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World leaders congratulate US President-Elect, Joe Biden, as his team makes history

Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.

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What would a Joe Biden Presidency mean for Nigeria?

Hours after the announcement of Joe Biden as the President-Elect of the United States of America, encomiums from notable world leaders have been pouring in for the septuagenarian.

Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that Mr. Biden had emerged successful after a keenly contested election.

What they are saying

Some of the world leaders and influencers that have reacted to the victory of Joe Biden so far include:

British Prime Minister Mr. Borris Johnson:

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“Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement. The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared possibilities from climate changes to trade and security.”

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S House of Representatives:

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“We kept the republic! Congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory for the soul of our country. Congratulations to Kamala Harris for making history. It’s a time to heal and a time to grow together. E Pluribus Unum.”

Former U.S President Bill Clinton:

“America has spoken and democracy has won. Now we have a President-Elect and Vice President-Elect who will serve all of us and bring us all together. Congratulations to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on your momentous victory!”

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Jimmy Carter, another former U.S President:

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“We are proud of their well-run campaign and look forward to seeing the positive change they bring to our nation.”

Hilary Clinton, Former Presidential aspirant:

“The voters have spoken, and they have chosen @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris to be our next president and vice president. It’s a history-making ticket, a repudiation of Trump, and a new page for America. Thank you to everyone who helped make this happen. Onward, together.”

Why it matters

The choice of who leads USA, directly or indirectly affect other countries. Therefore, the efforts by the aforementioned elites is aimed at ensuring peace and calming frayed nerves, especially as the incumbent president is questioning the legitimacy of the election, and  has promised to seek legal redress.

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Around the World

Trump administration acknowledges likely election loss, agrees to transition with Biden

Trump administration seems to have officially commenced the transition to Biden after weeks of delay and law suits.

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President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital

The Donald Trump administration seems to have acknowledged the loss of the presidential election as the General Services Administration (GSA), after weeks of non-cooperation has informed President-elect, Joe Biden that the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process.

According to a report from CNN, this was disclosed in a letter from the Administrator of DSA, Emily Murphy on Monday afternoon, November 23, 2020.

READ: Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

The letter is the first major step taken by the Trump administration to acknowledge its defeat in the presidential election after over 2 weeks that Joe Biden was declared the winner.

Monday’s letter is coming hours after Michigan formally certified the election results and some Republican senators had called for the transition process to start. This is also as more lawsuits from Trump’s legal team were dismissed, and Georgia election earlier certified on Friday and Pennsylvania set to be certified as well.

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READ: U.S. budget suffers a deficit of $3.1 trillion in 2020, as pandemic slams the economy

While making the decision to cooperate with the President-elect, Murphy said she had not been pressured by the White House to delay the formal transition and did not make a decision out of fear or favoritism.

She said, “Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official, including those who work at the White House or GSA, with regard to the substance or timing of my decision. To be clear, I did not receive any direction to delay my determination.”

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READ: Why Gold prices are skyrocketing after a Joe Biden win

The letter signifies Murphy’s formal acknowledgment of Joe Biden’s victory, a normally perfunctory process known as ascertainment. This action will allow the transition process, which has been delayed for some weeks, to officially commence, ensuring that current administration agency officials cooperate with the incoming Biden team, and providing millions in government funding for the transition.

For some weeks after his announcement as the winner of the presidential election, the Biden team who have been denied access to government information and agencies by the Trump administration, had worked informally to kick start the transition process with some actions which include setting up a coronavirus task force, consulting with public health officials outside the government, meeting with top corporate leaders, amongst others.

READ: US Election: China congratulates Joe Biden

The delay in ascertainment meant that Biden’s team was denied access to government data and could not make contact with federal agencies, nor spend $6.3 million in government funding now available for the transition. A Biden official said the most urgent need was for the transition to be given access to Covid-19 data and the vaccine distribution plans.

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The Biden team is expected to have access to additional office space inside the agencies and the ability to use federal resources for background checks on Biden’s White House staff appointments and Cabinet appointments.

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Moments after the letter was sent, Donald Trump tweeted thanking Murphy for her work and affirming the decision to start the transition.

READ: How the United States plans to control the African Development Bank

His tweet reads, “I want to thank Emily Murphy at GSA for her steadfast dedication and loyalty to our Country. She has been harassed, threatened, and abused — and I do not want to see this happen to her, her family, or employees of GSA. Our case STRONGLY continues, we will keep up the good fight, and I believe we will prevail!” Trump tweeted. “Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am 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.”

This letter from GSA now means that the Biden team will now have access to government agency staff with regular briefings in addition to details of administrative issues that need to be addressed immediately.

