Was Donald Trump Denied an Orderly Transition?
In a press conference from November 20, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany claimed that President Trump “was never given an orderly transition of power,” and that “his presidency was never accepted.” The clip, which appeared on Hannity and posted to Sean Hannity’s Facebook page has been viewed almost 900,000 times since it was posted on November 21. The caption on Hannity’s post reads: “McEnany claims Trump was not allowed orderly transition in 2016.”
The claim is false.
The day after Trump won the 2016 election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton conceded to Trump. “Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country,” Clinton said in her concession speech.
On November 9, 2016, the General Services Administration determined Trump to be the winner of the 2016 election. The GSA’s letter of ascertainment affords transition teams office space, access to federal agencies, and money to facilitate the hiring of staff.
What’s more, on November 10, Trump met with Barack Obama and Mike Pence met with Joe Biden.
Obama and Trump met for 90 minutes in the Oval Office, where Obama said, as reported by the New York Times: “I want to emphasize to you, Mr. President-elect, that we now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds.”
On November 15, 2016, Trump received the highly classified President's Daily Brief, or PDB, which as CNN reported, was the same brief Obama received as president. According to Reuters, Trump received one presidential intelligence briefing a week and Pence was getting his own PDB “at least six days a week …”
Then, in Trump’s inaugural address in January 2017, he thanked the Obamas for carrying out the “orderly and peaceful transfer of power.” He continued, “and we are grateful to President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.”
It’s worth noting that in September 2017, Clinton said she would not “rule out” questioning the legitimacy of the 2016 election if Russian interference was “deeper” than she knew at the time. Clinton’s campaign also supported an election recount initiative in Wisconsin and other key states, backed by third party presidential candidate Jill Stein.
This, however, does not change the fact that Trump was indeed allowed an orderly transition of power, as Trump himself acknowledged.
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Official White House photograph.