President scheduled to receive Operation Warp Speed briefing
What will Mike Pence do next after Trump’s election loss?
Across the street from the British embassy, with its red telephone box and Winston Churchill statue, in Washington DC is the residence of the US-vice president. It has its own basketball court, on which Mike Pence reportedly installed a logo from the 1986 film Hoosiers starring Gene Hackman about small-town Indiana sports.
Fortunately, the Washington Post noted a couple of years ago, the logo is removable.
Pence, a former governor of Indiana, and his wife, Karen, will be packing their bags and moving out of the residence in January to make way for America’s first female vice-president, Senator Kamala Harris of California, and her husband Doug Emhoff.
Said to have nurtured ambitions for the presidency since he was 16, Pence must now decide what to do with the rest of his life. Among the 61-year-old’s options: a return to his roots in conservative talk radio as a way to remain relevant in his party.
“I think he would want to stay involved in Republican politics and probably in a more conventional way than the president,” said Michael D’Antonio, co-author of The Shadow President: The Truth About Mike Pence. “So he could be a broadcaster, and there’ll be lots of opportunity for that, but he would be nicer than Trump.
Joe Biden advised against Osama bin Laden raid, Barack Obama writes
Joe Biden advised Barack Obama to wait to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the former president writes in his new memoir.
“Joe weighed in against the raid,” Obama writes in A Promised Land, about discussion of the Navy Seals mission, which he ordered to go ahead as intended in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on the night of 1-2 May 2011.
Obama’s book will be published on Tuesday. Guardian US has seen a copy. Obama writes that his vice-president, who will follow him to the White House in January, immediately supported his decision to proceed with the Bin Laden raid.
Whether Biden advised against the raid has been a contentious issue in US politics. During this year’s election, Republican attack ads claimed Biden opposed taking Bin Laden out altogether.
Biden has said that during group discussion of whether to order the raid, he advised Obama to take more time, saying: “Don’t go.” He has also said he subsequently told Obama to “follow your instincts”.
In his memoir, Obama echoes the accounts of other senior aides present in the White House Situation Room nine years ago who have said Biden counseled caution.
Like the defense secretary, Robert Gates, Obama writes, Biden was concerned about “the enormous consequences of failure” and counseled that the president “should defer any decision until the intelligence community was more certain that bin Laden was in the compound”.
In the event, a Navy Seal team flew from Afghanistan to Pakistan and shot dead the al-Qaida leader, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.
“As had been true in every major decision I’d made as president,” Obama writes, “I appreciated Joe’s willingness to buck the prevailing mood and ask tough questions, often in the interest of giving me the space I needed for my own internal deliberations.”
DHS cybersecurity agency: 2020 election 'was the most secure in American history'
Donald Trump’s attacks on the credibility of Joe Biden’s election win through meritless lawsuits could undermine Americans’ trust in voting and could pose an immediate threat to the security and safety of the country, experts have warned.
Trump’s campaign has unleashed a stream of lawsuits in states key to Biden’s electoral college win, none of which are expected to affect the outcome of the election.
The US attorney general, William Barr, has authorized the Department of Justice to investigate voting irregularities, in a highly unorthodox move, and Republican state representatives in Pennsylvania are calling for an audit of the election, though they have no evidence of fraud.
University of Southern California (USC) law professor Franita Tolson said she was concerned that these actions, which would not change the trajectory of the election, were meant to call into question the legitimacy of the result.
“What does that do to our democracy as we play out this process? What does it do to the belief in the system when 70 million people think the election was stolen,” Tolson said, referring to the popular vote total for Trump. “To me that’s the danger of this narrative, that’s the danger of this litigation.”
Top election officials in every state, representing both political parties, told the New York Times there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the race. A coalition of hundreds of journalists from more than 150 newsrooms also found no major problems, in ProPublica’s collaborative election monitoring project Electionland.
Chicago mayor issues 30-day stay-at-home advisory
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