Michelle Obama urges Trump administration to co-operate with Biden transition team

Former First Lady tells US leader to stop spreading ‘groundless conspiracy theories’

FILE PHOTO: US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) (L) and his wife Michelle wave together with Obama's vice presidential running mate Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) (R) and his wife Jill during a campaign event at the Old State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois, U.S., August 23, 2008. REUTERS/John Gress/File Photo
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Former US First Lady Michelle Obama on Monday urged the Trump administration to respect the results of the 2020 presidential election and co-operate with the traditional transition process as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to take office on January 20.

The Trump administration has been making the transition difficult by not including President-elect Biden on critical national security briefings and failing to publicly concede the election.

The General Services Administration, an important gate-keeper in the transition process, has also not indicated any plans to release transition funds to the President-elect Biden, as Mr Biden hopes to hit the ground running on January 20.

“I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation’s leaders, regardless of party, to honour the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout history,” Mrs Obama wrote on Instagram.

The former First Lady also addressed the multiple election fraud narratives being spread by incumbent President Trump on Twitter.

“Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently - the presidency doesn’t belong to any one party,” she said.

“To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories - whether for personal or political gain - is to put our country’s health and security in danger.”

Michelle Obama’s comments come after her husband, Barack Obama, appeared on several national TV interviews, expressing disbelief and disappointment that the Trump administration seemed to be dragging out the transition process for President-elect Joe Biden.

Mrs Obama also acknowledged how difficult election losses can be, reflecting on the 2016 election results which surprised many when Mr Trump won the electoral college votes necessary to claim the White House.

"I knew that for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside," she said. "So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had."

She also noted that the Obama administration welcomed Mr Trump's transition team into the White House offices and prepared them on several levels to ensure a smooth transfer of power, something that still hasn't been apparent from the Trump administration as Mr Biden waits to take over.

Mr Trump has repeatedly alleged widespread voter fraud on social media, despite not providing any evidence, and has been flagged for making unsubstantiated comments on Twitter.

So far, Mr Trump has only briefly implied that he lost to Mr Biden, only to stop just short of conceding, and even going as far as to back-track on his comments.

At a news conference last week, Mr Biden didn't mince words after being asked about the potential effects of Trump delaying the transition process.

"More people may die," said Mr Biden, referring to his administration's plans to try and assemble a Covid-19 plan to deal with the surge in cases throughout the US.