trump, Biden approach presidency

By Jill Colvin, Steve Peoples and Jonathan Lemire | Associated Press

WASHINGTON — One spent the week at his home in Delaware carefully trying to build a government and preparing to take on a pandemic.

The other largely kept to himself behind closed doors at a mostly empty White House, angrily tweeting and using his office and allies to try to subvert the results of an American election in a dangerous breach of democracy.

If the differences between President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump were not already clear, the days since the Nov. 3 election was decided have demonstrated the dramatically divergent ways in which each approaches the job of commander in chief.

Trump has largely abandoned governing, despite a pandemic that has now killed more than 250,000 people in the U.S. and is raging out of control. He has rejected the results of the election, concocted conspiracies that are now believed by his most loyal supporters and refused to allow his government to participate in the peaceful transition of power to the next administration while trying to pressure state legislators and election officials to overturn the will of the voters.

Denied the briefings, access to agencies and funding that are part of a traditional transition, Biden has nonetheless tried to move forward. He has named senior staff, decided on Cabinet members and attempted to glean information about policy and national security from former government officials and others, including governors, who have worked with the Trump administration.

At the White House, the West Wing was largely empty, with few staffers and little of the hustle and bustle typically seen in the tight warren of offices before the election and before yet another COVID-19 outbreak.

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The circle around the president has grown smaller in recent weeks. Staffers who normally would leap at the chance to set foot in the Oval Office now try to avoid it for fear of crossing a temperamental president who has been angrily demanding answers from aides as to how to further contest the election.

Even his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, has been forced to steer clear of the White House after the former New York mayor’s son, a White House staffer, announced he had tested positive for the virus. Rudy Giuliani has taken over the president’s legal efforts to contest the election, despite a lack of evidence behind those challenges.

Trump snapped at aides when he was told that Giuliani and the rest of his legal team could not meet at the White House on Friday after they, too, had been exposed. And he complained to confidants that Giuliani had embarrassed himself during a Thursday news conference when what appeared to be hair dye dripped down Giuliani’s sweating face as he asserted falsehood after conspiratorial falsehood about the results.

The Trump West Wing, never a well-oiled machine, was even less organized than usual.

Staffers in the press office, who control the White House briefing room, found out from reporters on Thursday that the coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, had scheduled a briefing …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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