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Live Reporting

Edited by Helier Cheung

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all for now

    Thank you for joining us for our ongoing coverage of the 2020 US presidential election.

    It's been nearly a week since the 3 November election day, and there are another 10 weeks to go until Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US president.

    This live page was brought to you by our teams in the UK and US. The writers included Max Matza, Holly Honderich, Ritu Prasad, Alice Cuddy, Georgina Rannard, Ashitha Nagesh, Sophie Williams, George Wright, Joseph Lee, Toby Luckhurst, Joshua Nevett, Mal Siret and Vicky Bisset.

    The editors included Rebecca Seales, Boer Deng, Vicky Baker, Paulin Kola, Helier Cheung, Kevin Ponniah, Patrick Jackson, Sarah Collerton, Jessica Murphy, Claudia Allen and Flora Drury.

  2. A revolving door at the Pentagon

    Tara McKelvey

    BBC News, Washington

    Long-serving defence secretaries have been polarising figures. But a defence secretary who serves in the role over a period of years and is supported by the president provides continuity for those at the defence department and for US military allies.

    In contrast, Trump distanced himself from Defence Secretary Mark Esper publicly and then sacked him.

    If Christopher Miller, the National Counterterrorism Center director, becomes acting defence secretary, as Trump has planned, he will be the fifth to serve under the Trump administration - and is only likely to serve for a short amount of time before the Biden administration kicks in.

    Whoever the new defence secretary is under Biden, they are likely to remain in place longer than their predecessor, with the open support of their boss. This will make things easier for people who work at the Pentagon and for the nation’s allies too.

  3. Watch: Biden to 'spare no effort' on pandemic

    As a recap, earlier today President-Elect Joe Biden gave a speech after after he was briefed on the US Covid-19 situation.

    He promised to "spare no effort" battling the pandemic.

    Video content

    Video caption: Biden: "I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around"
  4. Georgia official fires back at Republican senators

    Raffensperger briefs the media on vote counting last week
    Image caption: Raffensperger briefs the media on vote counting last week

    Georgia's Republican secretary of state, who is facing calls to resign from the state's two Republican senators, is out with a new statement hitting back at their claims that he mishandled the election.

    Brad Raffensperger, whose office oversees Georgia's election, said he would not quit and blamed his party’s lawmakers - David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler - for their own predicament.

    “The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me,” he wrote.

    He called election day a “resounding success” and said that he understands the senators are “irritated” to have to go to a runoff race after not winning a large enough majority of the vote.

    Raffensperger concludes his statement saying: “As a Republican, I am concerned about Republicans keeping the US Senate. I recommend that Senators Loeffler and Perdue start focusing on that”.

  5. Voter fraud - what are the facts?

    A pile of voting ballots

    As President Trump continues to dispute the projected result of the US election, false or misleading claims have been circulating about the vote.

    Some have been amplified by President Trump and his team, who accused the Democrats of trying to "steal" election, without providing evidence.

    Here are a few of the most recent - and false - claims.

    • Increased postal voting will lead to more fraud. Numerous national and state-level studies have shown that although there have been isolated cases, electoral fraud is very rare. The rate of fraud is less than 0.0009%, according to a 2017 study by the Brennan Center for Justice
    • "Dumped ballots" in California. In September, pictures of ballot envelopes were shared on Facebook, along with unsubstantiated claims of "vote rigging". But Sonoma County officials have said ballots for this year's election had not been sent when the picture was shared
    • Michigan voting map. A map has been retweeted by President Trump which wrongly shows an increase of over 138,000 votes for Joe Biden in the battleground state of Michigan. The screenshot was real - but it contained a data entry error. Decision Desk, the election data company which posted the map said Michigan authorities noticed the error and have since produced an updated count.

    Read our fact-checker about five vote fraud claims which have gone viral.

  6. Brazil 'isolated' by silence over Biden win

    BBC Monitoring

    The world through its media

    Trump and Bolsonaro
    Image caption: Bolsonaro has supported a Trump presidency

    Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has faced a barrage of criticism from the media for his failure to congratulate Joe Biden on his victory in the US elections. Prominent commentators said this left the right-wing Brazilian leader "isolated" at home and abroad.

