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US elections 2020

US transition latest: Harris resigns from Senate ahead of becoming VP

Capitol locked down briefly over small fire in vicinity

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris speaks after U.S. President-elect Joe Biden introduced key members of his White House science team at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware.   © Reuters

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON -- Inauguration week is here, with President-elect Joe Biden set to become the 46th leader of the U.S. on Wednesday. But he will take office without meeting with predecessor President Donald Trump or receiving a congratulatory phone call from him. Washington is in lockdown as law enforcement is determined to avoid the kind of violence seen in the Jan. 6 Capitol assault.

For more on the Trump-to-Biden transition -- and the Asian angle -- read our in-depth coverage:

Crises at home leave Biden little time for Asia in first 100 days

Biden point man Kurt Campbell returns to an Asia that has pivoted

The Indo-Pacific after Donald Trump

'Indo-Pacific czar' Kurt Campbell calls for spreading out US forces

US Capitol chaos dismays Asian allies and delights adversaries

US democracy crumbles as money swamps politics: Singapore's Mahbubani 

Trump aims for 'seamless transition': transcript of speech

Here are the latest developments (U.S. Eastern time):

Monday, Jan. 18

5:21 p.m. Janet Yellen, Biden's pick for Treasury secretary, says the government must "act big" with its next coronavirus relief package, in a prepared opening statement for hearings Tuesday at the Senate Finance Committee.

Biden has proposed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package.

"Neither the president-elect, nor I, propose this relief package without an appreciation for the country’s debt burden. But right now, with interest rates at historic lows, the smartest thing we can do is act big," according to Yellen.

4:57 p.m. Trump will reportedly leave Washington around 8 a.m. on Wednesday, four hours before the inauguration, for his final flight aboard Air Force One. He is expected to travel by motorcade to his Florida residence of Mar-a-Lago.

11:08 a.m. The U.S. Capitol is shut down briefly after a small fire breaks out in a tent near the complex. Participants in a rehearsal for Biden's inauguration were evacuated into the building, according to a Reuters witness. The fire was put out, with the Secret Service tweeting: "There is no threat to the public."

10:33 a.m. Kamala Harris issues a letter that says she will officially resign from the Senate at noon ahead of her assuming the duties of vice president. She will be replaced by California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to represent the state.

Saturday, Jan. 16

5:00 p.m. A Virginia man has been arrested trying to enter Washington, D.C., with an unregistered gun and more than 500 rounds of ammunition, U.S. media reports say, citing Capitol Police.

The man, driving a pickup truck, was reportedly stopped at a checkpoint. He later said the incident was an honest mistake that occurred while he was working as a private security guard, according to The Washington Post.

Security in Washington has been beefed up ahead of Wednesday's presidential inauguration.

State capitals, too, are on guard for possible armed disturbances in the wake of the Capitol riot. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly warned police in all 50 states of the risk of such violence.

In one case announced by the FBI, a man was arrested Friday on charges of inciting violence at the Florida Capitol. The man "called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the Capitol complex using firearms" on Sunday, according to the FBI.

4:30 p.m. More information on the Biden transition team's COVID-19 vaccination plans:

8:36 a.m. The Biden transition team announces senior-level nominations to the State Department to serve under Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken, including two veteran diplomats with experience in North Korea negotiations and the handling of the uprising in Ukraine.

Wendy Sherman is nominated to be deputy secretary of state. Sherman served in the Barack Obama administration, where she headed negotiations with Iran that led to the 2015 nuclear accord among Washington, Tehran and European countries.

Sherman also served as special adviser to President Bill Clinton and policy coordinator on North Korea.

Receiving the nomination for under secretary for political affairs is Victoria Nuland, a former ambassador with 32 years of diplomatic experience, according to the Biden team's statement. She has been posted overseas to Russia, China and Mongolia. While assistant secretary of state in 2014, Nuland dealt with the pro-democracy upheaval in Ukraine and Russia's annexation of Crimea.

"This diverse and accomplished team ... embodies my core belief that America is strongest when it works with our allies," Biden says in a statement.

Friday, Jan. 15

3:10 p.m. Vice President Mike Pence congratulates Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris in the first known contact between the elected member of the outgoing and incoming administrations.

3:01 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says any members of Congress who aided rioters who stormed the Capitol last week should face criminal prosecution.

"If in fact it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress ... in terms of prosecutions," she tells a news conference.

Democratic House member Mikie Sherrill, a Navy veteran, has accused some Republican lawmakers of leading groups of pro-Trump supporters on "reconnaissance" tours of the Capitol the day before the attack. Capitol Police have begun an inquiry on the matter.

Jacob Anthony Chansley, also known as Jake Angeli, of Arizona, stands with other supporters of President Donald Trump as they demonstrate on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol.   © Reuters

12:54 p.m. Federal prosecutors say there is "strong evidence" that rioters who stormed the Capitol last week intended to "capture and assassinate elected officials," according to a court filing in the case against Jacob Chansley, the costumed "QAnon shaman" from Arizona who wore horns and face paint in the attack.

After Chansley climbed up to the dais where Vice President Mike Pence had been minutes earlier, he wrote Pence a note saying that "it's only a matter of time, justice is coming," the filing says.

Prosecutors ask that Chansley be held without bail, noting that he had stated an intent to return to Washington for Biden's inauguration. They also note that "news reports suggest that the U.S. Capitol siege may just be the beginning of potentially violent actions from President Trump's supporters."

Chansley's lawyers have requested that Trump grant their client a pardon.

12:06 p.m. Trump's approval rating sinks to 29% in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot, the lowest level of his administration, in a new Pew Research Center poll. And 68% of U.S. adults say they do not want him remaining a major figure in national politics for many years to come.

Biden nears taking office with 64% of voters expressing a positive opinion of his conduct since winning the election.

Thursday, Jan. 14

11:50 p.m. Laura Rosenberger, a State Department and White House veteran who advised Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign on foreign policy, will serve as Biden's senior director for China, Reuters reports. She will work under Kurt Campbell, who was named senior coordinator for Indo-Pacific policy on Wednesday.

Rosenberger was the National Security Council director for China and Korea in the Barack Obama White House. She tweeted that she is "humbled by the enormity of the task" ahead.

5:25 p.m. FBI Director Christopher Wray warns Vice President Mike Pence that law enforcement is seeing "an extensive amount of concerning online chatter" about potential inauguration threats.

5:13 p.m. A Republican senator from Alaska calls the impeachment of Trump "appropriate," a sign that she is open to convicting the outgoing president at his Senate trial.

Lisa Murkowski says in a statement that Trump's actions were "unlawful" and can not go "without consequences."

The Democrats will have 50 votes in the incoming Senate. Convicting Trump will require 67 votes, so they will need at least 17 Republicans to break ranks to reach that threshold.

11:24 a.m. A majority of Americans want Trump immediately removed from office, but Republicans strongly disagree.

According to an Axios-Ipsos poll taken after the president was impeached for a second time on Wednesday, 56% of Americans want Trump to leave office immediately despite the fact that Biden will be inaugurated in less than a week. Just 17% of Republicans, however, agree.

It is extremely unlikely that Trump will leave office before Jan. 20.

Wednesday, Jan. 13

8:00 p.m. The Asia Group consultancy announces its co-founder and CEO Kurt Campbell's appointment as the Biden administration's Asia policy czar. It says Campbell will serve as the deputy assistant to the president and coordinator for Indo-Pacific affairs on the National Security Council. "His decision to join the Biden-Harris administration reflects his deep commitment to public service and helping advance U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific region during a consequential historic moment," says Nirav Patel, the group's president and co-founder.

6:30 p.m. Trump issues a video address from the White House in which he condemns violence and last week's riot at the Capitol, describing it as a "calamity." He calls for a peaceful transition to the next administration but makes no mention of his second impeachment.

"No true supporter of mine could ever support political violence," he says. "No true supporter of mine could disrespect law enforcement or our great American flag."

He also condemns the "unprecedented assault on free speech we have seen in recent days."

5:10 p.m. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tells his Republican colleagues in a note that he remains undecided on whether he will vote to convict Trump in the Senate trial.

"While the press has been full of speculation, I have not made a final decision on how I will vote and I intend to listen to the legal arguments when they are presented to the Senate," McConnell says.

He also says that he will not take up the impeachment articles during the next seven days, thereby likely punting the Senate trial until after Biden becomes president and the Democrats take control of the chamber on Jan. 20.

The Democrats will have 50 votes with Vice President Kamala Harris providing the tiebreaker. To convict Trump, the Democrats would still need to be joined by at least 17 Republican senators to reach the necessary 67 votes. If he is convicted, only 51 votes will be necessary to disqualify Trump from ever holding federal office again.

4:25 p.m. The House of Representatives votes to impeach Trump on a count of "inciting violence against the government of the United States," making him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. The measure also requests his immediate removal from office and disqualification from ever holding one again.

Some 232 House members voted to impeach, while 197 voted against. Ten Republicans -- Liz Cheney, Anthony Gonzalez, Jaime Herrera Beutler, John Katko, Adam Kinzinger, Peter Meijer, Dan Newhouse, Tom Rice, Fred Upton and David Valadao -- voted for impeachment, unlike in 2019 when approval came strictly along partisan lines. No Democrats voted against impeachment.

