US President Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge Joe Biden's victory for the first time on Sunday before doubling back on the remark and repeating his unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud. Despite mounting public pressure, the Trump administration has refused to initiate the traditional transition briefings for the incoming President's team on national security and policy issues.
Weighing in on the issue, Former first lady Michelle Obama requested Republicans on Monday to acknowledge Joe Biden's electoral victory, in an Instagram post while she shared her own experiences of the transition in 2016.
"I was hurt and disappointed -- but the votes had been counted and Donald Trump had won," Michelle Obama wrote. "My husband and I instructed our staffs to do what George and Laura Bush had done for us: run a respectful, seamless transition of power -- one of the hallmarks of American democracy."
Obama added that she and then President Barack Obama had invited Trump staff to their offices and their staff members had provided detailed memos and insight from their experiences. She further confessed that "I have to be honest and say that none of this was easy for me. Donald Trump had spread racist lies about my husband that had put my family in danger. That wasn’t something I was ready to forgive. But I knew that, for the sake of our country, I had to find the strength and maturity to put my anger aside."
"So I welcomed Melania Trump into the White House and talked with her about my experience, answering every question she had—from the heightened scrutiny that comes with being First Lady to what it’s like to raise kids in the White House," she added. "Our democracy is so much bigger than anybody’s ego,” she wrote. “Our love of country requires us to respect the results of an election even when we don’t like them or wish it had gone differently."
"To pretend that it does, to play along with these groundless conspiracy theories — whether for personal or political gain — is to put our country's health and security in danger. This isn't a game," she continued. "So I want to urge all Americans, especially our nation's leaders, regardless of party, to honour the electoral process and do your part to encourage a smooth transition of power, just as sitting presidents have done throughout our history."