U.S. President-elect Joe Biden delivers a speech after a convention video name centered on international coverage at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, December 28, 2020.
Jonathan Ernst | Reuters
President-elect Joe Biden stated Monday his transition staff has run into “roadblocks” and “obstruction” from Trump administration officers at key companies, hindering the incoming Biden administration’s efforts to organize for the presidency.
“The reality is, most of the companies which are important to our safety have incurred huge injury,” Biden stated throughout remarks in Delaware following a briefing from his nationwide safety and international coverage company evaluation groups.
“A lot of them have been hollowed out, in personnel, capability, and in morale. Coverage processes have atrophied or have been sidelined,” Biden stated.
Biden, who is about to take workplace in lower than a month, singled out the Division of Protection and the Workplace of Administration and Price range in his speech.
“From some companies, our staff has obtained exemplary cooperation,” Biden stated. “From others, most notably the Division of Protection, we have encountered obstruction from the political management of that division.”
He later added: “We have encountered roadblocks from the political management within the Division of Protection and the Workplace of Administration and Price range. Proper now, we simply do not get all the data that we’d like from the outgoing administration in key nationwide safety areas.”
“It is nothing brief, in my opinion, of irresponsibility,” Biden stated.
The Pentagon and Workplace of Administration and Price range didn’t instantly reply to CNBC’s requests for remark.
Whereas the president-elect’s remarks had been amongst his most important of the Trump administration from the Wilmington lectern, they weren’t the primary marker of Biden’s struggles with President Donald Trump’s Protection Division.
The tensions between the Pentagon and Biden’s staff spilled into public view earlier this month, over a dispute about appearing Protection Secretary Christopher Miller’s decision to cancel meetings with the transition team for the rest of the year.
Miller stated in a press release that there was a “mutually agreed upon vacation pause,” however a Biden spokesman shot again that no such settlement was made.
“Let me be clear: There was no mutually agreed-upon vacation break,” transition spokesman Yohannes Abraham had informed reporters.
It was weeks after the election that Defense officials confirmed the transition process within the Pentagon had begun.
“The primary assembly at present was by video convention, It was an excellent, productive assembly the place we kind of laid down a few of the floor guidelines,” Tom Muir, director of the Washington Headquarters Providers, stated throughout a Nov. 24 Pentagon briefing.
“They’re trying ahead to taking part in discussions right here within the Pentagon,” added Muir, who facilitates the transition course of.
Muir stated on the time that the Biden staff may have devoted workplace house within the Pentagon and applicable entry to intelligence.
Biden in his remarks Monday applauded his company evaluation groups for doing an “excellent job” regardless of the coronavirus pandemic and the delays in receiving federal funding from Trump’s General Services Administration. These obstacles got here as Trump has refused to concede to Biden and as his marketing campaign authorized staff and others proceed their efforts to overturn the election.
A urgent concern, Biden stated, is guaranteeing “that nothing is misplaced within the handoff between administrations.”
“We want full visibility into the funds planning underway on the Protection Division and different companies as a way to keep away from any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries could attempt to exploit.”