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi wields the gavel as the House of Representatives votes to impeach President Donald Trump for inciting insurrection.   © Reuters

Pro-Trump rioters invaded the Capitol building one week ago, intending to stop the certification of Biden as the next president. Lawmakers debated passionately on whether Trump deliberately urged attendees at a rally to launch the assault against Congress.

A trial and conviction by the Senate would allow the early removal of Trump from office, but McConnell is unlikely to begin that process before Biden is inaugurated on Jan. 20.

3:04 p.m. Biden will name veteran diplomat Kurt Campbell as his top official for Asia policy. Campbell served as assistant secretary of state for East Asia under former President Barack Obama and was a key architect of the administration's "pivot to Asia."

2:00 p.m. President Donald Trump issues a statement to Fox News, calling on Americans to work to ease tensions and stating that he does not stand for violence of any kind.

"In light of reports of more demonstrations, I urge that there must be NO violence, NO lawbreaking and NO vandalism of any kind," the president says. "That is not what I stand for and it is not what America stands for. I call on ALL Americans to help ease tensions and calm tempers."

An adviser to the president says Trump is calling on Big Tech to join this effort to reduce tensions.

12:03 p.m. The Defense Department now plans to deploy 5,000 more National Guard troops to Washington D.C., bringing the total force there for the inauguration to 20,000, according to multiple sources.

11:43 a.m. Members of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party urge Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to speak out against the deadly Jan. 6 riot in Washington. "Suga needs to send a message denouncing the incident," one lawmaker said during a Foreign Ministry briefing on the incident.

11:30 a.m. Airbnb says it will cancel reservations in the Washington, D.C. metro area during the inauguration week, as it anticipates possible turmoil.

Guests will be refunded in full and hosts would be reimbursed for the money they would have earned from these cancelations, the company said.

"We are continuing our work to ensure hate group members are not part of the Airbnb community," the company said in a statement, adding that numerous individuals had already been banned from Airbnb's platform.

10:05 a.m. A live video posted Tuesday night by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Instagram, in which she reveals she feared for her life during the Capitol assault, is viewed over 2 million times.

In the one-hour message, she says she was taken to a secure, undisclosed location for lawmakers as the rioters overtook the Capitol, but that she worried that her own colleagues in Congress might divulge her location to the mob.

"I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die," she said. "I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive."

9:40 a.m. The House of Representatives has begun the debate on impeaching Trump for his role in the Capitol assault last week. At least five Republicans have said they would join Democrats in voting for an article of impeachment.

Washington is on high alert. Thousands of National Guard troops are on duty and some service members, bearing weapons, could be seen sleeping inside the Capitol building on Wednesday ahead of the session.

National Guard members walk through the U.S. Capitol, before Democrats begin debating one article of impeachment against U.S. President Donald Trump on Jan. 13.   © Reuters

The House convened just after 9 a.m. in the same chamber where lawmakers hid under chairs last Wednesday as rioters clashed with police in the halls of the Capitol.

Tuesday, Jan. 12

9:15 p.m. A resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to start the U.S. Constitution's 25th Amendment process of removing President Donald Trump from office advances on a procedural vote in the U.S. House of Representatives.

8:57 p.m. Pence tells House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he is opposed to invoking the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump from office after Trump's supporters laid siege to the U.S. Capitol last week.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stand while making remarks about early results from the 2020 U.S. presidential election in the White House in Washington on Nov. 4   © Reuters

"I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution," Pence said in a letter released by his office as the House prepared to vote on a non-binding resolution calling on him to utilize the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

6:10 p.m. Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, says she will vote in favor of Trump's impeachment.

"The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President...I will vote to impeach the President," the House member writes in a statement.

5:10 p.m. The first Republican House member announces he will support the impeachment of Donald Trump.

John Katko of New York says he feels "compelled to uphold his oath and defend the Constitution."

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is reported by the New York Times to be "pleased" that the president will be impeached.

4:45 p.m. Donald Trump warns against impeachment at an event in Texas to tout his border wall.

"Free speech is under assault, like never before," the president says. "The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me, but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for," he says, suggesting the 25th Amendment could be used against Biden.

The impeachment procedures are "causing tremendous anger and division and pain far greater than what most people will ever understand. Which is very dangerous for the USA especially at this very tender time," he says.

Addressing the Capitol riot of last week, Trump says, "As I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting American's history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting."

He added that "respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement" is the "foundation of the MAGA agenda," referring to his Make American Great Again campaign slogan.

4:15 p.m. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and service chiefs declare that last week's storming of the Capitol was a direct assault on Congress and the constitutional process.

Biden will become the 46th president and commander in chief in Jan. 20, they say in a memo to service members.

3:00 p.m. House Republican leaders have decided against formally asking members to oppose a second impeachment of Trump, a move seen as a break with the president.

The leadership will not ask rank-and-file Republicans to support Trump. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had told them Monday that an impeachment would work against reunifying the country.

Back in 2019, the Republican leadership had applied intense pressure on members to oppose the first impeachment.

2:00 p.m. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has canceled his trip to Europe.

"We are fully committed to the completion of a smooth and orderly transition process to be finalized over the next 8 days," the State Department says in a statement. "We are expecting shortly a plan from the incoming administration identifying the career officials who will remain in positions of responsibility on an acting basis until the Senate confirmation process is complete for incoming officials. As a result, we are cancelling all planned travel this week, including the Secretary's trip to Europe."

Only hours earlier, Pompeo's spokesperson had said the secretary would travel to Brussels on Wednesday and Thursday, "to reaffirm the deep and enduring partnership between the United States and Belgium and the unwavering U.S. support for NATO."

Pompeo was scheduled to meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Sophie Wilmes, the Belgian deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs.

Reuters later reported that the cancellation was due to Luxembourg's foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, and top European Union officials declining to meet him.

The snub comes days after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by thousands of Trump supporters who sought to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 presidential election, an attack that stunned many world leaders and American allies. Asselborn had called Trump a "criminal" and a "political pyromaniac" on RTL Radio the day after the assault.

1:30 p.m. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York calls on the FBI and Transportation Security Administration to place all people who participated in last week's storming of the Capitol on the federal no-fly list. Schumer characterizes these individuals as "insurrectionists" and says they are a threat to the homeland.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland on Jan 12.   © AP

11:20 a.m. Trump takes no responsibility for the Capitol riots last week.

The president speaks to the press for the first time since the turmoil on Wednesday as he left for Texas to survey the border wall with Mexico.

When asked by reporters what his personal responsibility was, the president says "If you read my speech, and many people have done it ... it's been analyzed ... People thought that what I said was totally appropriate."

Instead, he blames Big Tech for dividing the country.

"I think Big Tech has made a terrible mistake," Trump says, regarding the moves by Big Tech to ban users and groups supporting the mobs at the U.S. Capitol.

"I've never seen such anger as I see right now. And that's a terrible thing." He adds that violence should always be avoided.

8:22 a.m. Casino entrepreneur Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of Las Vegas Sands and a staunch Republican donor who backed President Donald Trump, has died at age 87, the company says in a statement.

Sheldon Adelson attends a speech by U.S. President Donald Trump at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Florida, in Dec. 2019.   © Reuters

Adelson died of complications related to treatment for non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma, according to the statement.

Adelson founded Las Vegas Sands, a group whose properties include the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and The Venetian Macao.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a tribute to Adelson on Twitter.

Monday, Jan. 11

7:45 p.m. The White House says President Donald Trump on Monday approved an emergency declaration for Washington that lasts through Jan. 24, after authorities warned of security threats to President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration next week.

Preparations take place for President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington.   © AP

6:15 p.m. Up to 15,000 National Guard members could be deployed in Washington during the presidential inauguration, Gen. Daniel Hokanson, chief of the National Guard Bureau tells reporters.

He expects about 10,000 troops in Washington by Saturday to help provide security, logistics and communications. He said the number could rise to 15,000 if requested by local authorities.

Tourists were barred from visiting the Washington Monument until Jan. 24, as security is heightened in the nation's capital.

6:05 p.m. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf tells staff that he is stepping down as of Monday night, marking the latest senior Trump administration official to resign. The department is responsible for coordinating the security of the presidential inauguration.

3:48 p.m. A top Democrat says the House will consider impeachment of Donald Trump on Wednesday.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer tells members to return to the Capitol Tuesday night to consider a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. A resolution invoking the 25th Amendment is expected to pass, but without Pence signing off. The House will then begin to move on its own for impeachment.

2:45 p.m. The FBI issues warnings about possible armed protests in Washington D.C. and in all 50 state capitols in the days leading up to the inauguration of the Biden presidency.

1:00 p.m. House Democrats introduce a single article of impeachment against Trump. The measure would charge him with "incitement of insurrection" for "willfully inciting violence against the government of the United States" when he encouraged supporters to march to the Capitol building last week over the election result.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holds news conference at the  U.S. Capitol a day after violent protests in Washington   © Reuters

Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the House will take up legislation -- temporarily blocked by lawmakers in Trump's Republican Party -- that would call on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the Constitution's 25th Amendment to remove Trump. The House is further calling on Pence to "respond within 24 hours after passage" and will move forward with bringing impeachment legislation to the floor as the next step, she adds.

