Washington – President Donald Trump is still betting everything that he will be re-elected, but he is also prepared to take the first steps to formally prepare someone else to take over should he lose on November 3.
Trump is forming a transition council, pursuant to the Presidential Transition Act, in what represents the first time that it has been implemented by an acting president preparing for a second term, after Congress intervened in 2015 to ensure better continuity in a presidential succession.
Ensuring that presidential candidates are prepared to take over the federal government became a priority after the September 11 attacks, but the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic crisis have given new urgency to the situation.
“The relevance of planning for the transition has intensified, as it could be the first choice since 1932 where we have more than 20% unemployment, more than double the unemployment rate than in 2008,” said David Marchick, director of the Center. for the Presidential Transition of the non-partisan organization Partnership for Public Service. “Add to that a health crisis and the potential for a virtual transition. The degree of complexity has increased significantly.”
Under the law, Trump must appoint members of the transition council and a senior White House official to chair him no later than six months before the election, which is this Sunday. Trump is expected to name Chris Liddell, deputy chief of staff for political coordination, according to two senior government officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the internal plans.
Liddell is already leading the government’s preparations for a second term, which is itself a small transition, as the record shows a large number of replacements at the time of the presidency.
Joe Biden, the virtual Democratic presidential candidate, on Tuesday expressed to campaign donors his skepticism that the Trump White House works to offer an efficient transition.
“The Bush administration worked closely with Barack and myself, with our administration in terms of handing over power in transition,” Biden recalled of the 2007-2008 period before Barack Obama’s inauguration. “I hope it is as easy as it was, and I doubt it, but I hope so.”