    "Isolated in Brazil and in the world, Bolsonaro maintains silence about the USA," Brazilian news website UOL said. In the months leading up to US election, Brazilian media had widely reported on Bolsonaro's open support for President Donald Trump.

    Daily Folha de Sao Paulo noted that Bolsonaro was accompanied by the leaders of Russia, China and Mexico in not formally congratulating Biden, but it said that the other three presidents "at least presented justifications", while Bolsonaro's silence was complete so far.

    However, Vice-President Hamilton Mourao said he believed the president was waiting for what he called the post-election "imbroglio" (a fancy word that means "a confusing situation") in the US to end before taking a position. This "imbroglio" involved "discussion, if there were false votes, or if there weren't false votes", Mourao was reported to have said.

    Brazilian news website G1 reported that "political advisers and also military members of the government" were recommending that Bolsonaro "recognise Joe Biden's victory as soon as possible". "The worry is, increasingly, that Brazil might be left isolated in international diplomacy," the website said.

  7. White House press secretary enters a grey area

    Anthony Zurcher

    BBC North America reporter

    Kayleigh McEnany at Monday's press briefing

    For months White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany brushed off certain undesired political questions as being better directed at the Trump campaign, not the White House.

    On Monday, however, McEnany appeared at a press conference to directly discuss the campaign and allegations the Trump team was making of widespread voter fraud.

    Once again a Trump administration official is inhabiting a grey area of the law, where US government officials are forbidden from engaging in campaign politics but there is little mechanism for holding them to those rules.

    McEnany is one of the most effective – and loyal - spokespeople for the president. She worked for the Republican party before being tapped for her current White House assignment. That might explain why - in these last, desperate days – she is stepping off the sidelines to make the case for why it was Trump, not Joe Biden, who won last week’s election.

    Still without offering supporting evidence, however, even Trump’s most skilled advocates have little chance of turning the tide, both in US courts and the court of public opinion.

  8. Fired Pentagon chief 'not Trump's yes man'

    Trump and Esper

    US Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who Trump fired earlier today without giving a reason, said in a recent interview that he was the rare cabinet official willing to stand up to Trump.

    In an interview with Military Times on 4 November and released today, he rejected allegations that he was a "yes man" to his boss. The newspaper notes that his critics in the administration, and Trump himself, have called Esper "Yesper" due to his reputation for being obedient to Trump.

    “My frustration is I sit here and say, ‘Hmm, 18 Cabinet members. Who’s pushed back more than anybody?’ Name another Cabinet secretary that’s pushed back,” he said.

    "Have you seen me on a stage saying, ‘Under the exceptional leadership of blah-blah-blah, we have blah-blah-blah-blah?’"'

    He also added that he did not intend to quit the job, despite areas of disagreement with Trump.

    “Yeah, look, I mean ― my soldiers don’t get to quit,” he said.

    "So if I’m going to quit, it better be over something really, really big. And otherwise, look, I’m going to do what I’ve always done, which is try and shape it the best I can.”

    Esper clashed with the White House earlier this year, over Trump's threat to use the military to quell public unrest during protests over racial injustice.

  9. Fox News cuts away from Trump campaign presser

    Trump's White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany says: "This election is not yet over. Far from it."

    "We have only begun the process" of tabulating votes and disputing totals, she says.

    She goes on to accuse Democrats of "welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting” and Pennsylvania voting officials of barring poll-watchers from "meaningful" observation of the count in Philadelphia.

    Her claim is incorrect, as Trump campaign officials were permitted into the room where votes have been counted.

    The Trump campaign is hoping to have ballots that are postmarked 3 November, and received after 3 November but before 6 November, thrown out on the basis that they arrived "late".

    In fact, it is normal for ballots to be counted after election day. Because of the record number of postal ballots due to the virus, officials in Pennsylvania gave a three day grace period for ballots to arrive at election centres.

