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Biden to start naming cabinet picks Tuesday as Trump resists

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WASHINGTON: US President-elect Joe Biden will name his first cabinet picks on Tuesday, his chief of staff said, even as Donald Trump clung to unsubstantiated claims of fraud despite growing dissent from within his own party.

Biden has pushed ahead with preparations to assume the presidency on January 20, regardless of Trump’s bid to undo the results of the November 3 vote.

“You are going to see the first of the president-elect’s cabinet picks on Tuesday of this week,” Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

He declined to say which posts the president-elect would announce, though Biden said last week he has already decided on his pick for the key position of Treasury Secretary.

A growing number of Republicans have either recognized Biden’s victory or at least urged the General Services Administration — the usually low-profile agency that manages the federal bureaucracy — to release federal funds for the Biden transition.

With Trump refusing to acknowledge the election outcome, Biden and his top aides have been denied briefings on sensitive domestic and foreign policy issues — most urgently the coronavirus pandemic battering the country.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who in 2016 advised the Trump transition, said on ABC that the president’s legal team was a “national embarrassment” and that it was time for the GSA to release transition funds.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, another prominent Republican, said on CNN that Trump was making the country look like a “banana republic.” He tweeted later that the president should “stop golfing and concede.”

The president has golfed on every weekend day since the election, though he took part virtually this weekend in the conference of the G20 leading economies. Trump skipped a session Saturday on the pandemic.

Representative Liz Cheney, the No. 3 House Republican, said that if Trump’s lawyers cannot prove the claims of fraud, the president should be “respecting the sanctity of our electoral process.”

Even Representative Devin Nunes, an ardent Trump loyalist, conceded backhandedly on Fox News that Biden was “the first guy to run a successful campaign from a basement.”

M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.