‘Clearly’ we should recognize Biden as president-elect, says ex-transitional head of agency

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David Barram was the head of the General Service Administration in the 2000 election. CNN

The former head of the general service administration in the 2000 election said on Thursday he would verify the 2020 results and begin the formal transition to a Joe Biden presidency, which the current administrator has yet to do .

“To me, it’s clear that we should recognize Joe Biden as president-elect,” David Barram, the former GSA administrator appointed by Bill Clinton, told CNN’s John Berman on “New Day”.

Current GSA administrator Emily Murphy has still not acknowledged Biden’s victory – as President Trump refuses to concede – and signed a letter to release funds to Biden’s transition team through a process called verification. Without GSA approval, Biden and his team are stuck in limbo, denied access to federal agencies during the Covid-19 pandemic and classified intelligence briefings.

Barram confirmed to CNN that he and Murphy spoke on the phone ahead of the Nov. 3 election, saying it was a “very cordial conversation” and that Murphy asked him about his experiences in the GSA.

“I am very sympathetic to her. It is a difficult situation. I just think she has to finally make a decision and like I say I’m sympathetic to her. I think everything will work out when it’s finally done, ”Barram said.

Barram said the current situation is “radically different” from the GSA’s delay in verification during the 2000 standoff between George W. Bush and Al Gore, which descended in Florida and 537 votes that separated the two candidates.

“George Bush and Al Gore, along with their entire team, knew exactly what the deal was. It was whoever won Florida who would win the election. And that’s all we were dealing with. And so it was not settled in Florida. And that clearly wasn’t resolved in Florida until the Supreme Court ruled. And then when the Supreme Court ruled, Al Gore immediately conceded, ”Barram said.

Barram ultimately determined that Bush was the winner in the 2000 election after the Supreme Court’s Florida recount ended.

Biden leads Trump by thousands of votes in several states where the Trump campaign has sued and is trying to delay state certification of results. Biden is also on track to secure 306 electoral votes versus 232 for Trump.

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