    As McEnany was speaking, Fox News cut away from the event, saying they could not continue to air claims for which no evidence has been provided.

    View more on twitter
  10. Trump campaign presser begins

    Kayleigh McEnany

    The Trump campaign press conference has begun. White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany kicks thing off, by stating she is there "in a personal capacity".

  11. Who's on Biden's new Covid-19 expert panel?

    Video content

    Video caption: President Biden meets the Covid-19 experts

    As one of his first actions as president-elect, Biden has assembled a 13-member panel of health experts tasked with providing "clear, consistent, evidence-based guidance" on the pandemic.

    The task force includes former surgeon-general Vivek Murthy, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2014 and removed by President Trump in 2017.

    Other members include former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration David Kessler, and Yale University epidemiology professor Marcella Nunez-Smith.

    The panel also includes oncologist Ezekiel Emanuel, who is the brother of Rahm Emanuel, who has served as White House chief of staff under Obama and mayor of Chicago.

    Another member is Rick Bright, a former top government vaccine official who was fired by the Trump administration after submitting a whistleblower complaint to Congress.

    He claimed that the Trump team had failed to heed his guidance to prepare for the pandemic by stocking up on medical supplies such as face masks.

    “Lives were endangered, and I believe lives were lost,” he testified to Congress in May.

  12. Trump campaign press conference due shortly

    White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany
    Image caption: Kayleigh McEnany's involvement in the campaign has been criticised

    Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany will host a press conference in Washington DC in the coming minutes.

    In a press release, the campaign says the purpose of the event is "to discuss Pennsylvania litigation and give an overview of the post-Election Day landscape".

    It's worth mentioning that McEnany's role in the campaign has been criticised by some as a violation of the Hatch Act, a rule which prohibits certain employees of the White House from engaging in political activities.

    McEnany has previously dismissed that criticism, saying that she is acting as an an individual and not as a federal worker.

  13. Georgia Republican senators call for election official to resign

    David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler
    Image caption: Georgia Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue

    Georgia's two Republican senators - who will face runoff elections after not securing a wide enough margin of the vote last week - have issued a joint statement calling for the Georgia secretary of state to resign.

    Brad Raffensperger, who is also a Republican, oversees the state's election process. Biden has a narrow lead of 0.2% in the normally-Republican stronghold and a recount has already been started there.

    “The management of Georgia elections has become an embarrassment for our state. Georgians are outraged, and rightly so," write Senators David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.

    "We believe when there are failures, they need to be called out - even when it’s in your own party," they say, charging that Raffensperger "has failed to deliver honest and transparent elections".

    Trump has made claims of "tremendous corruption and fraud” being perpetrated by Democratic officials - but Georgia has a Republican governor, Republican legislature and Republican officials who oversee voting.

    Last week, a top election official in Raffensperger's office poured cold water on the Republican's theory of foul play.

    “I think if anyone was trying to rig a system they would see something less close than this,” said Gabriel Sterling, adding that he too is a Republican.

  14. Trudeau and Biden speak over phone

    Canadian leader Justin Trudeau has shared a photo from his phone call to Biden to congratulate him on his victory.

    "We’ve worked with each other before, and we’re ready to pick up on that work and tackle the challenges and opportunities facing our two countries - including climate change and Covid-19," the Liberal Party politician said in his accompanying tweet.

    View more on twitter

    Biden will be the third US president that Trudeau has worked with, after Trump and Obama before him.

    Trudeau has strained to have good relations with Trump, and has gone to unusual lengths to keep from speaking out against him.

    After he was asked about Trump's decision to tear-gas peaceful protesters outside the White House for a photo-op outside a church, he responded with an epic 21 second pause while he collected his thoughts to form a diplomatic response.

    in recent history, US presidents have made Canada the destination of their first foreign visit when taking office, a way to underscore the deep ties between the neighbouring nations, thought President Trump didn't follow that tradition.

