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Every day Trump refuses to get out of the way he puts our country in danger

Every Republican should be calling Trump out. No more coddling the crybaby, giving him time to come around. Our nation’s best interests can’t wait.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House on Friday.
AP Photos

Russian submarines and bomber planes have been intruding lately into U.S. commercial waters off the coast of Alaska, much to the consternation of the Coast Guard and fishermen.

It’s the sort of mildly threatening development that, one would hope, the Pentagon is watching closely and drawing up plans to counter. Given that the Trump administration will be out of office in two more months, it’s also a matter on which President-elect Joe Biden should be briefed right now by the Pentagon and intelligence agencies.

As a matter of national security, Biden should not be made to wait until his inauguration, on Jan. 20, before he can get the full skinny on Russia’s growing military presence off the coast of an American state. As president, he should be up to speed on Day One.

President Donald Trump is throwing up every obstacle to a smooth transition to a Biden administration, in keeping with his refusal to accept that Biden won the Nov. 3 election, and the consequences of his petulance are more than politically unfortunate. They are, as the example of Russian agitation in the Bering Sea suggests, potentially dangerous.

Every Republican should be calling Trump out. No more coddling the crybaby, giving him time to come around. Our nation’s best interests can’t wait.

Throw open doors to Biden transition

Equally urgent, Emily Murphy, the Trump appointee who runs the General Services Administration, should throw open the doors to a smooth transition by officially “ascertaining” that Biden was an “apparent successful” candidate in the election. By law, this would allow the formal transition process to start. Biden and his transition team would be provided $6.3 million in funding, office space and — most importantly — access to classified materials, possibly including the president’s daily intelligence briefing.

Murphy can make that call right now. Nothing in the law says she needs permission from Trump. Nor is she required to wait until Biden’s election is certified by the Electoral College. The law is designed to encourage an early launch of an orderly transition, our nation having learned from recent history the risks of delay.

At the time of the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a federal commission later reported, President George W. Bush’s national security team was not yet fully in place. Though Bush had been in office for eight months, his ability to make key personnel appointments and obtain Senate confirmation had been “hampered,” according the commission, by a shortening of the transition period between presidential administrations.

The transition was delayed because there was no clear winner in the 2000 presidential election between Bush and Al Gore until the Supreme Court effectively decided the matter on Dec. 12 of that year. In retrospect, it’s regrettable that the transition process for both candidates was not begun on time, even as the election was being contested.

But to Trump apologists who argue that this is all we’re seeing today — a president who understandably is reluctant to budge on anything until the winner of this year’s election is beyond dispute — spare us the false equivalencies.

The 2000 race truly was close. The results were legitimately disputed. It all came down to 537 votes in Florida. This year’s victory for Biden, though, is not in dispute. Not unless you believe, based on nothing, that both Democratic and Republican election officials across multiple states engaged in widespread anti-Trump fraud.

On Friday, after the election was called in three final states, Biden had 306 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 232.

Biden’s work-around

If anybody can work around the Trump administration’s refusal to engage in the transition process, it would be Biden. He knows who to call on Capitol Hill. He’s got the phone numbers of dozens of world leaders, many of whom he would call friends. His team already is working those relationships informally, gathering information and making plans.

It remains unconscionable all the same — in this time of a raging pandemic and economic collapse — that so many Republicans continue to support, or say nothing about, Trump’s decision to roll up in a fetal position and cry foul.

Where are you Mitch McConnell? What oath did you take?

On Friday, we read the news that another 169,000 people in the United States have tested positive for the coronavirus. Eighteen states, including Illinois, have reported record numbers of hospitalizations. More than 242,000 people have died of COVID-19 this year.

Then we turned to Twitter, naturally, to see what Trump is doing about all this.

We learned from the president that Fox News’ “daytime ratings have completely collapsed.”

We watched a video retweeted by the president of Jack Nicklaus teeing off at the Masters tournament.

And we learned — Oh, no! — that Dominion Voting Systems, a “horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure” elections software used in many states, had lost millions of votes for Trump!

But you know how that’s going to shake out.

Later in the day, the federal government’s own top cybersecurity official, CISA Director Chris Krebs, retweeted a message from an election law expert warning against such “wild and baseless” claims.

Trump is nothing if not consistent. He likes being president but he’s never done the job. He has spent the last four years watching Fox News, golfing, lashing out at MAGA rallies, making stuff up and tweeting.

If only he’d get out of the way and let somebody else get on with it.

Joe Biden will actually read those daily intelligence briefings.

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