As it happenedended1605321561

Networks call Georgia for Biden as security officials say vote was ‘secure’

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Arizona's GOP AG says people voted Republican, but not for Trump

As Donald Trump continues to refuse conceding the 2020 presidential race to Joe Biden, the president-elect was said to have spoken with Senate Republicans who have begun to admit he should at least receive intelligence briefings that have so far been denied. 

On Friday afternoon most networks called Georgia for Mr Biden and North Carolina for Mr Trump bringing their respective electoral college vote totals to 306 to 232.

US federal and state cybersecurity officials, meanwhile, have delivered a direct rebuke to Donald Trump, who continues to allege irregularities and widespread fraud without evidence. 

Chris Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said the 3 November vote was “the most secure in history" in a report published Thursday, and added that Americans should trust the result. His agency had not find any evidence of ballots being lost, deleted or altered, he said. 

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Trump shares another Sean Hannity attack on election

Here’s Sean Hannity on Fox News, delivering a short - and largely baseless - comparison between the 2020 US presidential election and the 1969 moon landings. 

Copying Donald Trump’s false claims of “fraud” and “irregularities”, and general disapproval of the legitimate counting and processing of mail ballots, Mr Hannity lamented that some states didn’t seem as prepared to run their elections as the nation did when it reached the moon, some decades ago. 

“We are capable of so much more. We did send people to the moon and back, a pretty big accomplishment," said the Fox host, who went on to claim that “Democrats got everything they wanted”, and criticised the legal counting of mail ballots postmarked by election day. 

His other claims were, as we have come to expect, without evidence. 

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Cybersecurity officials say election ‘most secure in American history’

A coalition of federal and state officials who work on election cybersecurity, have said they have no evidence that votes were compromised or altered in last week's presidential election.

The statement also described the election as “the most secure in American history”, delivering a direct rebuke to Donald Trump's baseless claims of widespread fraud. 

"The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result," said the officials.  

"While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too," it added. 

It was distributed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which spearheaded federal election protection efforts and tweeted by its director, Chris Krebs. 

He reportedly told associates he expected to be fired by Mr Trump, who has made a number of firings this week. 

Associated Press

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Trump forces out senior cybersecurity official in charge of stamping out election misinformation

Donald Trump has reportedly forced out a senior US cybersecurity official in charge of stamping out election misinformation.

Bryan Ware is leaving the government after being asked to resign from his job by the White House, according to Reuters.

Mr Ware was the assistant director for cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

He confirmed his resignation to Reuters and another US official familiar with the matter confirmed that the White House had demanded it.

Mr Ware is among a number of officials who have left national security roles in the wake of Mr Trump’s election loss to Joe Biden.

The Independent’s Graeme Massie has more.

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Another cybersecurity official to be fired by Trump, amid election report

The US government top official on cybersecurity has reportedly told associates he expects to be fired by Donald Trump, amid a wake of presidential dismissals and resignations in the Department of Homeland Security. 

Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, was responsible for a report that found no evidence of irregularities in last week’s election, published on Thursday.

According to Politico, the official was already a target for the White House, having created a website to debunk election-related misinformation - in clear opposition to the US president’s pursuit of baseless claims about voter fraud. 

It follows the resignation of Bryan Ware, the agency’s assistant director, on Thursday. 

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China congratulates Joe Biden’s election vitctory, following delay

In a routine news conference on Friday morning, China’s foreign ministry congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on their election win. 

"We respect the choice of the American people. We extend congratulations to Mr Biden and Ms Harris," said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin.

"We understand the results of the US election will be determined according to US laws and procedures," he added, repeating a statement released earlier this week, which avoided directly addressing the Democrat’s win. 

Until this morning, China had been among a number of countries whose leaders had cited Trump campaign legal challenges as a reason for not acknowledging the outcome of the election - disputed by the US president. 

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Trump falsely blames Dominion software for stealing votes

On Thursday night, Dominion was yet again in the crosshairs of the president, who tweeted that the “horrible, inaccurate and anything but secure” software system had stolen his votes, and transferred them to Joe Biden

It follows an all-caps tweet on Thursday morning, in which he claimed that Dominion Voting Systems, the software provider that local governments around the country use to run elections, “DELETED 2.7 MILLION TRUMP VOTES NATIONWIDE”.

State and federal election officials have disputed those claims, which continue to come without any evidence despite delegitimising the integrity of the electoral process. 

The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell reports: 

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Zuckerberg says Steve Bannon did not cross lines with calls to behead government officials

Steve Bannon, who called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray last week, did not violate Facebook policies with those comments, the social media site’s CEO, Mark Zuckerbeg, said on Thursday.

Bannon, a former Donald Trump strategist, White House aide, and chairman of the right-wing news site Brietbart, had been banned from another social media site, Twitter, following his comments last week. 

But, according to Reuters, calling for the beheading of two US government officials was insufficient for Facebook, who removed a video with the offending comments, but allowed the 66-year-old to keep his account.

“We have specific rules around how many times you need to violate certain policies before we will deactivate your account completely,” Mr Zuckerberg said. “While the offences here, I think, came close to crossing that line, they clearly did not cross the line.”

Bannon, who as arrested over fraud charges in August, has been using his Facebook page to spread baseless allegations about voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. 

The Facebook CEO has increasingly come under fire from both Republicans and Democrats over the course of the election, and is expected to come under further security from the incoming Biden administration. 

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Presidential recount in Georgia underway

All of Georgia’s 159 counties have begun recounting votes by hand, following a state audit of the closely fought presidential race between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. 

While it remains unlikely that Mr Trump will be able to close a 14,000-vote gap with the president-elect, state election officials say the recount is necessary to ensure “integrity” of the results. 

Earlier this week, Republicans urged Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to stage the recount by hand. 

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Trump’s shadow looms over Georgia senate runoffs

Donald Trump won’t be on the ballot in January as Georgia voters settle two Senate runoffs, but he still looms over the two races that will decided whether or not Republicans control the upper house during president-elect Joe Biden’s tenure at the White House.

In recent days, Republicans have urged the president to get involved - in part as a way of ensuring that a GOP-controlled Senate might preserve some of his policies. 

"I can't think of a better way for him to get revenge on Democrats than to get those two seats," said Republican strategist Scott Jennings, a longtime political adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Other Republicans admit to not being sure what two races hold, without Mr Trump’s presence in the state before polling day. 

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AOC and O’Rourke lead Democrats post-election digest

The former Texas congressman and campaigner, Beto O’Rourke, has outlined what he thought what went wrong for Democrats in the state during last week’s election, as progressives spent the week debating why they failed to be more competitive both down-ballot and in certain battleground states.  

His analysis, which was later shared to Twitter, was welcomed by New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who had earlier criticised the party’s digital campaign. 

The Independent’s Oliver O’Connell reports: 

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