Inside the White House, there is no expectation that steps toward a transition will move ahead until Trump acknowledges his loss or the government formally declares Biden the winner.
An administration official involved in the effort said while there haven’t been explicit instructions from the President or senior aides on how to proceed, it is the understanding among the team that no steps to accommodate the Biden team should be taken until Trump signals he will concede.
That includes both White House efforts and efforts at federal departments and agencies, where transition teams have been in place for weeks but are now in something of a holding pattern.
While a team inside the West Wing had begun taking the legally required steps for a transition ahead of the election, officials said that work is now on hold as Trump continues to contest the results.
Trump had been only vaguely aware of the work his administration was doing toward a transition over the past several months, though did have to formally sign off, officials said. While he did not put up any roadblocks in the planning stages, he was not involved and provided little or no direction.
The team inside the White House has been led by deputy chief of staff for policy coordination Chris Liddell, who is a close ally of Jared Kushner. Chief of staff Mark Meadows is technically responsible for the transition planning team, but has left much of the work to Liddell.
Even should he acknowledge his loss, officials question whether Trump would participate in any transition efforts, even symbolic ones like meeting with Biden in the Oval Office. No invitation has yet been extended for such a meeting.