Biden to hold roundtable with workers, small-business owners; Mark Kelly to join Senate

President-elect Joe Biden is seeking to keep a focus on the economy with plans to hold a virtual roundtable with workers and small-business owners impacted by the downturn. On Tuesday, he pledged “a recovery for everybody” as he continued his transition to take over from President Trump.

Biden promises ‘help is on the way’ as he names his economic team

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In Washington, Democrats will pick up a seat in the Senate with the scheduled swearing-in of Mark Kelly, who won a special election in Arizona. The state certified its results this week.

Here’s what to know:

  • Attorney General William P. Barr said he has “not seen fraud on a scale that could have effected a different outcome in the election,” undercutting claims that Trump has made — without evidence — of widespread voting irregularities.
  • Representatives of leading U.S. civil rights groups are pressing to meet with Biden, escalating pressure to appoint Black nominees to remaining high-profile Cabinet posts.
  • The Justice Department investigated a potential “bribery-for-pardon” scheme in which a large political contribution would be offered in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to court records.

7:50 AM: MAGA-ite in Manhattan? Ivanka Trump’s political ambitions seek new home after the White House.



Jared Kushner wearing a suit and tie walking on a field: President Trump's White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walk on the South Lawn as they arrive at the White House from Camp David on Sunday.


© Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post
President Trump’s White House senior advisers Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump walk on the South Lawn as they arrive at the White House from Camp David on Sunday.

As a business executive, Ivanka Trump has always had a keen eye for marketing — whether in real estate, moderately priced shoes or handbags. After she leaves the White House with her father, those who know the family say she could soon embark on a new venture: selling herself to American voters.

It’s unclear where exactly Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who like Ivanka is now a senior White House adviser, will physically land after they are expected to leave Washington in January. Some anticipate the couple will return to their old home of New York, while others speculate they may relocate to a “cottage” at the president’s Bedminster golf course in New Jersey.

But former friends, colleagues and associates of the couple believe that wherever they live, the first daughter will be contemplating how to maximize her political capital — whether that means an actual run for office or a gauzier influence in Republican circles in a world where President Trump still holds enormous political sway.

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By: Jacqueline Alemany

7:10 AM: Obama says Democratic Party sticks ‘so long with the same old folks,’ needs to promote new voices



Barack Obama holding a phone: Former president Barack Obama speaks at a pre-election rally in Miami on Nov. 2.


© Michael Robinson Chavez/The Washington Post
Former president Barack Obama speaks at a pre-election rally in Miami on Nov. 2.

Former president Barack Obama, in an interview released Wednesday, advocated promoting young voices in the Democratic Party, including that of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), saying the party has a tendency to “stick so long with the same old folks.”

His comments to Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” come as Biden, 78, is set to become the oldest president to enter the White House.

“If you want to move people, they are moved by stories that connect with their own lives,” Obama told host Peter Hamby. “They are not moved by ideology. Now one thing I will say about the Democratic Party, promoting young people is really important. We stick so long with the same old folks and don’t make room for new voices.”

Obama was also critical of the limited speaking time Ocasio-Cortez was given at the Democratic National Convention this year.

“The Democratic National Convention I thought was really successful considering the pandemic,” Obama said. “But, the fact that an AOC only got — what — three minutes or five minutes? When she speaks to a broad section of young people who are interested in what she has to say, even if they don’t agree with everything she says. New blood is always good. And I say that as somebody who used to be the young, shiny cool guy. But now is the gray-haired old grizzled vet.”

By: John Wagner

7:06 AM: Mark Kelly to be sworn in Wednesday, giving Arizona two Democratic senators for first time in more than six decades



Mark Kelly wearing a suit and tie: Mark Kelly, Arizona Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, removes his mask as he prepares to speak at an election night event on Nov 3.


© Ross D. Franklin/AP
Mark Kelly, Arizona Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, removes his mask as he prepares to speak at an election night event on Nov 3.

Democrat Mark Kelly will be sworn in to the Senate on Wednesday, marking the first time in more than 67 years that Arizona will have two Democratic senators.

Kelly, 56, a former astronaut and the husband of former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), defeated Sen. Martha McSally (R) in a special election last month. The seat was once held by longtime Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who died in 2018. McSally was later appointed to the seat but came up short this year in her race against Kelly, who will be up for a full six-year term in 2022.

Upon being sworn in, Kelly will join Arizona’s senior senator, Kyrsten Sinema (D), a former congresswoman who won election to the Senate in 2018, also defeating McSally.

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By: Felicia Sonmez

6:56 AM: Biden to hold virtual roundtable with workers and small-business owners



WILMINGTON, DE ‐ December 1, 2020:  President-elect Joe Biden leaves the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday after announcing his economic team.


© Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post
WILMINGTON, DE ‐ December 1, 2020: President-elect Joe Biden leaves the Queen theater in Wilmington, Del., on Tuesday after announcing his economic team.

