FACT CHECK: Did Joe Biden Invent The ‘Office Of The President Elect’?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims President-elect Joe Biden invented the “Office of the President Elect.”

Verdict: False

While there isn’t an official federal “Office of the President Elect,” Biden did not invent the term. At least two other presidents-elect, as well as the General Services Administration (GSA), have used the term in the past.

Fact Check:

The image shows Biden speaking with “Office of the President Elect” branding on a podium in front of him and a sign behind him. The caption accompanying the photo suggests that the former vice president invented the term.

While there isn’t an official federal “Office of the President Elect,” the informal title for the president-elect’s transition team was not invented by Biden. The term has previously been used by President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show A ‘MAGA March’ In New Orleans?)

For instance, Trump used “Office of the President Elect” branding during a Jan. 11, 2017 news conference in New York, according to a photo available on Getty Images. Photos from Reuters show Obama standing in front of podiums with similar branding in November 2008.

The GSA has also used the term “Office of the President-elect” on occasion, including in the recent “Memorandum of Understanding between the General Services Administration and Joseph R. Biden, Jr.” That memo states that “the Presidential Transition Act, as amended, authorizes the Administrator to seek an appropriation for the purposes of the transition of the Executive Branch of the Government in an election year, some of which is designated specifically for use at the request of the President-elect and Vice President-elect (referred collectively herein as the Office of the President-elect).” Another instance appears in a GSA order posted in June 2012.

The House Committee on Ethics in December 2016 sent out a memo that employed the term in reference to Trump’s transition team, stating that the “Office of the President-elect, however, must reimburse the House for the salaries of the detailed employees.”

Biden became the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election on Nov. 7, The Associated Press reported. Fox News, CNN and ABC News project that Biden has 306 electoral votes, while Trump has 232. The Electoral College electors are scheduled to vote on Dec. 14, according to The Associated Press.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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