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US election results 2020: Trump refuses to concede as Biden calls for unity – live

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Lauren Fedor

Joe Biden spoke with Democratic House speaker Nancy Pelsoi and Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer at around 12:45pm EST, according to a senior Democratic aide, who said the legislative leaders congratulated the president-elect “on a tremendous victory”.

The aide described the call as “happy” and noted Jill Biden, the president-elect’s wife, also participated.

Mr Schumer, who represents the state of the New York, held up his phone on the streets of Brooklyn so Mr Biden, who won the White House 48 years to the day since he was first elected to the US Senate, could hear crowds of supporters cheering in the streets, the aide said.

Mr Biden, Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer have tough legislative battles ahead of them, assuming Republicans hold onto control of the Senate. Ms Pelosi is also likely to contend with a diminished majority in the House.

Peter Wells

Lourdes Cornado said that it was the end of a “nightmare that we have been going through for way too long,” as she stood outside Columbus Circle subway station, located near the Trump International Hotel.

Ms Cornado said it was a “historical” to have the first African American woman in the White House. “I haven’t felt this much joy in ages.”

Cheryl Quarless, a healthcare worker from Brooklyn was out with colleagues from 1199SEIU who had initially planned a protest march on Saturday through the Upper West Side.

“It has turned into a celebration now,” she said. “We feel like the four years of oppression — we feel liberated and that justice has been done.”

Courtney Weaver

Thousands of people gathered outside the White House early on Saturday afternoon, cheering, honking and toasting the end of Donald Trump.

“It’s a really meaningful day,” said Nina Gardner, a Johns Hopkins adjunct professor who had traveled to the White House by bike and wore an “Another nasty woman against Trump” pin.

Under Mr Trump, she said, “every institution we hold dear has been made an embarrassment.” She continued: “I would have hoped that [70m] people wouldn’t have voted for Trump, but that’s the reality, and now we have to heal and listen to them.”

Others carried signs with slogans such as “Our 1,384 day nightmare is over” and “Worth the wait”.

Jose Garboza, a DC engineer, said: “It’s been four really hard years and it feels good for me to gloat right now.” He added: “I think he [Trump] is going to try a lot of shenanigans. But in the end I think America’s heard what we needed to say to him — and that’s that we want him out,” Mr Garboza said, waving an American flag with the words “You’re fired” written in tape across it.

While many stores and businesses had boarded up ahead of the election in anticipation of unrest, the initial mood on the 75 degree day was celebratory and family-friendly – with no pro-Trump counter protests.

Over 93 per cent of DC voters cast a ballot for Mr Biden.

Lauren Fedor

Former president Barack Obama has congratulated Joe Biden, his former vice-president, saying: “I could not be prouder to congratulate our next president, Joe Biden.”

Mr Obama, who kept a low profile for most of the Trump presidency, became one of Mr Biden’s most prominent surrogates in the final weeks of the campaign, delivering a sobering speech at the Democratic National Convention and then hitting the campaign trail for drive-in rallies in several key swing states.

Mr Obama said on Saturday: “We’re fortunate that Joe’s got what it takes to be president and already carries himself that way…I know he’ll do the job with the best interests of every American at heart, whether or not he had their vote.”

Mamta Badkar and Laura Noonan

Business leaders and groups called for a peaceful transition of power after Joe Biden was elected the next president of the United States and incumbent Donald Trump refused to concede the election.

Along with messages of congratulation, leaders also highlighted what they believe should be the top economic priorities for Mr Biden, who inherits an economy that is gradually recovering from the coronavirus crisis.

Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan said:

Now is a time for unity. We must respect the results of the US presidential election and, as we have with every election, honor the decision of the voters and support a peaceful transition of power. We are a stronger country when we treat each other with dignity, share a commitment to a common purpose and are united to address our greater challenges. No matter our political views, let’s come together to strengthen our exceptional country.

The US Chamber of Commerce reiterated the need for fiscal aid to help the US recover from the coronavirus crisis. Chief executive Thomas Donohue, said:

While there may be differences of opinion on how to best move forward, our nation must rally around the common cause of recovery. On this, there can be no division. We stand ready to help break through the gridlock and help get things done through collaboration and good governance.

Job number one must be pandemic relief.  American small businesses cannot afford for Congress to wait another three months to act. We stand ready to help our leaders get this much-needed legislation passed as quickly as possible.