A day after pledging “a recovery for everybody,” Biden plans to hold a virtual roundtable Wednesday with workers and small-business owners impacted by the economic downturn, according to his transition team.

The event will be staged from Wilmington, Del., where Biden has been hunkered down as he conducts his transition to the White House.

During remarks Tuesday as he formally introduced members of his economic team, Biden sought to assure Americans that “help is on the way” and called on Congress to provide “immediate relief” amid a worsening coronavirus pandemic.

By: John Wagner

6:50 AM: Trump would have won if he had shown more empathy on coronavirus, Parscale says



a man wearing a suit and tie: Brad Parscale, then-campaign manager for President Trump, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in February.


© Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Brad Parscale, then-campaign manager for President Trump, speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Md., in February.

Brad Parscale, Trump’s former campaign manager, said in a television interview Tuesday, that Trump would have handily won reelection if he had shown more empathy about the coronavirus pandemic.

“A young family with a young child who are scared to take them back to school wanted to see an empathetic president and an empathetic Republican Party,” Parscale said during an appearance on Fox News. “And I said this multiple times, and he chose a different path. I don’t think he was wrong, I love him, but we had a difference on this. I thought we should have public empathy.”

“We lost suburban families,” Parscale added. “I think that goes to one thing: The decision on covid to go for opening the economy versus public empathy … I think if he had been publicly empathetic, he would have won.”

Parscale served as Trump’s campaign manager until July, when he was replaced by Bill Stepien and named as a senior campaign adviser. Parscale had maintained a low public profile since September, when he was hospitalized after his wife called police, saying he was threatening to harm himself.

By: John Wagner

6:44 AM: Civil rights groups want a meeting with Biden. The agenda: Appointing Black officials in top roles.



a man wearing a suit and tie: The NAACP's president and chief executive, Derrick Johnson, addresses an NAACP convention in Detroit in 2019.


© Carlos Osorio/AP
The NAACP’s president and chief executive, Derrick Johnson, addresses an NAACP convention in Detroit in 2019.

Representatives of seven leading U.S. civil rights organizations are pressing to meet with Biden in the coming days, escalating pressure on him to appoint Black nominees to the remaining high-profile Cabinet posts amid concern that White nominees have dominated so far.

Biden has rolled out a diverse set of appointments but reserved the initial marquee slots in the Cabinet and White House for White candidates, prompting worry that Biden is failing to make good on his promises to promote Black leaders to prominent jobs.

Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP, said Tuesday that he was baffled that Biden has failed to confirm a meeting with the civil rights groups nearly a month after Election Day.

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By: Annie Linskey and Matt Viser

6:40 AM: To boost voter-fraud claims, Trump advocate turns to unusual source: The longtime operator of QAnon’s Internet home



Sidney Powell wearing a neck tie: Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a news conference with Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, on Nov. 19 in Washington.


© Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post
Attorney Sidney Powell speaks during a news conference with Rudolph W. Giuliani, a lawyer for President Trump, on Nov. 19 in Washington.

In her legal quest to reverse the reality of last month’s election, Trump’s recently disavowed attorney Sidney Powell has gained a strange new ally: the longtime administrator of the message board 8kun, the QAnon conspiracy theory’s Internet home.

Powell on Tuesday filed an affidavit from Ron Watkins, the son of 8kun’s owner Jim Watkins, in a Georgia lawsuit alleging that Dominion Voting Systems machines used in the election had been corrupted as part of a sprawling voter-fraud conspiracy.

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By: Drew Harwell

6:38 AM: Trump threatens to veto major defense bill unless Congress repeals a legal shield for tech giants

Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto an annual defense bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in military spending unless Congress opens the door for Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to be held legally liable for the way they police their platforms.

Trump delivered his ultimatum — calling for the repeal of a federal law known as Section 230 — in a pair of late-night tweets that transformed a critical national security debate into a political war over his unproved allegations that Silicon Valley’s technology giants exhibit systemic bias against conservatives.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it — corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” Trump tweeted.

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By: Tony Romm

6:37 AM: Black Lives Matter movement at a crossroads as Biden prepares to take office



a group of people jumping in the air: A protester holds a Black Lives Matter flag in front of the White House last August.


© Salwan Georges/The Washington Post
A protester holds a Black Lives Matter flag in front of the White House last August.

Activist John Sloan III saw the swell of White faces in Black Lives Matter protests after the killing of George Floyd in June and girded for the worst.

He acknowledged it was a sign of progress, proof that the Democratic establishment was coming around to his cause. But the 37-year-old lead organizer for the Black Lives Matter chapter in Detroit was worried that the increased support would turn a cause anchored in a grass-roots uprising into a commercialized, mainstream political movement. He voted for Joe Biden anyway.

“Joe Biden was not my first choice. Not my second choice. He was not my third choice,” Sloan said. “But I’m also a pragmatic individual, and I think Biden is going to be better than the Trump administration for me.”

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By: Tim Craig and Robert Klemko

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