Arkansas Governor Calls For Smooth Presidential Transition

Nov 16, 2020

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks with NBC's Chuck Todd on Sunday, Nov. 16, 2020.

Arkansas’s Republican Governor says President Donald Trump should begin the transition process to the administration of president-elect Joe Biden.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he expects Biden to be the next president of the United States.

“It is very important that Joe Biden have access to the intelligence briefings, to make sure that he is prepared,” Hutchinson said. “During times of transition our enemies have an opportunity to try to take advantage of us, and we want to make sure that there is a smooth transition.”

Hutchinson said Trump has seemingly acknowledged his loss on Election Day in a tweet where the president attributed Biden’s victory to widespread voter fraud, without providing any evidence of that claim. Hutchinson said the current commander-in-chief will likely hold sway over the Republican Party even once he’s out of office.

“Clearly President Trump will have a voice for a long time in the party, anybody that can generate those kind of crowds, that’s had the accomplishments that he has had in office, he will have an influence for some time to come,” Hutchinson said. “But there will be other influencers, and there’s going to be a significant debate as to exactly the direction of our party.”

And as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to reach record highs in Arkansas, Hutchinson said the state does not need to impose new restrictions on businesses and daily life.

“We’re not going to be able to put restrictions on our economy to get us out of this. It is wrong to tell people you’re out of business without giving them financial support,” Hutchinson said. “You cannot do that without providing compensation, because it’s a taking of government, and that’s the last thing that we need to do right now.”

Hutchinson cited the creation of his COVID-19 Winter Task Force as one step his administration has taken toward mitigating the spread of the coronavirus in Arkansas.