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Biden's aides ramp up transition plan to fill critical White House posts: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Democratic US presidential nominee Joe Biden

Joe Biden’s advisers and allies have moved rapidly with a transition plan, discussing how to fill critical White House posts as the Democratic nominee inches closer to presidential victory, a report says.

The New York Times, citing half a dozen sources familiar with the proceedings, reported that Biden’s associates are discussing who could fill important posts both in the West Wing and across the agencies.

Senior Cabinet positions for a potential Biden White House will possibly be announced as early as next week.

Should Biden eventually win the election, he is expected to focus on filling key White House roles first, including chief of staff. Ron Klain, who served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice president, is reportedly a favorite for the role.

The ongoing deliberations have been guided heavily by Biden’s plan to assemble what would be “the most diverse cabinet in history,” according to the report.

The discussions underscore that Biden is already mapping out a quick transition amid a worsening COVID-19 pandemic and a damaged economy, even though he has refrained from claiming victory as vote counting continues in several states.

Biden, who ran on a message of uniting the nation, is interested in making a “bipartisan gesture” following a divisive election whose integrity has been questioned by President Donald Trump.

Biden has widened his lead in Pennsylvania, a state Trump badly needs in order to win reelection, as more votes are counted. He is also leading in Georgia, Nevada and Arizona.

The former vice president has expressed confident that a complete tabulation in the remaining states would put him past the 270 electoral votes, the threshold needed to become president.

“We don’t have a final declaration of victory yet but the numbers tell us a clear and convincing story. We’re going to win this race,” Biden said Friday in Wilmington, Delaware, flanked by his running mate California senator Kamala Harris.

As Biden moves closer to the presidency, however, President Trump has not shown any sign he would be ready to concede without a fight. After the president lost the edge in Pennsylvania, the White House put out a statement insisting “this election is not over.”

“Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President. I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!” Trump tweeted.

Trump has alleged that tens of thousands of votes were received illegally after Election Day, which could change the results in battleground states. His team has launched lawsuits to stop the vote counts in several critical states.

Those legal challenges have slowed down the counting process.

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