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© Global Security Summit/YouTube Robert O’Brien, right, speaking at the Global Security Summit on November 16, 2020. Global Security Summit/YouTube

  • President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, said Monday that Joe Biden appears to have won the US election.
  • “If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner, and obviously things look that way now, we’ll have a very professional transition,” he told the Global Security Forum.
  • Biden was projected to win the 2020 election nearly two weeks ago, though Trump has still refused to concede.
  • Despite his caveats, O’Brien is the most senior Trump official to suggest Biden has won. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Vice President Mike Pence have said that they are preparing for a second term.
  • Biden’s team said the Trump administration is denying them access to government departments, meaning they have to find different ways to get up to speed before the January 20 handover.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, Robert O’Brien, has said that President-elect Joe Biden appears to have won the 2020 presidential election.

“If the Biden-Harris ticket is determined to be the winner, and obviously things look that way now, we’ll have a very professional transition from the National Security Council,” O’Brien said during a virtual address to the Global Security Forum on Monday.

Biden was projected to win the 2020 election nearly two weeks ago, and currently has 306 electoral votes versus Trump’s 232, according to Insider and Decision Desk HQ. However, Trump has repeatedly refused to concede, pushed baseless claims about election fraud, and prevented a transition to Biden.

O’Brien told the forum, chaired by The Hill’s Steve Clemons, that he was committed to a smooth transition and was not concerned about the current stalemate.

© SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images Robert O’Brien. SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

“I’m old enough to remember Bush v. Gore, and the transition there didn’t start until mid-December, and yet it got done,” he said. Bush v. Gore was the 2000 lawsuit over the ballot recount in Florida that ultimately secured a presidential victory for George W. Bush and defeat for his Democratic challenger Al Gore.

“If we’re in a situation where we’re … going into a Trump second term — which I think people where I’m sitting in the White House would like to see — if it’s another outcome, it will be a professional transition, there’s no question about it,” O’Brien said.

Watch his appearance around the 1 hour, 18-minute mark here:

Replay Video

O’Brien is the head of the White House’s National Security Council and, so far, the most senior Trump official to suggest that Biden and Harris had won the 2020 election.

Trump and senior administration officials have refused to acknowledged the election result. “I WON THE ELECTION!,” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

The White House did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on November 9 that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

Similarly, Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that “the plan” is for the Trump administration to be in power for another four years.

Trump himself has regularly claimed victory, but hinted in his first public speech since the election loss on Friday: “Who knows, which administration it will be — I guess time will tell — but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Biden and his advisors have complained that they are not getting the access to government departments that they need to get up to speed on policy issues such as the rollout of a coronavirus vaccine.

© Drew Angerer/Getty Images Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware, in August 2020. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

As a result, Biden’s chief of of staff, Ron Klain, said Sunday that Biden’s scientific advisors would meet vaccine makers like Pfizer this week to discuss a US vaccination drive.

Biden on Monday said Americans may die as a result of the Trump camp refusing his team access to the Department of Health and Human Services, Operation Warp Speed, and the White House COVID-19 task force.

One key barrier to a successful Biden transition is Emily Murphy.

The Trump-appointed head of the General Services Administration — a body that oversees election results, government transitions, and contracts — has refused to sign paperwork accepting the result of the election.

Despite Biden’s victory, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing its budget proposal, which will set out spending plans until 2022.

Trump’s term as president ends on January 20, 2021, when Biden will be inaugurated as president.

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