10:36 a.m. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has reservations about the way President Donald Trump's Twitter account was suspended, says her spokesperson. The chancellor believes legislators, not private companies, should decide on any necessary curbs to free expression.

7:05 a.m. William Burns, a career diplomat, has been chosen to serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency in the incoming Biden administration.

Burns, who is currently president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the oldest international affairs think tank in the U.S., retired from the U.S. Foreign Service in 2014 after a 33-year diplomatic career. He holds the highest rank in the Foreign Service, career ambassador, and was deputy secretary of state in the Obama years.

Burns has served as ambassador to Russia and Jordan, and is a Middle-East expert who was assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs during the administration of George W. Bush.

"It's time to restore the independence of our intelligence community," Biden said in a video introducing his new pick, "and equally critical to restore trust and confidence in our career officials, including at the CIA."

Burns said that good intelligence is the first line of defense for America -- the indispensable basis for sound policy choices. "I'll always do my best to deliver that intelligence with honesty and integrity and without a hint of partisanship."

He also vowed to strengthen intelligence cooperation with allies and partners around the world.

5:30 a.m. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer urges the incoming Biden administration to keep all tariffs on China, even if that raises prices for U.S. businesses and consumers, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

"We changed the way people think about China," he said, referring to the Trump administration. "We want a China policy that thinks about the geopolitical competition between the United States and an adversary -- an economic adversary."

Sunday, Jan. 10

1:37 p.m. Evacuated representatives sheltering from last Wednesday's Capitol siege may have been exposed to a person infected with the virus behind COVID-19, news outlets report.

Attending physician Brian Monahan writes to lawmakers that "many members of the House community were in protective isolation" for up to "several hours" in a large room where "individuals may have been exposed to another occupant with coronavirus infection."

10:19 a.m. Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says Trump should "resign and go away as soon as possible" for the good of the country.

"I acknowledge that may not be likely, but I think that would be best," given the impracticality of removing Trump via the 25th Amendment or impeachment, he says on NBC's "Meet the Press."

This makes Toomey the second U.S. senator from Trump's party to call for him to quit in the days since the violence at the Capitol. Sen. Lisa Murkowski told the Anchorage Daily News on Friday that Trump "has caused enough damage" and "needs to get out."

Saturday, Jan. 9

2:35 p.m. Sen. Mark Warner, the incoming chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, calls on telecom and social media companies to preserve evidence of the Capitol riot.

Friday, Jan. 8

9:47 p.m. Twitter says it has suspended President Trump's campaign account @TeamTrump for violating its rules.

8:54 p.m. Twitter quickly deleted new tweets from President Trump from an official government account after the social media site had banned his personal account. Trump tweeted, "We will not be SILENCED!" from the @POTUS government account, with 33.4 million followers, after his @realDonaldTrump personal account was permanently banned by Twitter, according to Reuters. "Twitter is not about FREE SPEECH," Trump wrote in the now-deleted tweets, adding that he is considering building his own social media platform in the near future.

6:35 p.m. Twitter says it is permanently suspending Trump's personal account, which had over 88 million followers.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them -- specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter -- we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the company says in an announcement.

The company took issue with two posts Friday that read:

"The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!"

and

"To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th."

Trump's statement that he will not attend the inauguration, taken together with the earlier tweet, "is being received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate," the company says, "and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim" that there would be an "orderly transition" on Jan. 20, it adds.

4:20 p.m. Thirteen individuals have been charged so far in federal court in the District of Columbia related to crimes committed at the U.S. Capitol, the Department of Justice said Friday.

They include Richard Barnett of Arkansas, who posed for pictures in the office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday.

Pro-Trump protesters rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6.   © Reuters

"The lawless destruction of the U.S. Capitol building was an attack against one of our Nation's greatest institutions," said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael Sherwin. "My Office, along with our law enforcement partners at all levels, have been expeditiously working and leveraging every resource to identify, arrest, and begin prosecuting these individuals who took part in the brazen criminal acts at the U.S. Capitol. We are resolute in our commitment to holding accountable anyone responsible for these disgraceful criminal acts, and to anyone who might be considering engaging in or inciting violence in the coming weeks -- know this: you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

In addition, approximately 40 individuals have been arrested and charged in Superior Court with offenses including, but not limited to, unlawful entry, curfew violations, and firearms-related crimes, the department said.

3:20 p.m. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with his anticipated successor, Antony Blinken.

"Today, I met with President-Elect @JoeBiden's Secretary-Designate @ABlinken in order to facilitate an orderly transition, and to ensure American interests are protected abroad," Pompeo tweets, addressing Biden as the "president-elect."

"Our meeting was very productive, and we will continue to work together on behalf of America throughout the transition," he writes.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi waits during votes in the first session of the 117th Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 3.   © Reuters

12:55 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi consults Army Gen. Mike Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about "precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike," according to a letter to her fellow Democrats.

"The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous," Pelosi says in the letter, just before a conference call with Democrats to discuss whether to impeach Trump.

"If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action," she writes.

In the conference call, Pelosi tells members that she has received assurances from Milley that safeguards are in place if Trump tries to launch a nuclear weapon.

11:00 a.m. Trump says he is not attending the inauguration on Jan. 20, a break from a long-standing tradition.

10:30 a.m. Biden names Indian American Sumona Guha as the National Security Council senior director for South Asia and Japanese American Melanie Nakagawa as the senior director for climate and energy.

Guha is senior vice president at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategic advisory headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. During the election, she was co-chair of the Biden-Harris campaign's South Asia foreign policy working group.

A graduate of Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University, Guha was part of the State Department's policy planning staff, where she focused on South Asia. During the Obama-Biden Administration, she was special adviser for national security affairs to Vice President Biden. She later was senior director at the U.S.-India Business Council.

Meanwhile, Nakagawa served as a strategic advisor on climate change to then-Secretary of State John Kerry on the policy planning staff, before becoming deputy assistant secretary for energy transformation at the State Department, where she was responsible for promoting the shift toward a low carbon economy.

More recently, she was director of climate strategy at investment firm Princeville Capital.

Nakagawa earned a J.D. and M.A. in international affairs from American University after graduating Brown University.

Thursday, Jan. 7

9:35 p.m. Trump's education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has submitted her resignation according to U.S. media reports. This makes her the second cabinet member to do so in the wake of the Capitol violence, after Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.

9:28 p.m. China's state media is seizing on the turmoil in Washington to score political points. The Global Times, a Communist Party mouthpiece, describes the Capitol infiltration as a sign of "internal collapse."

7:10 p.m. After a temporary freeze, President Trump returns to Twitter with what appears to be a concession video in which he laments the "heinous attack" on the Capitol. "Like all Americans I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem," he says. (Here is the full transcript of what he said)

"The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy," Trump adds.

The president, facing a chorus of calls for early removal from office, promises that "a new administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. My focus now turns to ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power."

2:15 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that Trump incited an insurrection against the government and committed an unspeakable assault against the nation. She says that if the cabinet does not invoke the 25th Amendment, the House is prepared to begin impeachment proceedings.

2:05 p.m. Jim Mattis, who served as Trump's secretary of defense from 2017 to 2019, places blame squarely on the president himself.

"Today's assault on our Capitol, an effort to subjugate American democracy by mob rule, was fomented by Mr. Trump," Mattis says in a Wednesday statement. "His use of the presidency to destroy trust in our election and to poison our respect for fellow citizens has been enabled by pseudo political leaders whose names will live in infamy as profiles in cowardice."

1:55 p.m. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is resigning, CNN reports, the first cabinet secretary to call it quits in the wake of the storming of the Capitol.

Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao   © Reuters

11:30 a.m. Mark Zuckerberg says the block on President Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts will be extended "indefinitely."

10:00 a.m. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking information that will help identify individuals who instigated violence at the Capitol on Wednesday.

"If you have witnessed unlawful violent actions, we urge you to submit any information, photos, or videos that could be relevant" it says in a dedicated website.

3:50 a.m. A Trump aide tweets the president's reaction to the certification of Biden's win. According to Dan Scavino, deputy chief of staff, Trump says: "Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th."

3:45 a.m. Vice President Mike Pence declares that Congress has confirmed the Electoral College results, clearing the way for Biden to be inaugurated on Jan. 20.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi read the final certification of Electoral College votes in the early hours of Jan. 7.   © Reuters

3:00 a.m. The House votes down the Pennsylvania challenge, paving the way for the resumption of the joint session to finish certifying all states' results.

Meanwhile, some White House officials are abandoning ship, according to U.S. media reports. Deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger, known as a key architect of the Trump administration's China policy, is believed to have quit Wednesday afternoon in the wake of the violence.

12:50 a.m. The Senate quickly shoots down the challenge to Pennsylvania's results, 92-7, but the House debate continues.

12:15 a.m. It's not over yet: A Republican objection to Pennsylvania's results forces the House and Senate to halt their joint certification session yet again and split up to debate the measure. This is expected to take hours.

While we wait, former President Barack Obama earlier tonight weighed in on the chaos at the Capitol, saying it was "incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election." Here's what Obama had to say:

12:00 a.m. As the certification proceedings drag into a new day, an effort to challenge the state of Nevada's results fails without Senate support.

