Biden aide begins forming U.S. presidential transition team

By Trevor Hunnicutt and Simon Lewis
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A close adviser to former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has started forming a team to oversee the transition if the Democratic presidential candidate wins the November election and succeeds President Donald Trump. This emerges from a statement on Saturday.
Long-time Biden advisor Ted Kaufman has recruited six people, including several former Obama government officials, into a first team that will be expanded later, said a person familiar with the transition team.
Important party candidates formed transition teams before the general elections to coordinate with the current administration.
In a statement, Kaufman said the work would "ensure government continuity" if Biden had to prepare for the takeover amid the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis.
"Since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, no one will have taken office with such formidable obstacles," Kaufman said, adding that Biden was ready to start the job "on the day he is sworn in as President."
Kaufman, who held the United States Senate for Delaware when Biden became vice president in 2009, was the co-author of a 2015 law that requires the first transition to begin six months before an election.
Yohannes Abraham, who served in Barack Obama's White House, will lead the day-to-day operations of the transition team, which is independent of Biden's presidential campaign. Recruits include former CIA deputy director Avril Haines, another alum of the Obama administration.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt and Simon Lewis; editing by Tom Brown)

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