Looking ahead to the next administration, modernizing our infrastructure has broad support and can drive the growth and jobs we need now. If the Biden administration prioritizes something that can—and must—be done in a collaborative manner, it can set the tone for good governance on other priorities essential to rebuilding our economy.

Lauren Fedor

Establishment Republicans have begun congratulating Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, even if the party leadership on Capitol Hill has so far remained silent.

Jeb Bush, who ran against Donald Trump in the 2016 Republican primary and is the brother of former president George W Bush and the son of former president George HW Bush, tweeted: “Congratulations to President-elect Biden. I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way.”

Cindy McCain, the widow of the late Republican senator and former presidential candidate John McCain, also tweeted her congratulations, saying: “Congratulations to my dear friend and president-elect Joe Biden.” Mrs McCain, a lifelong Republican, spoke at the Democratic National Convention and later endorsed Mr Biden, which gave his campaign a boost in the crucial battleground state of Arizona, where many voters were turned off by the president’s repeated attacks on the late Mr McCain.

Sebastian Payne and Katrina Manson

The UK government has welcomed Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ victory. Prime minister Boris Johnson said: “Congratulations to Joe Biden on his election as president of the United States and to Kamala Harris on her historic achievement.

He added: “The US is our most important ally and I look forward to working closely together on our shared priorities, from climate change to trade and security.”

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab also welcomed the “historic victory” for Mr Biden and Ms Harris, which “saw them win more votes than any candidates in US history”. Mr Raab added that London was “looking forward to working with the new administration” and both nations had “always been a force for good in the world”.

The UK is hoping a Biden administration will agree to strike a trade deal with London, but has made clear it is not a priority. Mr Johnson may find it easier to do so if he can avoid further controversy over the status of the Irish border. Mr Biden said in a tweet ahead of the US election that any trade deal with the UK “must be contingent” upon respecting the Good Friday Agreement and “preventing the return of a hard border”.

Claire Bushey

Joe Biden rebuilt the “blue wall” that famously crumbled during Hillary Clinton’s campaign, though it took longer and came closer than Democrats had hoped.

Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania all turned blue, with Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes clinching it for the former vice-president.

In Waukesha, Wisconsin, Carroll University political science student Megan Stippich and her two roommates were celebrating.

“I woke up this morning to a phone call from one of my friends,” she said. “He was just like, ‘We did it! We won.’ I instantly started crying. Then I turned on CNN.”

An hour away, Major Franklin, a self-described moderate conservative, also was pleased on Saturday morning as he learned the news at his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin, one of the most hotly contested counties in the nation.

He said he felt more optimistic about the country’s future, even as he noted it would take time for the US to recover from Trump’s presidency.

“Joe Biden is not necessarily my candidate, but Donald Trump is absolutely not my candidate,” he said. “I don’t know how this country is going to begin to heal. I hope through the Biden-Harris leadership, we can at least begin.”

Lauren Fedor

Chuck Schumer, the Democratic senator minority leader, said Joe Biden would be a “great president for all Americans”, adding: “Senate Democrats are going to do everything we can to help him get things done to help the American people.”

He added that a Democratic majority in the Senate would “be the biggest difference maker to help president-elect Biden deliver for working families.”

Democrats had hoped to take back control of the Senate in Tuesday’s elections, but with two races left to be called by the Associated Press and two more heading to a run-off in Georgia the first week of January, it looks unlikely that they will be able to edge out Republicans and take the reins of the upper chamber. That sets up a “divided government” where a Biden administration would need to work with a Republican-held Senate, led by Mitch McConnell.

Courtney Weaver

Joe Biden, who was declared the next president of the US earlier on Saturday, has also won the six electoral college votes of Nevada, a key victory for the former vice-president in a state that has trended increasingly Democratic.

The Biden campaign had seen Nevada as a key state for the former vice-president’s path to victory and had been consistently bullish about their chances there.

Historically Republican, the diverse state has a large Hispanic population and has voted for the Democratic candidate in every presidential election since 2008.

Nevertheless, Mr Trump actively campaigned there, with multiple campaign rallies in the state in the final weeks of the race.

Lauren Fedor

Joe Biden will address the nation from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware tonight, his campaign has announced.

