Driving the news: In leaked audio of a Monday conference call with USAID staff, obtained by Axios, the agency’s top-ranking official John Barsa told staff to “play until the whistle blows” and that “DC, at the end of the day, is a really small town” — which participants read as a threat to anyone who starts job hunting…

Details: On the USAID call, Trump loyalist Catharine O’Neill, newly installed as the agency’s White House liaison fresh off a stint with the re-election campaign, declared: “The election is still happening. The Electoral College has not voted yet.”…

Behind the scenes: Beyond USAID, Trump administration officials are telling agencies’ staffs that the usual presidential transition are not to begin because the election isn’t over.

A source familiar with internal discussions says some agency officials have been told to operate under the assumption Trump is serving a second term.