WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The White House held its first press briefing Tuesday after the Electoral College confirmed Democrat Joe Biden as the country’s next president.
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to clarify whether or not President Donald Trump recognizes Biden as president-elect, saying he’s still involved in legal challenges.
“The president is still involved in ongoing litigation related to the election,” McEnany said. “Yesterday’s vote was one step in the constitutional process, so I will leave that to him.”
The briefing comes a day after electors voted state-by-state in a formal proceeding that ascertained Biden’s victory in the presidential election. The results will now be sent to Washington and tallied in a Jan. 6 joint session of Congress. Vice President Mike Pence will preside over the meeting.
Trump has refused to concede the election, continuing to make unfounded claims of voter fraud.
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged Biden as president-elect.
“Many of us had hoped the presidential election would yield a different result,” McConnell said. “But our system of government has the processes to determine who will be sworn in on Jan. 20. The Electoral College has spoken.”
During the press briefing Tuesday, McEnany also commented on the country’s historic immunization effort. She said that Trump will receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as his team determines it’s best to do so.
“He is absolutely open to taking the vaccine,” McEnany said. “He’s been emphatic about that to me privately, and to you all publicly. But he did recently recover from COVID, and he has the continued protective effects of the monoclonal antibody cocktail that I mentioned, and he will receive the vaccine as soon as his medical team determines it’s best.”
McEnany said the president wants to show that the most vulnerable Americans are priority to receive the vaccine.
“His priority is frontline workers, those in long-term care facilities, and he wants to make sure that the vulnerable get access first,” she said.
McEnany said some career national security staff would have access to vaccines to ensure a continuity of government, along with a “very small group” of senior administration officials for the purpose of instilling public confidence.