Joe Biden has said President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede defeat in last week’s White House election is “an embarrassment”.
But the US president-elect – who has been making contact with foreign leaders – insisted nothing would stop the transfer of power.
Mr Trump meanwhile tweeted he would ultimately win the race that all major TV networks have forecast he lost.
As happens every four years, US media projected the election victor.
None of the state-by-state results have yet been certified, several vote counts are continuing, and the outcome will only be set in stone once the US Electoral College meets on 14 December.
But Biden said, “We’ve already begun the transition” and that Trump’s refusal to concede “does not change the dynamic.” Biden is focusing first on addressing the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 238,000 Americans — the most in any country.
Biden said he might make a couple of key appointments to his administration before the annual Thanksgiving holiday, which falls on November 26 this year.
“The fact they’re not willing to acknowledge our victory is not of much consequence,” he said.
Trump, in trying to contest the election results, has kept his administration officials from cooperating with Biden’s representatives to arrange a transition of power.
The General Services Administration, a U.S. government agency, has refused to certify Biden’s presumptive victory. That is keeping Biden officials from taking over office space in federal agencies, being assigned government email addresses and receiving federal money to fund the transition.
But Biden brushed it aside without much concern.
“We can get through without the funding,” he said, while also acknowledging he had yet to start receiving the Presidential Daily Brief on U.S. intelligence findings around the world.
“The PDB would be useful,” he said, “but I’m not the sitting president.”
Biden said there was no need for his team to file litigation to try to force acknowledgment that he had won the election.
“I think it will all come to fruition on January 20,” he said.
Asked what he would tell Trump if he were watching the news conference, Biden smiled and said, “Mr. President, I’ll look forward to speaking with you.”