Wednesday, Jan. 6

11:45 p.m. Washington's police chief says that in addition to the woman who was shot, another woman and two men died at the Capitol due to separate "medical emergencies," CNN reports. He does not say whether they were involved in the rioting or what caused their deaths. In addition, he reveals that at least 52 arrests had been made.

11:15 p.m. The House joins the Senate in rejecting the objection to Arizona's election results, but with far more Republicans siding with Trump. While only six senators supported the objection, the House votes it down by a 303-121 margin.

10:46 p.m. The mayor of Washington, D.C., has extended a public emergency order until Jan. 21, after Biden's inauguration.

10:40 p.m. Japan's top government spokesman expresses concern about the U.S. Capitol breach. "We are hoping for a peaceful transfer of power" in Washington, Reuters quotes Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato as saying.

10:15 p.m. Republican Lindsey Graham, a prominent Trump ally, stresses flatly: "Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected, and will become the president and vice president on Jan. 20." Senators vote down an objection to certifying Arizona's results by a 93-6 margin.

9:40 p.m. U.S. lawmakers are back at the Capitol, continuing the election confirmation process. Meanwhile, despite the chaos in Washington, Asian stock markets reacted positively to Democrats taking control of the Senate. Japan's benchmark Nikkei Stock Average surged 2% at one point, reaching a 30-year high as investors rushed to buy cyclical stocks amid hopes for more U.S. stimulus to boost the economy. South Korea's Kospi index also climbed over 2% while Singapore and Australia's benchmarks were up over 1%.

7:10 p.m. Twitter says the account @realdonaldtrump will be locked for 12 hours following removal of tweets earlier in the day. Twitter also said: "Future violations of the Twitter Rules, including our Civic Integrity or Violent Threats policies, will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account."

7:03 p.m. The head of a major U.S. business group that represents 14,000 companies including Exxon Mobil, Pfizer and Toyota Motor urges senior U.S. officials to consider removing Trump from office after the storming of the U.S. Capitol by his supporters, Reuters reports. National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons says Trump "incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy.... Vice President (Mike) Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy."

6:48 p.m. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says lawmakers will resume the count of electoral votes to confirm the November election result once the Capitol is cleared after rioters breached the building.

6:20 p.m. President Trump posts a tweet on today's storming of the Capitol building, describing his supporters as "great patriots."

6:10 p.m. Former President George W. Bush issues a statement strongly condemning the day's events and "reckless behavior of some political leaders."

5:58 p.m. Facebook takes down Trump's video targeted at calming protesters saying that it instead contributes to violence.

5:51 p.m. A woman shot at the U.S. Capitol has died, NBC reports, citing law enforcement officials.

5:29 p.m. Metropolitan police officers in full riot gear begin to disperse crowds around the U.S. Capitol ahead of a 6 p.m. curfew in Washington, D.C., video on CNN shows.

With darkness falling, people are leaving the scene.

A woman has been shot inside the Capitol and taken to the hospital, according to media reports.

5:06 p.m. The head of a major U.S. business group, the National Association of Manufacturers, has urged Pence and other Cabinet members to "seriously consider" removing Trump from office in a constitutional manner.

4:59 p.m. World leaders and other international figures weigh in on the chaos in Washington, D.C.

4:30 p.m. CNN and AP report that Democrat Jon Ossoff has defeated incumbent Republican David Perdue in a Georgia Senate race. Clinching both seats in Tuesday's vote, the Democrats now control the Senate, as well as the House, paving the way for Biden to pursue his agenda.

4:20 p.m. More photos of the harrowing scenes in Washington.

U.S. Capitol Police hold protesters at gun-point inside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.   © AP
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress on Jan. 6.   © Reuters
Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump protest in front of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington on Jan. 6.   © Reuters
Lawmakers evacuate the floor as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.   © AP

4:17 p.m. Trump issues his own statement on the situation in Washington, urging rioters to "go home in peace."

While insisting that the election was "stolen" and "fraudulent," he says "we have to have peace."

4:14 p.m. In a televised statement, Biden denounces the violence in Washington and calls on Trump to take action.

"This is not protest. It's insurrection," Biden says.

He urges the president "to go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the constitution, and demand an end to this siege," Biden says.

"Let me be clear, the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America," the president-elect also says.

3:55 p.m. The National Guard has been deployed to restore order at the Capitol.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that an explosive device was found at a Republican National Committee building and detonated safely.

3:40 p.m. "No violence!" Trump has urged in a tweet.

Pence, members of Congress and Raphael Warnock, fresh from his apparent victory in a Senate race in Georgia, have called for calm.

3:20 p.m. The mayor of Washington, D.C., has ordered a citywide curfew from 6 p.m. in response to the unrest at the Capitol.

Trump has called on protesters to respect law enforcement but has not told them to stand down.

2:10 p.m. The U.S. Capitol police lock down the Capitol building and evacuate multiple congressional buildings after hundreds of Trump supporters storm through metal barricades at the back of the Capitol. Read more.

The proceedings to certify the presidential election results came to a halt as Vice President Mike Pence was rushed out of the Senate chamber. Senators and members of the House of Representatives also were escorted out of their buildings.

Buildings being evacuated include the Madison Building of the Library of Congress across from the Capitol as well as the Cannon House Office Building.

Police with guns drawn watch as protesters try to break into the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.   © AP
Leigh Ann Luck dressed up as Statue of Liberty shouts as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gather near U.S. Capitol building in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021    © Reuters
Protestors try to break through a police barrier at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 as Congress meets to affirm the results of the presidential election.   © AP
Protesters clash with police at a barrier outside the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as Congress meets to certify the results of the presidential election.   © AP

1:07 p.m. Congress begins the process to certify the Electoral College vote and cement Biden's win as president. Trump's allies plan to contest the results, likely prompting hours of acrimonious debate.

Prior the start of the process, Vice President Mike Pence issues a statement saying he would not intervene to change the outcome of the election, refusing Trump's demand to block confirmation.

"As a student of history who loves the Constitution and reveres its framers, I do not believe the founders of our country intended to invest the vice president with unilateral authority to decide which electoral votes should be counted," Pence says.

12:30 p.m. Biden has selected Judge Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general, Politico reports, citing two people with knowledge of the decision.

Garland is a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

He was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, while Biden was vice president, but the Republican-controlled Senate refused to hold hearings on the nomination.

11:20 a.m. "Georgia's voters delivered a resounding message yesterday: they want action on the crises we face and they want it right now," Biden says of the Georgia results in a statement. "It looks like we will emerge from yesterday's election with Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate ... But I'm also just as determined today as I was yesterday to try to work with people in both parties -- at the federal, state, and local levels -- to get big things done for our nation."

11:00 a.m. U.S. stocks are up, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average soaring more than 500 points as investors are heartened by the prospect of Democrats likely winning control of the Senate, and therefore, both chambers of Congress.

9:00 a.m. With nearly all votes counted, Democrat Jon Ossoff holds a 16,000-vote lead over Republican David Perdue in Georgia's U.S. Senate runoff. If the lead holds, the 33-year-old would be the youngest newly elected Democratic senator since Joe Biden in 1973.

Democrat Raphael Warnock has won his Senate runoff against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler, according to U.S. media.   © Reuters

2:20 a.m. Although full results are not expected until the U.S. daytime, enough numbers trickled out for The Associated Press and other media to declare Democrat Raphael Warnock the winner in his Senate runoff against Republican incumbent Kelly Loeffler. In the second crucial race, the latest numbers put Democrat Jon Ossoff ahead of Republican David Perdue, but it's close. Control of the Senate still hangs in the balance.

1:30 a.m. As we wait for the results around noon, here's where the races stand according to AP's numbers: Republican David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff are virtually tied, though Perdue's lead has widened again to over 1,000 votes. On the other hand, Democrat Raphael Warnock is leading Republican Kelly Loeffler by about 35,000. Both races are 95% counted.

12:25 a.m. Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says the vote counting will stop overnight. He says a clearer picture of the results could be known by noon on Wednesday, Reuters reports, citing a CNN segment.

Tuesday, Jan. 5

11:40 p.m. With 95% of polls reporting in Georgia's two Senate runoffs, Republican incumbent David Perdue's lead over Democrat Jon Ossoff is down to just a few hundred votes. Meanwhile, Democrat Raphael Warnock has grabbed a roughly 30,000 vote lead over Republican Kelly Loeffler.

10:10 p.m. In a double runoff election in Georgia that will determine the final two seats of the Senate -- and with them the power balance of Congress as Biden takes office -- Democrat and Republican candidates are locked in tight races. Results tracked by AP show Republican incumbent David Perdue ahead of Democrat Jon Ossoff at about 51% to 49%, while fellow Republican Kelly Loeffler leads Raphael Warnock by a slightly narrower margin, with around 80% reporting.

Democrats need both seats to reach 50, which would put them in a tie with Republicans. Incoming Vice President Kamala Harris, who will double as the president of the Senate, will hold the casting vote.

Wednesday, Dec. 23

3:30 p.m. Trump makes good on his threat to veto a $741 billion defense spending bill, setting up what is expected to be the first successful veto override of his presidency during his final weeks in office.

In his veto message, Trump complains of such measures as "provisions that fail to respect our veterans and our military's history" -- an apparent reference to instructions that the Defense Department change the names of installations commemorating Confederate leaders.