The campaign said the president-elect will be joined by his wife, Jill Biden, vice president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff.

The speech is expected to take place at 8pm Eastern Time, although timing is “tentative”, according to the campaign.

Mamta Badkar

People New York, Philadelphia and Delaware were seen celebrating on Saturday morning after Joe Biden was declared the 46th US president, marking the conclusion of a bitter presidential race.

People celebrate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, the keystone state that carries 20 electoral votes and handed Mr Biden the 2020 presidential election

People celebrate in Times Square, New York City

New York State, which carries 29 electoral votes, has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan in 1984

Biden supporters celebrate in Mr Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware

Lauren Fedor

Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, congratulated Joe Biden on Twitter, saying: “We kept the republic! Congratulations to Joe Biden on his victory for the soul of our country. Congratulations to Kamala Harris for making history.”

Ms Pelosi, who is likely to stay on as speaker of the House with a diminished Democratic majority in the lower chamber of Congress, added: “It’s a time to heal and a time to grow together. E Pluribus Unum.”

Harry Dempsey

Kamala Harris said that Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 US presidential election was about their willingness to fight for the “soul of America” in her first public communication since being elected as vice-president.

The former California attorney-general makes history as she has become the first woman, and first woman of colour, elected as vice-president in the US.

“This election is about so much more than Joe Biden or me,” she said in a tweet. “It’s about the soul of America and our willingness to fight for it.”

She acknowledged the monumental task that she faces together with Mr Biden in bringing together a divided US after four years of Donald Trump as president, adding that: “We have a lot of work ahead of us. Let’s get started.”

Sebastian Payne in London

Joe Biden’s victory has been welcomed by opposition politicians in London. Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour party, was the first British politician to respond to the election result.

“He ran a campaign on the values that we in the United Kingdom share – decency, integrity, compassion and strength. And I want to congratulate Kamala Harris on being elected Vice-President, the first woman of colour to take that role,” he said.

The opposition leader also attempted to draw parallels with his own electoral message: “Their victory is one for hope and unity over dishonesty and division. Millions of Americans of all backgrounds and ages have come together to vote for a better, more optimistic future. . . .Joe Biden and the Democrats have always shared Labour’s values and the links between our two parties remain strong. I am looking forward to building on this and forging an even stronger relationship between the UK and the USA.”

Demetri Sevastopulo and Mamta Badkar

Moments after being elected the 46th president of the United States Joe Biden said he was “honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me” and reiterated his message of unity saying he will “be a President for all Americans”.

“With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation,” Mr Biden said in a statement. “It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”

Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, his campaign manager and the first woman to lead a successful presidential bid, told reporters that she was “ecstatic” at the result. “A great day for this county,” she added.

Mr Biden also tweeted the following message, which was accompanied by a video set to ‘America the Beautiful’ by Ray Charles:

https://twitter.com/JoeBiden/status/1325118992785223682

Demetri Sevastopulo

Mr Trump rejected the outcome of the election, saying his opponent was “rushing to falsely pose as the winner”. In a statement, Mr Trump said his campaign on Monday would “start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated”.

“It remains shocking that the Biden campaign refuses to agree with this basic principle and wants ballots counted even if they are fraudulent, manufactured, or cast by ineligible or deceased voters,” Mr Trump said, repeating claims from this campaign in recent days that have not been backed up by any solid evidence.

Demetri Sevastopulo

Joe Biden has won the hard-fought battle for Pennsylvania, according to the Associated Press, giving the Democratic nominee enough electoral votes to become the next president of the United States.

Mr Biden’s victory in Pennsylvania came after President Donald Trump’s sizable election day lead was whittled away as the former vice-president scored huge margins of victory in ballots counted in the urban centres of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh over the last 48 hours.

With the Pennsylvania victory, Mr Biden now has 284 electoral votes, well above the 270 needed to win the presidency. Mr Trump’s legal team has challenged the Pennsylvania count in court, however.

The AP declaration that Mr Biden had won the presidency came roughly an hour after Mr Trump arrived at his golf course in Virginia, just across the Potomac river from the White House.

While Democrats were euphoric, some Republicans continued to hold out the possibility that Mr Trump could win. “From the Republican point of view, we’re not convinced it’s over yet,” Rick Santorum, a former Pennsylvania Republican senator said on CNN.

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