The President-elect and his vice will also be receiving classified intelligence briefings as white house officials will start to cooperate.

It can be recalled that Murphy, who was appointed by Donald Trump, had refused to go ahead with the ascertainment process, despite Biden’s clear victory. She has faced intense scrutiny and political pressure from Democrats and, in recent days, Republicans calling for the start of a smooth transition.

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Trump International Hotel sale stalled

The planned sale of the Trump International Hotel has been put on hold indefinitely.

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The spirited efforts made by the Trump Organization to dispose of its Trump International Hotel in Washington DC was truncated, as the sale has been put on hold indefinitely.

This is even as the organization had already engaged Mr. Jones Lang LaSalle to look for buyers.

READ: Game Changing in Nigeria’s Lodging Industry – Hotel Chain

According to CNBC News, the asking price for the property is about $500m but none of the bids was close, with several bids less than $250m.

In consideration of the subsisting lease terms, industry executives and advisors are of the opinion that any realistic bid to purchase the hotel would have to be around $150 million to $175 million which is even less than the Trump Org.’s $200 million investment.

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READ: Hotels in Nigeria are on the verge of collapse

This scenario leaves the organization with the inevitable option of selling at a loss and as well default on the loans from Deutsche Bank loan and turn over the keys, or try to keep the property and return to profitability, at the end of the day.

What they are saying

According to Brian Friedman, CEO of Friedman Capital, who owns chains of hotels and properties in the DC area and as well bided for the property, “At this point, they could either just turn over the keys, or keep it and make it part of whatever media company the President decides to create. I just don’t think they’re going to get the price they expected.”

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READ: Reps to support total reforms in aviation industry through legislation – Speaker

According to industry executives, “Faced with a $100 million loan from Deutsche Bank on the property and continued losses, the Trump Organization may end up either having to subsidize the business for years to come, or default on the loan and hand back the property.”

READ: Donald Trump bans American investments in companies linked to Chinese military

In response to the insinuations by the industry executives, the Spokesman for the organization said, “There are absolutely no plans to default on the loan, nor have we ever missed a payment. As for the stalled sales effort, we have had offers north of $350M, which would have been the most expensive price ever paid for a hotel in Washington D.C. and we have rejected those offers in full. Trump International Hotel, Washington D.C. is one of the finest hotels in the country as rated by Conde Nast and so many others.”

According to President Trump, he admitted to have overpaid for the property and said, “I mean, we are paying too much for the Old post office. But we will make that so amazing that at some point in the future it’ll be very nice.”

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READ: Unmarked hotels and short-stay apartments report high occupancy rates during COVID-19

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What you should know

  • The Trump International Hotel is the flagship company of Donald Trump’s diversified business empire and was officially opened for business in October, 2016.
  • In 2019, the hotel achieved a total sum of $40.5m in revenue.
  • The Trump Organization is expected to pay $3 million annually over 60 years lease period and the sum of $200m was invested to renovate the property, out of which $100m was a loan from Deutsche Bank.
  • Importantly, potential buyers/bidders are averse and finding it difficult to agreeing to keeping the Trump name on the hotel which is one of the conditions of the offer.

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Trump retracts earlier election loss statement, says he didn’t concede defeat

The US President showed no sign of conceding to the Democratic candidate where he claimed not to have lost the election.

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President Trump leaves Walter Reed Hospital

The United States President, Donald Trump, appears to have recanted his earlier statement through a tweet post where he somewhat acknowledged that the Democratic candidate, Joe Biden, won the presidential election, but said it was rigged.

While disclosing in his new tweet post that Joe Biden only won in the eyes of fake news media, Donald Trump said that he was not going to concede and called the election rigged.

In the earlier tweet post which was flagged by Twitter for making false claims, Trump said, ‘’He won because the election was rigged, no vote watchers or observers allowed, vote tabulated by a radical left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation and bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot), the fake and silent media, and more.’’

However, in a later tweet post, the US President showed no sign of conceding to the Democratic candidate where he claimed not to have lost the election and once again made some unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud and rigging.

In the tweet post which was also flagged by Twitter, Donald Trump said, ‘’He only won in the eyes of the Fake News Media. I concede nothing. We have a long way to go. This was a rigged election.’’

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The US President has refused to concede defeat of the November 3 election to the Democratic candidate despite the clear projections of the results of the media which gave victory to Joe Biden.

Donald Trump had instituted several lawsuits in about 5 key states like Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Arizona, with an uphill task to upturn the results which give Joe Biden a clear lead.

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He has earlier suggested that the former Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, is going to lead the legal effort of his campaign organization, together with other team members, to defend their rights to free and fair elections.

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