The House and Senate each passed the bill earlier this month with strong veto-proof majorities and are expected to sustain the two-thirds majorities needed to override the president's veto.

1:38 p.m. The European Union and China move closer to concluding a landmark investment agreement by their year-end target, triggering alarms in Team Biden.

The incoming administration "would welcome early consultations with our European partners on our common concerns about China's economic practices," tweeted Jake Sullivan, his pick for national security adviser, this week, implicitly warning Brussels against an overly hasty deal.

If the EU and China grow closer during this lame-duck period in Washington, Biden's plans to mend fences with Europe could stumble right out of the gate.

11:29 a.m. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says he looks to visit the U.S. in February for a summit with incoming President Joe Biden.

"I'd like to set the date for before the end of February, if possible," Suga said during a recording for the news program "Nikkei Sunday Salon." The interview will be broadcast on Sunday.

His aim is to hold a summit soon after Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 to build trusting relations with the new president. But rising COVID-19 infections in the U.S. could affect his trip planning.

10:00 a.m. U.S. President Donald Trump's opposition to a new economic relief package for the coronavirus-stricken economy has put the cash payments to Americans in limbo just days before Christmas.

The legislative effort combines economic stimulus with a $1.4 trillion spending bill needed to keep the U.S. government funded.

What happens next remains unclear a day after Trump issued a statement. He says the 5,000-plus-page bill that was sent to his desk was crammed with foreign aid, including "$1.3 billion for Egypt and the Egyptian military, which will go out and buy almost exclusively Russian military equipment."

The president said he wants $2,000 payments for individuals and $4,000 for couples, up from the $600 per adult and per child specified in the bill.

"I am also asking Congress to immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation and send me a suitable bill, or else the next administration will have to deliver a COVID relief package," Trump said, adding: "and maybe that administration will be me."

Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the House of Representatives, urges the president to sign the funding bill and says Democrats favor $2,000 payments.

Tuesday, Dec. 22

9:00 a.m. Jake Sullivan, Biden's pick for national security adviser, calls on the European Union for early consultations on how to align trade strategies in regards to China.

Citing a Reuters story about how the EU and China aim to reach an investment accord by the end of 2020 that would grant European companies greater access to the Chinese market, Sullivan tweets that the incoming administration would welcome early discussions with EU partners "on our common concerns about China's economic practices."

Monday, Dec. 21

11:45 a.m. Attorney General William Barr says he sees no reason to appoint a special counsel to probe allegations against Hunter Biden, adding that he thinks the investigation into President-elect Joe Biden's son is "being handled responsibly and professionally."

Barr, who has just two days left in office, also says he will not name a special counsel to explore the election fraud claims made by Trump and his allies. The outgoing attorney general asserts at a news conference that he finds "no basis right now for seizing [voting] machines by the federal government."

Sunday, Dec. 20

5:10 p.m. Biden tweets that it is one month to Inauguration Day.

11:50 a.m. Indian-American Vivek Murthy, Biden's nominee for surgeon general, says it's more realistic to think of midsummer or early fall, not late spring, as when the American public will receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Vivek Murthy, President-elect Joe Biden's pick for U.S. Surgeon General, speaks during an event at the Queen Theater in Wilmington, Delaware on Dec. 8.   © AP

Speaking Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," Murthy said Biden's team is working toward having coronavirus vaccines available to lower-risk individuals by late spring, but that doing so requires "everything to go exactly on schedule."

"I think it's more realistic to assume that it may be closer to midsummer or early fall when this vaccine makes its way to the general population," Murthy said. "So, we want to be optimistic, but we want to be cautious as well."

President Donald Trump is expected to issue a flurry of pardons during his final days in office.    © Reuters

Friday, Dec. 18

1:50 p.m. Trump is expected to issue a wave of pardons during his final days in office, prompting speculation about the fate of controversial figures such as former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Snowden, who has been living in exile in Russia for several years, is accused of espionage and theft of government property in the U.S. after he leaked American intelligence secrets in 2013.

U.S. media have reported that the president also has mulled preemptive pardons for family members, out of concern that the Biden administration will target them.

1:30 p.m. Walt Disney Executive Chairman Robert Iger has told people close to the incoming Biden administration that he would be interested in serving as U.S. ambassador to China, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Iger served as Disney CEO for 15 years until being named executive chairman earlier this year. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have criticized Disney's business dealings in China, making it likely that his nomination will become a political flashpoint.

Then-U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during a Security Council meeting at U.N. headquarters in New York in December 2018.   © Reuters

Thursday, Dec. 17

3:00 p.m. Nikki Haley, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, writes an op-ed in the Washington Post calling for Biden to keep three of Trump's foreign policies.

"First: Biden should keep key aspects of Trump's China policy," Haley, the 2024 Republican hopeful writes.

"China feeds on American openness like a parasite, using it to strengthen itself. The right course is to further limit Chinese access to our companies, telecommunications and universities, as the United States did with the Soviet Union, while building additional military, economic and diplomatic strength," she says.

"Biden will also face a critical test in Taiwan," she adds. "Just as China has crushed freedom in Hong Kong, Beijing seeks to destroy the freedom of 24 million Taiwanese people. It is sure to test those waters in the next four years. If Biden fails to push back, there will be no stopping Chinese communist aggression in Asia and beyond."

The other two areas suggested for continuation are "pressure on Latin American dictatorships" and to "encourage the remarkable progress of Arab-Israeli peace."

Staying the course on China, Latin America and the Middle East is the right path, Haley says. "Biden can expand on our success and promote America's interests in each. It would be disastrous if he missed the opportunity because of a partisan desire to reverse the course of his predecessor."

Wednesday, Dec. 16

11:30 a.m. "We need new leadership in the Democratic Party," progressive lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells The Intercept in an interview, saying it is time for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to go.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to media during a census outreach event ahead of the census deadline in The Bronx, New York City in September.   © Reuters

"One of the things I have struggled with, a thing that a lot of people struggle with, is the internal dynamics of the House has made it such that there's very little option for succession," she says.

But the left, she said, currently has no plan on how to fill the subsequent leadership vacuum. "I'm not ready. It can't be me. I know I couldn't do that job" she says.

11:20 a.m. Gina McCarthy, a former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is reportedly expected to lead the Biden White House's domestic climate change policy efforts.

McCarthy crafted some of the Obama administration's signature climate policies, including the Clean Power Plan to slash emissions from power plants. She would lead a new office that coordinates policy across government agencies, Reuters reports.

Biden is expected to nominate former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm as energy secretary. Granholm backed efforts to build advanced battery plants for electric cars in Michigan. She would lead efforts for advanced batteries, energy efficiency and electricity generation from renewable and nuclear power.

Tuesday, Dec. 15

4:45 p.m. Human Rights Watch notes in a tweet that the appointment of Pete Buttigieg as transportation secretary, if confirmed, "would not only be historic, but a reminder to LGBTQ people everywhere that any opportunity is possible."

2:30 p.m. After congratulating Biden on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell began a campaign to keep fellow Republicans from joining a last-ditch effort to reverse the outcome, The New York Times reports.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledges President-elect Joe Biden's victory, breaking his silence on the outcome of the presidential race.   © Reuters

McConnell, the most powerful Republican in Congress, and his top deputies pleaded with their colleagues on a private call not to join members of the House in objecting to the election results on Jan. 6, when Congress meets to ratify the Electoral College's decision, the Times reported, based on accounts from three people familiar with the remarks.

2:00 p.m. Biden is reportedly planning to name former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as secretary of transportation. It will give the former mayor of South Bend, Indianna, a central role in the new administration as the next president looks to implement his "Build Back Better" economic agenda.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg endorses former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at Chicken Scratch in Dallas, Texas in March.   © Reuters

10:30 a.m. Mitch McConnell congratulates Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their election victory, following the Electoral College's formal results on Monday. McConnell, a Republican, had remained silent on the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential race.

Monday, Dec. 14

5:50 p.m. Trump announces that Attorney General William Barr will be leaving his job just before Christmas and Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will become acting attorney general.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr participates in a roundtable discussion about human trafficking at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Georgia in September. President Trump announced his resignation from office on Dec.14, days after Barr had stated that he found no evidence of voter fraud in the Nov. 3 election.    © Reuters

5:40 p.m. Biden officially wins the state-by-state Electoral College vote that determines the U.S. presidency, all but ending President Donald Trump's floundering campaign to overturn his loss in the Nov. 3 election.

Saturday, Dec. 12

4:30 p.m. Trump lashes out at the Supreme Court for declining to take a case he hoped would overturn Biden's election victory and called Attorney General William Barr a "disappointment."

The decision comes ahead of a meeting by the U.S. Electoral College on Monday to make Biden's victory official.

In a series of apparently frustrated tweets, the president also lambasts his attorney general after the Wall Street Journal reported that Barr knew earlier this year about an investigation into Hunter Biden's taxes. Hunter Biden is the president-elect's son.

Meanwhile, conservative groups supporting Trump rally in Washington and elsewhere around the nation.

After his morning of tweeting, Trump left for West Point, New York, to attend the Army-Navy football game, flying over the cheering demonstrators in the Marine One helicopter on his way to Joint Base Andrews.

