Trump accepts transition to Biden can begin
Published17 minutes ago
Donald Trump has accepted that a formal transition can begin for US President-elect Joe Biden to take office.
The president said he was recommending a key federal agency "do what needs to be done", even as he vowed to continue contesting the result.
The General Services Administration said it was acknowledging Mr Biden as the "apparent winner".
Earlier, Mr Biden's victory in the US state of Michigan was officially certified, in a major blow to Mr Trump.
One of two Republicans on the Michigan State Board of Canvassers joined the two Democrats to finalise the result. The other Republican abstained.
Mr Biden was projected to win the state by more than 150,000 votes.
Mr Trump's legal team said they would still challenge Michigan's results.
Adviser Jenna Ellis said certification was "simply a procedural step". She added: "Americans must be assured that the final results are fair and legitimate."
But time is running out. On 14 December, Mr Biden's victory is set to be approved by the US Electoral College.
What happened in Michigan?
Abstaining Republican board member Norman Shinkle had suggested delaying the certification over irregularities affecting a few hundred votes in one county.
But his colleague, Republican Aaron Van Langeveld, on Monday said their duty was "simple" and there was no option but certification.
Clerk Barn Byrum from Ingham County - home of the state capital - told the Detroit Free Press: "Anything other than certification is an unlawful power grab."
The president's Republican allies had called for the certification - which determines the outcome of a state's popular vote - to be delayed for two weeks to audit ballots in a heavily Democratic county.
With the results now certified, Mr Biden has won by a 2.8% margin - larger than his win in other contested states such as including Pennsylvania and Georgia.
The state's 83 counties each certified their results last week, and they had urged the state board to do likewise.
What about Trump's other legal challenges?
Mr Trump and his allies have suffered a string of court defeats in key states as they race to challenge the results.
His campaign has reportedly tried to convince Republican state lawmakers to appoint their own electors to vote for him instead of Mr Biden, but to no avail.
In neighbouring Wisconsin, a partial recount is under way by request of the Trump campaign. Election officials have accused Trump supporters of obstructing the state's recount of votes.
They said observers for Mr Trump were in some cases challenging every single ballot to deliberately slow down proceedings.
In Pennsylvania, a Republican judge on Saturday ruled that the Trump campaign had tried to "disenfranchise almost seven million voters" with no real evidence. The president's lawyers have appealed now to the Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.
Judge dismisses Trump lawsuit in Pennsylvania
The president's other legal efforts in the state have failed to change Mr Biden's lead of some 80,000 votes.
The Trump campaign has also called for another recount in Georgia, after an earlier recount by hand confirmed Mr Biden's win in the state.