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President-elect Joe Biden on Monday accused officials appointed by President Donald Trump of withholding critical national security information from Biden’s transition team, claiming political appointees have put up “roadblocks” that might leave the U.S. more vulnerable during the transfer of power.
What are the details?
“Right now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure that nothing is lost in the hand-off between administrations,” Biden said following a meeting with his national security advisers. “My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies.”
He said, “We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”
Without naming names, Biden claimed, “We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget. Right now we just aren’t getting all of the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”
The Washington Post reported that Biden “was careful to distinguish between political appointees in the agencies and the career professionals who he said had cooperated fully.”
“They never stopped doing their job and continued to serve our country, day in and day out, to keep their fellow Americans safe,” Biden said of the career federal bureaucrats. “These agencies are filled with patriots who’ve earned our respect, and who should never be treated as political footballs.”
Reuters noted that this is the second time this month that Biden’s team has complained that some Pentagon officials have refused to supply all of the information requested, but the Pentagon denied the claims.
The outlet reported:
The Pentagon pushed back. In a statement, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the Pentagon had conducted 164 interviews with over 400 officials and provided more than 5,000 pages of documents.
According to The Hill, during his news conference on Monday, “Biden did not expand further on what he described as ‘obstruction’ by outgoing Pentagon leadership, nor did he take questions following his brief remarks.”