Friday, Dec. 11

6:45 p.m. Dealing a major blow to Trump, the U.S. Supreme Court rejects a lawsuit by filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton that sought to invalidate millions of votes in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Texas had asked the court to throw out the presidential election results in four battleground states won by Biden.

In a short, unsigned statement, the court said Texas "has not demonstrated a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections."

As it did in a one-sentence order Tuesday turning away a similar request from Pennsylvania Republicans, the court refused to be drawn into Trump's efforts to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.

On Wednesday, the president had tweeted that "This is the big one."

3:20 p.m. Biden introduces Katherine Tai, his nominee for United States trade representative. He calls her "a trusted trade expert, a dedicated public servant who knows government," and someone who has "spent her career leveling the playing field for American workers and their families."

He says that Tai, a trade lawyer for the House Ways and Means Committee, has earned praise from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. "I've gotten more calls complimenting me on your appointment than you can imagine," Biden tells her.

Katherine Tai, the Biden administration's choice to take over as United States trade representative, speaks during an event at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Dec. 11.   © AP

"During the Obama-Biden administration, she was the chief trade enforcer against unfair trade practices by China, which will be a key priority in the Biden-Harris administration. She understands that we need ... to be considerably more strategic than we've been in how we trade."

Thursday, Dec. 10

12:00 p.m. Biden announces key members of his administration: Tom Vilsack, to be secretary of agriculture, Marcia Fudge to be secretary of housing and urban development, Denis McDonough to be secretary of veterans affairs, Katherine Tai to be United States trade representative and Susan Rice to be director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.

President-elect Joe Biden is naming Susan Rice as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council. The role will give her broad sway over his administration’s approach to immigration, health care and racial inequality and elevates the prominence of the position in the West Wing.    © AP

Rice, whose name had been floated for secretary of state, was given a non-foreign-policy position. "Rice knows government inside and out and will carry through the president-elect's vision of a newly empowered Domestic Policy Council and turbocharge the effort to build back better," the transition team said in a statement.

Rice has "extensive experience working with other key members of the Biden-Harris White House team, including the heads of NSC and NEC," the statement said, suggesting that she will serve as a liaison figure between the foreign policy and domestic policy teams.

Wednesday, Dec. 9

6:10 p.m. Politico reports that Biden will nominate House Ways and Means Committee trade lawyer Katherine Tai as U.S. trade representative.

Tai, a fluent Mandarin speaker, is set to take over the cabinet-level post from Robert Lighthizer and lead trade negotiations with China.

1:50 p.m. "He is the man we need at this moment," Biden says of retired four-star Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, his nominee for secretary of defense. "We need his experience in building and managing relationships, engaging in diplomacy with our partners to help rebuild America's alliances and strengthen our shared security."

Biden says his late son, Beau Biden, served under Austin while being deployed to Iraq for a year with his Delaware Army National Guard unit. "I know how proud Beau was to serve on your staff, General Austin," Biden says.

In this 2015 photo, Gen. Lloyd Austin, commander of the U.S. Central Command, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Biden has nominated the retired four-star Army general to be his secretary of defense.   © AP

Austin says the Defense Department has a role in supporting critical alliances around the world, including in the Asia-Pacific. "America is strongest when it works with its allies," he says.

"Over the years, I've worked hand in hand with our diplomatic colleagues and partners around the globe and witnessed firsthand what we're able to accomplish together," he says. "If confirmed, I look forward to resuming this important work."

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris also praises the choice of Austin.

"We need a proven leader to help address this pandemic, someone with the experience to help make sure safe and effective vaccines are distributed equitably to all," she says.

Austin would be the first Black person to take the job. But his vast experience in the Army has centered around the Middle East, and his views on Indo-Pacific maritime defense, which is seen to dominate the discussion going forward, are very much unknown.

Read more: Biden taps ex-army general as defense chief to navigate Indo-Pacific

12:10 p.m. The Biden administration is taking shape. Here are the members of cabinet and White House that have been announced, or reported so far.

Foreign policy and national security team

Secretary of State: Antony Blinken

Defense Secretary: Lloyd Austin

National Security Adviser: Jake Sullivan

Director of National Intelligence: Avril Haines

Homeland Security Secretary: Alejandro Mayorkas

Economic team

Treasury Secretary: Janet Yellen

Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: John Kerry

Office of Management and Budget: Neera Tanden

Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers: Cecilia Rouse

National Economic Council Director: Brian Deese

Agriculture Secretary: Tom Vilsack

Housing and Urban Development Secretary: Marcia Fudge

Health care team

Health and Human Services Secretary: Xavier Becerra

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director: Rochelle Walensky

Coronavirus Coordinator: Jeff Zients

Surgeon General: Vivek Murthy

Tuesday, Dec. 8

4 p.m. The U.S. Supreme Court rejects a challenge by Republicans to undo Biden's victory in Pennsylvania by seeking to throw out up to 2.5 million mail-in ballots.

There were no noted dissents from any of the justices on the court, whose 6-3 conservative majority includes three Trump appointees.

Just hours before, Trump had expressed hope that the Supreme Court might help him overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election.

"Now, let's see whether or not somebody has the courage -- whether it's a legislator or legislatures, or whether it's a justice of the Supreme Court or a number of justices of the Supreme Court. Let's see if they have the courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right," he told reporters at the White House.

2 p.m. Biden picks Vivek Murthy as U.S. surgeon general, a role Murthy held under the Obama administration. The son of immigrants from India, Murthy comes from a family of doctors, went to high school in Miami, college at Harvard, and medical and business school at Yale.

U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, at a White House awards ceremony in 2015 for Public Health Service Commissioned Corps members who participated in Ebola containment efforts in West Africa.   © Reuters

"I will dedicate myself to caring for every American, driven always by science and facts, by head and by heart, and endlessly grateful to serve one of the few countries in the world where the grandson of a poor farmer in India could be asked by the president-elect to look out for the health of an entire nation," Murthy says in a news conference announcing Biden's health care team.

In 2014, he drew Republican criticism during his confirmation process because an organization he had co-founded had called American gun violence a public health crisis. He was narrowly confirmed by the Senate and may face trouble in his upcoming confirmation if the GOP retains control of that chamber.

Murthy is a former vice admiral in the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Monday, Dec. 7

1:30 p.m. A bipartisan study group led by former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Joseph Nye, former dean of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, publishes a report calling on the Biden administration to consider adding Japan to the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network of the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Richard Armitage speaks at a dinner in Washington in 2012. The first Armitage-Nye report was published in 2000, less than a month before the Bush-Gore presidential election. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Defense)

The fifth iteration of the so-called Armitage-Nye report recommends: "The United States and Japan should make serious efforts to move toward a Six Eyes network."

12:30 p.m. Japan is set to name Koji Tomita, the current ambassador to South Korea, as its next top envoy to the U.S., Nikkei has learned, looking to draw on his connections with the incoming Biden administration.

Tomita was appointed as a minister at the Japanese Embassy in Washington in 2012 and served as head of the Foreign Ministry's North American Affairs Bureau between 2013 and 2015. Both of these roles came during the tenure of U.S. President Barack Obama, during which Biden was vice president.

Sunday, Dec. 6

Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks about the 2020 U.S. presidential election results during a news conference in Washington on Nov. 19.   © Reuters

4:00 p.m. Rudy Giuliani has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, tweets President Donald Trump.

The former New York mayor and personal lawyer to the president has led Trump's push to overturn the Nov. 3 election loss with a string of lawsuits.

Thursday, Dec. 3

1:00 p.m. Trump declines to say whether he still had confidence in U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

Barr told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday that the Department of Justice has found no evidence of widespread voter fraud during the Nov. 3 presidential election. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said Barr had not looked for any evidence, calling that "a disappointment." Trump's legal team has accused Barr of failing to conduct a proper inquiry or audit voting machines, a task that does not fall to the Justice Department during an election.

Asked if he still had confidence in Barr, Trump said: "Ask me that in a number of weeks from now. They should be looking at all of this fraud. This is not civil, he thought it was civil. This is not civil, this is criminal stuff. This is very bad criminal stuff."

9:50 a.m. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris picks Sri Lankan-American Rohini Kosoglu to be her domestic policy adviser.

Kosoglu, whose parents are from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, served as Harris' chief of staff for her Senate office and later for her presidential campaign. In the latter position, she managed and oversaw debate preparation, policy, communications, and operations for a team with over three-hundred staff with a $40 million budget, according to her biography on the Harvard University Kennedy School, where she is a resident fellow at the Institute of Politics.

She was the first South Asian American woman to serve as Chief of Staff in the U.S. Senate. Originally from New Jersey, Kosoglu is a graduate of the University of Michigan and George Washington University and is a mother to three young children.

"Serving as my domestic policy adviser will be Rohini Kosoglu, who is not only an expert on some of the most important issues facing the American people, but also one of my closest and most trusted aides from the Senate and presidential campaign," Harris said in a statement.

Harris also announced Thursday that she has chosen Hartina Flournoy, who currently serves as chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, to be her chief of staff, and veteran diplomat Nancy McEldowney to be her national security adviser. McEldowney was ambassador to Bulgaria.

Wednesday, Dec. 2

4:40 p.m. Biden issues a statement on the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency.

