Here’s What Happens To The POTUS Twitter Account Even If Trump Won’t Concede

The New York Times‘ electoral results map hasn’t changed very much since President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner several weeks ago. He still leads with 306 electoral college votes against 232 for Donald Trump, and the popular vote still shows Biden in the lead. In spite of all this, the Biden-Harris team has struggled to hit the ground running over the refusal by the administrator of a government agency known as the Government Services Administration to acknowledge Biden’s win.

But at least one social media company has begun to take steps to support the incoming administration. In an email to Politico, Twitter spokesperson Nick Pacilio said the company “…is actively preparing to support the transition of White House institutional Twitter accounts on January 20th, 2021. As we did for the presidential transition in 2017, this process is being done in close consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration.”

This means that all the Twitter handles associated with the Trump administration will be transferred to the Biden administration at noon on Inauguration Day — January 20 — whether or not Donald Trump has conceded. These accounts include @POTUS, @whitehouse, @VP, @FLOTUS, and other accounts which are tied to the presidency.

A Twitter handover is seamless and doesn’t require any interaction between the outgoing and incoming administrations. It means that all the tweets on those accounts will be archived and Twitter will reset the accounts to zero on that day. 

The House Oversight Committee has asked to meet with the GSA's administrator

The actual transition process between the two administrations isn’t as simple, and until the GSA acknowledges Biden’s win, the Biden-Harris team is unable to access everything from office spaces to government email addresses. The incoming administration is even unable to access a .gov domain so they can set up their official transition website. 

Still, it appears the House Oversight committee has already lost patience with the GSA. In a letter to Emily Murphy, dated November 19, the Congressional committee called on the administrator to “brief us immediately on your ongoing refusal to grant the Biden-Harris Transition Team access to critical services and facilities specified in the Presidential Transition act of 1963 and millions of dollars in funding that Congress appropriated on October 1, 2020 for transition activities under the Act. The results of your briefing will inform whether we bring you, your Deputy, your Chief of Staff, and your General Counsel to testify at a public hearing.”

Murphy and her GSA staff have been given until November 23 to respond to the Oversight committee.

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