U.S. markets closed
  • S&P Futures

    3,643.00
    +10.25 (+0.28%)
     
  • Dow Futures

    30,072.00
    +74.00 (+0.25%)
     
  • Nasdaq Futures

    12,136.75
    +60.75 (+0.50%)
     
  • Russell 2000 Futures

    1,855.80
    +4.30 (+0.23%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    45.40
    +0.49 (+1.09%)
     
  • Gold

    1,801.60
    -3.00 (-0.17%)
     
  • Silver

    23.25
    -0.05 (-0.19%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.1910
    +0.0014 (+0.12%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    0.8820
    +0.0250 (+2.92%)
     
  • Vix

    21.64
    -1.02 (-4.50%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3357
    -0.0002 (-0.01%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    104.4540
    -0.0260 (-0.02%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    18,790.18
    -278.31 (-1.46%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    372.35
    +2.60 (+0.70%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,432.17
    +98.33 (+1.55%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    26,423.89
    +258.30 (+0.99%)
     

Former Obama advisor Valerie Jarrett talks Trump's 'frivolous' lawsuits and what a Biden Presidency will look like

Valerie Jarrett, Former Obama advisor and author of 'Finding My Voice', joined Yahoo Finance live to discuss the outcome of the Presidential election, President Trump's election lawsuits, and her thoughts on what Biden's presidency will look like.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Let's listen to what former White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Yahoo Finance earlier today about the accusations of voter fraud.

MICK MULVANEY: You're not at the point right now where you have to put up or shut up, but you're getting to that point. Allegations are not enough. And everybody knows this. If all you have is allegations, if you have rumors, if you have anecdotes, you get thrown out of court immediately. Now, that being said, it's not entirely surprising that the litigation team is doing something different right now. What they're doing right now is trying to preserve evidence, to make sure that, in the end, if they get a remedy that says, well, these votes count and these votes don't, then you could actually apply that remedy.

SEANA SMITH: So we want to bring in Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama and also the author of the book "Finding My Voice: When the Perfect Plan Crumbles, the Adventure Begins." And Valerie, it's great to have you on the program. Thanks for joining today.

VALERIE JARRETT: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here.

SEANA SMITH: So we both listened to what Mick Mulvaney just had to say, saying that the allegations aren't enough at this point. What's your take on the legal actions that we're hearing from President Trump's team?

VALERIE JARRETT: Well, having been briefed by President Biden-- Vice President-elect Biden's lawyers, they're frivolous. There's just no merit to them. That's why the courts keep throwing them out. So they're-- obviously, it's their right to go and try to pursue them. But meanwhile, they're wasting precious time where I think the American people would like us to focus on a smooth and orderly transition and not chase down ridiculous lawsuits.

ADAM SHAPIRO: You're a lawyer, and you're talking, obviously, as you just said, being briefed by other lawyers about the frivolous nature of all of this. But there's still damage from doing this, isn't there?

VALERIE JARRETT: Well, the damage is that we're wasting time. I mean, this is a time where it would be helpful if the Trump administration were directing its head of General Service Administration to cooperate, sign a memorandum of agreement with the Biden transition team so that there could be complete openness of information flow between the two teams. But the good news is this-- President-elect Biden was vice president for eight years. He knows his way around the building. They have many contacts that are in the administration, many former people who were in both the Trump and Obama administration, who are making sure that they are preparing. He's going through the process of selecting his team and come January 1, I am very optimistic that he'll be able to hit the ground running.

But you're right. This kind of erodes the public's confidence in the integrity of the election. But it was comforting to hear President-elect Biden speak a few minutes ago that he's quite confident that he will be sworn in. He's quite confident he'll hit the ground running. He's fielding calls from world leaders.

But there is just one president at a time. And so he'll be ready.

SEANA SMITH: You bring up the fact that this could undermine the confidence that the American people have in our voting system. Just what does this tell you also just about the divisive nature that we're up against right now? We have an incoming president, Joe Biden. He's pledging to be a president for everyone, not just for the people that voted for him, but also for the people who voted for President Trump. But when you hear this type of rhetoric from the Trump administration, how does that complicate that unifying message?

VALERIE JARRETT: Well, it shouldn't be any surprise. One thing President Trump has been is consistent throughout. He told us in the course of the campaign, before the election even took place, what his strategy was going to be, which was to do exactly what he's doing. No matter whether there isn't any fraud or not, he said if he didn't win, then he's gonna say that there must have been fraud.

Well, how about he just didn't get enough votes? That's what happened. And so I think part of what you're seeing from President-elect Biden is confidence in the system, trying to take down the temperature.

He's sure that, no, he will have a working relationship with Leader McConnell, whether he's in the majority or not. He has deep relationships with many of the members of the Senate and the House. And he will continue to signal directly to the American people that he will be the president for all of them. And I thought his tone today was pitch-perfect-- confident, open, engaging, dismissive of the frivolous lawsuits, but also saying how it makes the United States look weak.

ADAM SHAPIRO: In fact, you brought up President-elect Biden's tone. Let's take a listen to what he had to say about this stalemate right now.

JOE BIDEN: The fact that they're not willing to acknowledge we won at this point is not of much consequence in our planning and what we're able to do between now and January 20.

ADAM SHAPIRO: So you know the president-elect well. You were right there, an advisor and a friend of President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. What about you in a Biden administration? Has there been any discussion about bringing you in, or would you be open to doing that?

VALERIE JARRETT: No, not in this chapter of my life. But obviously, as a citizen, I would help in any way I can. But I won't be joining the administration.

SEANA SMITH: Have you been consulted at all?

VALERIE JARRETT: I talk to many of the members of the team all the time. The person who's managing his transition is a superstar, Yohannes Abraham, who used to be my chief of staff. I know many of the folks who worked on the campaign, and they're now on the transition.

I have a lot of confidence in them. They have enabled me to start to sleep more peacefully at night. And I'm available to them in any way I can possibly be helpful, short of joining the administration.

ADAM SHAPIRO: You know, when you look at the 75-plus million people who have voted for the Biden-Harris ticket-- we heard from President-elect Biden saying all of the different kinds of people in our country who voted for him, but he was emphatic when he said, the African-American community has my back, and I have your back. What will that look like, having a community's back in his administration?

VALERIE JARRETT: Yeah, so first of all, President-elect Biden believes that diversity is a strength, that he will be a better president and the country will be better served if his administration reflects that rich diversity. He-- his first and one of the most important decisions he'll ever make was true to that by picking now Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris as his running mate, somebody who shares his values but has different life experiences. And he said to her, I want a strong person in the room who has independence and intellect and judgment and a track record, and I want your voice to be the last voice I hear.

And as they go about assembling their team in the White House and their team in the Cabinet and subcabinet throughout the administration, they will stay true to that core priority. Absolutely, the Black community, particularly Black women, showed out in force for the president-elect. And as we heard from Vice-President-elect Harris yesterday and also Saturday in her speech with him is that oftentimes that Black women in our country have been overlooked, and it is not her intent to let that happen. And I know that the president-elect shares that view.