  15. Republican leader defends Trump's legal battles

    Mitch McConnell
    Image caption: Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell

    Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell was just speaking on the Senate floor. He defended President Trump's right to challenge the election results and not concede.

    "No states have yet certified election results," he noted. This is true - states have until 8 December to certify their electors.

    McConnell continued to say all legal ballots should count and the process must be "transparent".

    "If any major irregularities occurred this time of a magnitude that would affect the outcome, then every single American should want them to be brought to light and if Democrats feel confident they have not occurred, they should have no reason to fear any extra scrutiny," the majority leader added.

    Experts have long said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in postal voting.

    "We have the system in place to consider concerns and President Trump is 100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options," McConnell said.

    "The projections and commentary of the press do not get veto power over the legal rights of any citizen, including the president."

    Only three Republican Senators have thus far acknowledged Biden's win. Republican President George W Bush has also congratulated Biden on his win.

  16. WATCH: Biden a 'natural conciliator' Gordon Brown tells BBC

    Video content

    Video caption: Joe Biden will a natural conciliator, says Gordon Brown

    Former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown says Biden will work to bring the international community together and give leadership on issues like global health, the economy and climate change.

    Biden is a "natural conciliator", says the former Labour Party leader.

    "He wants to bring people together, both within the United States of America where he's already talking about unifying the country," he says. "And he wants to bring the international community together and bring some leadership which has clearly been missing."

  17. Man leading Trump's legal challenges tests positive for Covid-19

    David Bossie

    David Bossie, the Trump advisor who was chosen by the campaign to oversee the legal challenges to the vote across the US, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

    Bossie, who was Trump’s deputy campaign manager in 2016 and is now the head of the Citizens United conservative group, was tapped to take over the legal effort on Friday.

    Earlier today, Housing Secretary Ben Carson announced that he had tested positive for Covid-19. Over the weekend, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows also tested positive. Both men were at Trump's side at several key events in the closing days of the president's losing campaign.

  18. Republican attorneys general file Supreme Court brief

    Republican attorneys general across the US have filed a joint brief to the US Supreme Court contesting vote counts in Pennsylvania.

    The officials argue that the state's court "overstepped" when it allowed ballots post-marked by 3 November but received after the date to be counted.

    The move is to back Pennsylvania Republicans who have already requested that the US Supreme Court should get these ballots tossed out.

    Even if the top court takes up the case (which appears unlikely) and delivers Republicans a win, it would not have an impact on Biden's win in the state. His margin is over 45,000 votes so far and counting continues.

    The Republican attorneys' brief claims that the decision to include the late-arriving post "exacerbated the risk of mail-in ballot fraud".

    Experts have said there is no evidence of widespread fraud in postal voting.

    Pennsylvania's mail voting law was approved last year by the state's Republican-majority legislature.

  19. Collins becomes latest Republican to congratulate Biden

    Susan Collins

    Senator Susan Collins has joined a handful of Republican lawmakers to offer congratulations to Biden and Harris.

    Collins congratulated Biden "on his apparent victory" and said "transitions are important, and the president-elect and the vice-president-elect should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern" after the inauguration.

    The centrist Maine senator, who won re-election by a narrower margin than expected, added that Trump "should be afforded the opportunity" to challenge the results.

    "While we have a clear direction, we should continue to respect that process," she said. "I urge people to be patient."

    Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski are the two others Senate Republicans to congratulate Biden.

    The three names are worth mentally jotting down: these party moderates are most likely to work across the aisle with a Biden administration. Though Democrats retained control of the House of Representatives, a President Biden may still need support from Republicans in the Senate, where the majority has yet to be determined.

  20. Trump supporter: 'I think we can all get along'

    Donald Trump supporters have spoken to the BBC about the Pennsylvania election result.

    With nearly all of the votes in Pennsylvania counted, Biden has been projected to overturn Trump's narrow 2016 win with a narrow win of his own.

    Supporters of the president in Bradford County, northern Pennsylvania, gave their reactions and thoughts about what Biden could do for them.

    Video content

    Video caption: US Elections: 'I think we can all get along'