Biden's presidential transition can formally begin, U.S. agency says

Biden's presidential transition can formally begin, U.S. agency says

The U.S. federal agency that must sign off on the presidential transition told president-elect Joe Biden on Monday that he can formally begin the transition process.

"I take this role seriously and, because of recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results, am transmitting this letter today to make those resources and services available to you," General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has yet to concede the election, took to Twitter to say that he is "recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same."

However, in a series of tweets, Trump also said "our case strongly continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!"

Biden transition preparations continue 

Biden has been preparing for the presidency even as Trump attempts to subvert the election results in key states. He has frequent virtual meetings from his home in Wilmington, Del., and a music venue downtown.

Ron Klain, Biden's incoming chief of staff, said Sunday the Trump administration's refusal to clear the way for Biden's team to have access to key information about agencies and federal dollars for the transition has taken its toll on planning, including the cabinet selection process.

"We're not in a position to get background checks on cabinet nominees. And so there are definite impacts. Those impacts escalate every day," Klain told ABC's This Week.

In advance of this announcement, Biden has been building out his administration.

According to a person familiar with the transition plans, he has chosen former Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen to serve as treasury secretary, a pivotal role in which she would help shape and direct his economic policies at a perilous time.

Biden also plans to nominate Antony Blinken as his secretary of state, longtime diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Avril Haines as director of national intelligence and Alejandro Mayorkas as the secretary for the Department of Homeland Security.

Those four nominees will all need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Former Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the incoming administration's effort to combat climate change. Kerry does not require Senate confirmation — nor does Jake Sullivan, another Obama administration veteran tapped by Biden to serve as national security adviser.