VP Pence calls Sen. Harris to offer congratulations, assistance

Presidential Transition

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – OCTOBER 07: Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence participate in the vice presidential debate at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020 in Salt Lake City, Utah. This is the only scheduled debate between the two before the general election on November 3. (Photo by Morry Gash-Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Vice President Mike Pence has called his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

It’s the first known contact between the elected members of the outgoing and incoming administrations. President Donald Trump has not reached out to President-elect Joe Biden and has repeatedly questioned the legitimacy of Biden’s win.

One of the people familiar with the Thursday afternoon conversation described it as a “good call,” with Pence congratulating his successor and offering assistance. They spoke on condition of anonymity to The Associated Press describe the private conversation.

The call came less than a week before Biden and Harris take office on Jan. 20 and just over a week after the storming of the Capitol by Trump’s supporters.

While President Trump has remained largely behind closed doors fuming since his loss, Pence has been stepping up and fulfilling many of the ceremonial duties of the presidency, including greeting members of the National Guard now protecting the Capitol building Thursday evening.

In a video address Thursday Trump said his focus was on “a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.” He also unequivocally condemned the violence seen last week at the U.S. Capitol in a video message Wednesday asking everyone who has supported his agenda to look for ways to ease tensions.

Pence will also be attending Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump is refusing to attend. Trump is expected to leave Washington the morning of Biden’s inauguration.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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