"More than fifty years ago, with rivers burning, pollution in air, and the public health and safety at risk, ordinary Americans marched, protested, and petitioned their government to better safeguard the well-being of our nation. Eventually President Nixon, a Republican, and with the support of Republicans and Democrats in Congress, created the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and on this day in 1970, the first EPA Administrator was confirmed," he said.

"We will reassert the EPA's place as the world's premier Environmental Protection Agency that safeguards our planet, protects our lives, and strengthens our economy -- guided by science and a belief there is nothing beyond our capacity as a nation when we work together as a people."

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Strategic and Economic Dialogue in Washington in June 2015. The president-elect says he will move to develop a coherent strategy on China upon assuming office.   © Reuters

9:30 a.m. Biden says he would not immediately act to remove Trump's tariffs on Chinese imports or scrap the Phase 1 trade deal Washington inked with Beijing in January.

"I'm not going to make any immediate moves, and the same applies to the tariffs," the president-elect said in a Tuesday evening interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. "I'm not going to prejudice my options."

Instead he wants a full review of the existing agreement first and consult with U.S. allies in Asia and Europe to "develop a coherent strategy."

This view could put Biden at odds with Janet Yellen, his pick for secretary of treasury and former chair of the Federal Reserve. Yellen, considered a moderate on issues of trade with China, has expressed doubts over the efficacy of tariffs in advancing Washington's goals and said they are taxes on American businesses and consumers.

Biden said in the Tuesday interview when it comes to dealing with China, it is all about "leverage," and that "in my view, we don't have it yet."

"It's going to be a major priority for me in the opening weeks of my presidency to try to get us back on the same page with our allies," he added, saying that is the "best China strategy."

The goal of his trade policies, Biden said, would be to "actually produce progress on China's abusive practices" such as intellectual property theft, dumping, state subsidies, and forced technology transfers.

In the larger great power competition with China, "I want to make sure we're going to fight like hell by investing in America first," he said, referring to his plan to fund research in such areas as biotech, artificial intelligence, advanced materials and energy.

Tuesday, Dec. 1

3:00 p.m. The Justice Department has not uncovered widespread voting fraud that could have changed the outcome of the 2020 election, Attorney General William Barr tells The Associated Press.

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr at the podium of the White House briefing room in March.   © Reuters

In an interview, Barr says that U.S. attorneys and FBI agents have been working to follow up on specific complaints and information they've received, but to date, "we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election."

The comments, coming from one of the president's most ardent allies, are expected to be a blow to Trump. Before the election, Barr had said that mail-in votes could be especially vulnerable to fraud.

In the interview, Barr took aim at an allegation made by attorney Sidney Powell -- who has since been removed from Trump's team -- that election software created in Venezuela "at the direction of [the late president] Hugo Chavez," were involved in changing voting tallies.

"There's been one assertion that would be systemic fraud and that would be the claim that machines were programmed essentially to skew the election results. And the DHS and DOJ have looked into that, and so far, we haven't seen anything to substantiate that," Barr said.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, right, listens as former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, his pick for secretary of the Treasury, speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware, on Dec. 1.

2:00 p.m. Biden introduces his economic team, calling them "a first-rate team that will get us through the on-going economic crisis and help us build our economy back better than before."

The president-elect said the current economic recovery is taking the shape of the letter "K," where "some people are seeing their prospects soar up while most others are watching their economic well-being drop sharply."

He said the focus of his new economic team is to "create a recovery for all and get this economy moving again."

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick for Treasury Secretary, called the COVID-related loss of jobs and closures of businesses "an American tragedy," and that "it's essential that we move with urgency."

She vows that the Treasury Department "will be an institution that wakes up every morning thinking about you. Your jobs, your paychecks. Your struggles, your hopes. Your dignity."

President-elect Joe Biden, wearing a medical boot, raises the leg he injured over the weekend as he enters The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware on Dec.1.   © AP

Biden's nominee for the director of the Office of Management and Budget Neera Tanden talks about her Indian heritage. "Like the Vice President-elect's mother, Shyamala, my mother, Maya, was born in India. Like so many millions, across every generation, she came to America to pursue a better life," she says.

"When I was five, my parents got divorced and my mom was left on her own with two children -- and without a job. She faced a choice -- return to India, where at the time divorce was stigmatized and opportunity would be limited -- or keep fighting for her American Dream. She stayed, and America came through for her when times were tough."

9:30 a.m. The New York Times reports that Trump has raised about $170 million since Election Day after soliciting support for his "Election Defense Fund" aimed at challenging election fraud.

But in reality, the fine print shows that the first 75% of every contribution goes to a new political action committee that Trump formed in mid-November that can be used to fund his political activities going forward, including staff and travel, the Times said. The other 25% of each donation is directed to the Republican National Committee.

A donor has to give $5,000 to Trump's new PAC before any funds go to his recount account.

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have begun to receive the presidential daily briefing, a top-level intelligence report.   © AP

8:50 a.m. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will receive the presidential daily briefing separately ahead of introducing their nominees and appointees to key economic policy posts in Wilmington, Delaware. The two began receiving the briefings Monday. Incoming presidents typically start receiving the top-level intelligence report days after the election.

Monday, Nov. 30

6:11 p.m. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers formally certifies Joe Biden's victory in the Badger state, signing a statement giving him the state's 10 electoral votes.

Biden defeated President Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes, a victory that was confirmed after a recount requested by the president's campaign in the state's two largest counties.

From left, Janet Yellen, Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo, Cecilia Rouse and Neera Tanden. (Yellen and Tanden photos by Reuters, Adeyemo photo from Biden-Harris transition website, and Rouse photo from Princeton University website)

2:00 p.m. Biden's diverse cabinet picks make history.

While Vice President-elect Kamala Harris shattered momentous gender and racial barriers, a number of Joe Biden's nominees will also make history as the president-elect assembles a diverse team to run his government.

Adewale "Wally" Adeyemo would be the first Black deputy secretary of the Treasury. Currently president of the Obama Foundation, Adeyemo served under then-U.S. President Barack Obama as senior international economic adviser, deputy national security adviser and deputy director of the National Economic Council.

Biden tapped Carlos Elizondo as White House social secretary. Elizondo, a special assistant to the president and social secretary to the Bidens during the eight years of the Obama administration, would be the first Hispanic American in the post.

Biden also plans to install the nation's first female director of national intelligence. Avril Haines served as assistant to the president and principal deputy national security adviser to Obama. She previously served as the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Alejandro Mayorkas would be the first Latino and immigrant to become secretary of homeland security. Under the Obama administration, Mayorkas oversaw the implementation of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Trump's move to end the program was blocked by the Supreme Court.

1:30 p.m. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs certifies election results, officially naming Biden as the winner of the state and further cementing his national victory over Trump.

"This election was conducted with transparency, accuracy and fairness in accordance with Arizona's laws and election procedures -- despite numerous unfounded claims to the contrary," Hobbs says.

9:53 a.m. Biden announces his economic team.

Janet Yellen, Biden's choice for Secretary of the Treasury, will be the first woman to lead the Treasury Department in its 231-year history.   © Reuters

Janet Yellen, his choice as Treasury secretary, would be the first woman to lead that department in its 231-year history and the first person to have served in that position as well as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers and chair of the Federal Reserve. "She has previously been confirmed by the Senate on four separate occasions," the Biden transition team noted in its announcement.

Cecilia Rouse, a leading labor economist and dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, is nominated chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, the position currently held by Larry Kudlow. She will become the first African American and fourth woman to lead the CEA in its 74-year history.

Economists Jared Bernstein and Heather Boushey will serve as members of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Neera Tanden is seen with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a policy forum in Washington in 2013.   © Reuters

Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress and a close aide to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is nominated to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. Tanden would be the first woman of color and the first South Asian American to lead the OMB.

"This team looks like America," Biden says of the diverse choice of candidates. "They will be ready on day one to get to work for all Americans."

Sunday, Nov. 29

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden carried the key swing state of Wisconsin, a recount has confirmed.   © Reuters

9:30 p.m. Biden suffered hairline fractures in his foot while playing with one of his dogs, his doctor says, according to Reuters. The president-elect will likely have to wear a protective boot for "several weeks."

Biden was initially thought to have sprained his ankle. "Get well soon!" Trump tweeted in reaction.

12:13 p.m. A recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin's Dane County, one of the state's two largest counties, has finished, confirming that Biden defeated Trump in the key swing state by more than 20,000 votes.

10:50 a.m. Trump says it might be difficult to get his election fraud allegations heard before the U.S. Supreme Court, expressing doubt about his legal strategy as his hopes of overturning the Nov. 3 polls fade. "The problem is it's hard to get it to the Supreme Court," Trump says in a telephone interview with Fox News.

Friday, Nov. 27

1:20 p.m. A federal appeals court rejects President Trump's request for an emergency injunction to overturn the certification of Pennsylvania's election results.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals says that the Trump campaign's challenge of a U.S. district court's decision had "no merit."

"Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here," writes Judge Stephanos Bibas, who was nominated by Trump. The case could still be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

11:00 a.m. Trump tweets that Biden can only enter the White House as president if he can prove that the 80 million votes he won were not fraudulently or illegally obtained.

