Money, money, money.
That’s what Donald Trump, his staff and his GOP allies have brought presidential politics down to, three weeks after Joe Biden won the election.
The president was urged by growing numbers of prominent Republicans to end his obstruction and get on with the transition to Biden’s administration.
Finally, late Monday afternoon, the Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, relented and announced the transition will proceed, better late than never.
That didn’t stop Trump’s latest fundraising campaign, which included hundreds of email pleas for donations — ostensibly to fuel his push for vote recounts in key states.
But that’s not where most of the money is really going: instead, it is being funneled directly into Trump’s campaign war chest.
“Much of the money raised by … the Trump campaign won’t go towards challenging election results, however, but to help set the stage for the president’s next act,” Politico reported.
Some critics are calling it a final con by a grifter willing to use the power of the presidency to advance his own personal interests and wealth.
“I think Trump is throwing rocks through windows,” former White House national security adviser John Bolton said Sunday on CNN. “I think he’s the political equivalent of a street rioter.”
Bolton was far from the only prominent Republican to reject Trump’s stonewalling of the transition.
In a letter prepared for Monday, more than 100 corporate CEOs called on Emily Murphy, the head of the General Services Administration, to end her resistance and affirm that Biden won, which she finally, reluctantly, did.
“Every day that an orderly presidential transition process is delayed, our democracy grows weaker in the eyes of our own citizens and the nation’s stature on the global stage is diminished,” the executives write in the letter, a draft of which was reviewed by The New York Times.
“Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk.”
Similarly, a group of GOP national security experts “urged congressional Republicans on Monday to demand President Trump concede the election and immediately begin the transition to the incoming Biden administration,” reports the Washington Post.
“President Trump’s refusal to permit the presidential transition poses significant risks to our national security,” the letter read, according to the Post.
One irony here is that the election wasn’t really all that close.
“Right now, Joe Biden’s popular-vote lead over Trump stands at 4 percentage points, 51% to 47% — and it’s only going to grow once more of New York’s votes (finally) get counted,” reports NBC News.
“That would give Biden the second-largest popular vote margin out of the 21st century’s six presidential elections, with only Barack Obama’s 7-point win in 2008 being greater.”
As for the all-important Electoral College, the tally is still being called an estimate, but it’s clear that barring a stunning turnabout, Biden will get 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232 — exactly the margin by which Trump beat Hillary Clinton four years ago.