Biden slams Trump administration for impeding smooth handover
The US President-elect, Joe Biden, slammed the outgoing President Donald Trump for many in his administration has not been cooperating with the newly appointed team of officers under Biden presidency for smooth transition. Biden, who would be taking oath as the country’s next President on January 20, accused many officials in Pentagon of not sharing the security-related information, and described the act as an irresponsible one.
On Monday, after briefing his national security team, Biden said, “We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget.” He added, “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 Democrat candidate, outvoted Trump during the recent presidential elections held on November 3. But the Republican candidate refused to accept his defeat and has been increasing hurdles ranging from legal cases to administrative roadblocks for Biden to prevent smooth transition and takeover.
Expressing his frustration with the frequent obstructions, Biden said Pentagon officials had been denying the access to all the information and delaying meetings with his officials.The President-elect said, “We encountered obstruction from the political leadership of that department (Pentagon). And the truth is many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage. Many of them (defence officials at Pentagon) have been hollowed out – in personnel, capacity and in morale.”
There emerged reports that Pentagon stopped briefing Biden transition officials. Pentagon hit back invalidating these accusations. In mid-December during an interview, the newly appointed Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said, ‘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.’ Last week a senior defense official said that the Pentagon had conducted 163 interviews and answered 181 requests for information.
Biden’s transition director Yohannes Abraham was quick to revert to that statement and said, “Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break… In fact, we think it’s important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period as there’s no time to spare, and that’s particularly true in the aftermath of ascertainment delay.”