9:00 a.m. A Trump supporter who donated $2.5 million to the effort to challenge the Nov. 3 election results and expose fraud has sued a pro-Trump group for not delivering on its promises, Bloomberg reports.

North Carolina-based money manager Fred Eshelman, founder of Eshelman Ventures LLC, wants his money back. Houston-based True the Vote Inc. had vowed a multi-pronged plan to "investigate, litigate, and expose suspected illegal balloting and fraud in the 2020 general election."

In the weeks after the election True the Vote filed four lawsuits but it dropped them all last week.

Thursday, Nov. 26

5:52 p.m. Trump says he will leave the White House if the Electoral College votes for Biden and certifies him as the winner -- the nearest the Republican has come to a concession. Biden, a Democrat, is due to be inaugurated as president on Jan. 20. The Electoral College is due to meet on Dec. 14.

The exchange went like this:

Reporter: "If the Electoral College does elect President-elect Joe Biden, are you not going to leave this building?"

Trump: "Certainly I will. Certainly I will, and you know that"

But Trump said it would be hard for him to concede because "we know there was massive fraud."

"It was a rigged election ... at the highest level," Trump said as he took questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day. But he offered no concrete evidence of widespread voting irregularities.

12:10 p.m. Despite authorizing the start of the transition process, Trump continues to make accusations that the election was marred by widespread fraud.

Wednesday, Nov. 25

5:00 p.m. In an article reporting about Chinese President Xi Jinping's congratulatory message to Biden, the Chinese Communist Party-affiliated Global Times writes that this could mark a "possible return of new major power relations."

Introducing the views of U.S. expert Jin Canrong, associate dean of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, Global Times writes "In his congratulatory message to Biden, Xi also reaffirmed the content of a new type of major power relationships -- 'the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation' -- an idea to shape the bilateral relations that China first initiated in Obama's term."

The new type of major power relations was a concept that Xi tried to sell former President Barack Obama during his first visit to the U.S. as China's leader in 2013. This week's column China Up Close, by senior staff writer Katsuji Nakazawa, analyzes how China's U.S. strategy has evolved since then. Read: Analysis: Xi Jinping's embrace of TPP is 8-year revenge on Obama

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden raises his glass to toast Chinese President Xi Jinping at a State luncheon in Washington in September 2015. (Photo courtesy of the State Department)

4:15 p.m. Trump pardons his former national security adviser Michael Flynn who had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI during the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

The president tweets that he did it in time for Thanksgiving.

12:35 p.m. Former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel, who sat in every meeting then-Vice President Biden had with Chinese President Xi Jinping and former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, shares his thoughts with Nikkei on what a Biden foreign policy might look like.

While there will be many of the same faces that were in the Barack Obama administration, and the political philosophy will be similar, "it's clear to me that the Biden administration is not going to be a repeat of the Obama years, and one big part of the reason is simply because so much has changed in the world," he says.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden in the Oval Office with President Barack Obama in October 2015. (Photo courtesy of the White House Photo)

11:20 a.m. President Donald Trump is currently the top Republican candidate for a 2024 run, beating other high-profile Republicans, including Vice President Mike Pence, by a double digits, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll.

Trump received 53% of support among Republicans and Republican-leaning independents for a hypothetical 2024 Republican primary, according to the poll of registered voters. Pence came in second at 12%. Donald Trump Jr. drew the third-highest support at 8%, while other Republican figures, including Sens. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz and Mitt Romney and Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, each garnered less than 5% support.

9:45 a.m. Chinese President Xi Jinping sends a congratulatory message to Biden on winning the presidential election, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"Promoting healthy and stable development of China-U.S. relations not only serves the fundamental interests of the people in both countries, but also meets the common expectation of the international community," Xi said.

Xi said he "hopes that the two sides will uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage differences, advance the healthy and stable development of China-U.S. ties, and join hands with other countries and the international community to promote the noble cause of world peace and development."

Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan also congratulated Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris, on being elected the next U.S. vice president, Xinhua said.

Tuesday, Nov. 24

10:00 p.m. A visit to Taiwan by the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has been postponed due to "pressing" priorities at home, Reuters reports. Meanwhile, earlier tonight, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Fox News that the State Department is ready to move ahead with transition procedures.

"Today we began the process to see what the GSA's decision was, and will do everything that's required by law," Pompeo said, referring to the General Services Administration's move to grant Biden appropriate government access and funding. "We'll make this work."

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, far right, introduce nominees and appointees to key national security and foreign policy posts Nov. 24 at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Delaware.   © AP

6:10 p.m. Biden tells NBC's Lester Holt that since Monday, the transition from the Trump team has been sincere.

"Immediately we've gotten outreach, from the national security shop to just across the board," Biden said. "And they're already working out my ability to get presidential daily briefs ... working out meeting with the COVID team in the White House," he said.

"So I think we're gonna not be so far behind the curve as we thought we might be in the past," he said. "And I must say, the outreach has been sincere. It has not been begrudging so far. And I don't expect it to be," Biden said.

1:45 p.m. Upon concluding his news conference, Biden tweets that America is back.

1:40 p.m. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden's nominee for ambassador to the United Nations, reflects on her 35 years in the Foreign Service and says she always put a "Cajun spin" on her relationship-building.

"I called it gumbo diplomacy," the Louisiana native says. "Wherever I was posted around the world, I'd invite people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make a roux," chop onions and cook homemade gumbo, she says.

"It was my way of breaking down barriers, connecting with people, and starting to see each other on a human level," Thomas-Greenfield says.

1:35 p.m. Biden's nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, shares a story about his late stepfather, Samuel Pisar. Pisar was one of 900 children in his school in Bialystok, Poland -- but the only one to survive the Holocaust after four years in concentration camps.

"At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria," Blinken said. "From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the Iron Cross, he saw painted on its side a five-pointed white star."

"He ran to the tank," Blinken continued. "The hatch opened. An African American GI looked down at him. He got down on his knees and said the only three words that he knew in English that his mother had taught him before the war: 'God bless America.' That's who we are. That's what America represents to the world, however imperfectly."

1:20 p.m. Biden announces his foreign policy and national security team, saying: "Collectively, this team has secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory -- made possible through decades of experience working with our partners."

Biden says the team of professionals will help America reclaim its seat at the head of the table. The U.S. will take a global leadership role "both in the Pacific as well as the Atlantic, all across the world," he says in a news conference.

He introduces former presidential candidate and Secretary of State John Kerry as the special presidential envoy for climate -- a newly created position whose occupant "can make sure climate change is on the agenda in the Situation Room."

12:40 p.m. Trump mentions the Dow Jones Industrial Average's historic high at a White House news conference in which he lauds stock market gains under his administration.

"The stock market's just broken 30,000," Trump says, adding: "Never been broken, that number. That's a sacred number, 30,000. Nobody thought they'd ever see it."

11:40 a.m. Pennsylvania has certified its Nov. 3 election results, confirming Biden as the winner of the key political battleground state.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf tweets that he has signed the necessary documents, cementing Biden's victory.

11:25 a.m. The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches 30,000 for the first time as the stock market cheers the start of the transition to a Biden administration. Progress toward coronavirus vaccines is also emboldening investors.

U.S. stocks rose for the second day Tuesday as investors welcomed the start of the transition to President-elect Joe Biden's Administration.   © AP

The Dow has gained more than 60% since hitting this year's low of 18,591 in March. In November alone, it has risen 13% -- already the biggest monthly gain since January 1987.

Economically sensitive crude oil and copper futures are also rising, and emerging-market currencies are strengthening. These signs point to sharper investor appetite for risk.

For more on the U.S. election -- and the Asian angle -- read our in-depth coverage:

-- US and China leave Biden 'high stakes' inheritance in South Pacific

-- Mahathir on Biden and China: It 'couldn't be worse' than Trump

-- Chinese American Trump fans raise election recount funds on WeChat

-- Lame-duck Trump is about to take Asia for a wild ride

10:50 a.m. Biden tweets that the election is over and it is time for the country to come together.

9:30 a.m. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's tweet that Biden's cabinet picks will be "polite & orderly caretakers of America's decline" goes viral.

2:00 a.m. Taiwan says it has good communication with Biden's team, Reuters reports, as the self-ruled democracy claimed by China prepares for life without the enthusiastic backing of the Trump administration.

"The Foreign Ministry and our representative office in the United States have continued to maintain smooth communication and have good interactions with the Biden team via various appropriate means," said Joanne Ou, a ministry spokeswoman.

"At the same time, we have also conveyed Taiwan's sincere gratitude to the current Trump administration. The current Taiwan-U.S. relationship is at its best in history. We sincerely thank you."

Monday, Nov. 23

11:15 p.m. Lest anyone think he was giving up, after authorizing the General Services Administration to work with Biden's transition team, Trump reiterates his claim that the election was "corrupt."

He says his side is "moving full speed ahead" with its legal challenges and "will never concede to fake ballots."

6:25 p.m. The head of the U.S. General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, sends President-elect Joe Biden a letter saying the presidential transition can begin. This authorization gives Biden access to government buildings as well as $7.3 million in transition funds. President Donald Trump said he had given Murphy the go-ahead despite plans to continue legal challenges.

"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," Trump said in a tweet. "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," he said.

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