December 29th, 2020
Biden accuse Trump’s Defense, Budget Officials of obstructing transition by blocking information
On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden accused Trump administration’s Office of Management and Budget and the Defense Department of blocking his transition team from accessing vital information.
“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration on key national security areas,” Biden said.“It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility."Indeed, such delays are a real threat to the safety and well-being of Americans. As the President-elect has said, the recent bombing in Nashville and the cyberattack by Russia are clear reasons why the current administration and the incoming Biden crew should be transitioning actively and normally. A smooth transition is necessary to keep our national security strong throughout the transfer of power. Both sides of the aisle prefer a safe America; an active and normal transition sounds wholly reasonable; the issue here is to determine if that is what's happening. The Department of Defense is assuring it is and demonstrating evidence. Americans have yet to hear how it's being "held up."
Biden’s comment came after a meeting with national security and foreign policy aides.
A Pentagon spokesman, however, said it had been "completely transparent," as per BBC.
Christopher Miller, Acting Defence Secretary, in a statement to the Wall Street Journal said the officials had been "working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities."However, Miller’s words came after reports of him ordering a halt to cooperating with the incoming administration. He even commanded his employees to cancel already-scheduled meetings with the Biden team. The move by the acting Defense Secretary surprised many officials, even those on the right side of the aisle. Miller dismissed those reports as outright falsehood: "At no time has the Department cancelled or declined any interview. ... After the mutually-agreed upon holiday, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today."
Further, Miller said the Department of Defense has “provided over 5,000 pages of documents - far more than initially requested by Biden's transition team." He also informed that DoD had held 164 interviews with more than 400 officials."Biden, seeming confused as he stumbled on the teleprompter's words, may accuse them of irresponsibly withholding information that he needs immediately, but he has not given any specifics to back up his claim. Acting Secretary Miller refutes his claim with an impressive amount of evidence. It would be good to hear the same from the Biden team.
Biden also claimed that key U.S. security agencies had suffered "enormous damage" during Trump’s regime."The policy processes have atrophied or have been sidelined," he said.Biden's concern over the state of the agencies and internal processes seems to weaken his own argument that he's being left in the dark on their inner workings-- he can't have it both ways. How can he make an accurate assessment and simultaneously claim that they have shared so little information?
Biden would take office on 20 January.