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State Department taking no role in Biden congratulatory calls with foreign leaders

Wilmington, Delaware — One consequence of the General Services Administration’s unwillingness to “ascertain” a winner of the presidential election is that the congratulatory phone calls President-elect Joe Biden is receiving from world leaders are happening without the help of the State Department, according to a transition official.

The GSA is the federal government agency that provides the president-elect’s transition team access to federal agencies to aid in planning policy changes with current administration officials. But the current GSA administrator, Emily Murphy, refuses to acknowledge that Mr. Biden is the next president, so that the transition process can formally begin.

In the past two days, Mr. Biden has spoken with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom, according to readouts from the transition team.

The lack of GSA ascertainment means that the Biden-Harris transition team is being denied State Department-facilitated calls with foreign leaders as they reach out to express their congratulations, a transition official told CBS News.

“I’m letting them know that America is back. We’re going to be back in the game,” Mr. Biden said about the calls after a speech in Delaware on Tuesday.

This lack of coordination with the State Department regarding the congratulatory calls is unprecedented, said David Marchick, director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service.

There is only one president at a time, and the established protocols of coordinating between the incoming and outgoing administrations is meant to protect U.S. global interests. That requires the administration to work with the transition team.

The center wrote of the transition process, “The State Department traditionally has helped coordinate phone calls between a president-elect and foreign dignitaries. Best practice would be for the president-elect to avoid commitments that might undermine the current administration.” Read from source….