Wilmington, Delaware – President-elect Joe Biden warned Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration has caused enormous damage to the national security system, and denounced “barriers” in communication between agency officials and his transition team that could undermine the security of Americans.
During a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden asserted that his team has faced “obstruction” from “political leadership” in the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget in their attempt to gather the information necessary to continue the transition. of power.
“For now, we are simply not getting all the information we need from the outgoing government in key areas of national security. In my opinion, it’s nothing short of irresponsibility, ”said Biden.RELATED
He warned that his team needs “full visibility” of the budget process at the Defense Department “to avoid any possibility of confusion or catching up that our adversaries might try to exploit.” He also said that he and his team need “a clear picture of the position of our forces around the world and of our operations to deter our enemies.”
Biden made the comments after receiving briefings from members of his national security and defense teams, including his nominees for secretaries of state, defense and homeland security, as well as his next national security adviser.
The president-elect said his team found that agencies “crucial to our security have suffered enormous damage” during the Trump presidency.
“Many of them have been drained of personnel, capacity and morale,” he said. “All of this makes it difficult for our government to protect the American people, defend our vital interests in a world where threats are constantly evolving and our adversaries are constantly adapting.”
Trump still does not acknowledge that he lost the election by more than 7 million votes, and it was not until November 23, weeks after the election, that his administration authorized official cooperation with Biden’s transition team. At the time, the president-elect and his aides warned that the delay was hampering their ability to develop their own vaccination plan, but they have since said that cooperation on that and other COVID-19-related issues has improved.
However, last week Biden himself said that the Defense Department “does not even inform us of many things” and hinted that, because of this, he did not have a full understanding of the real scope of the recent cyberattack on various government systems.
Pentagon officials rejected Biden’s description of the disconnect between the Defense Department and the president-elect’s team. Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in a statement that the department has conducted 164 interviews with more than 400 officials, and has turned over more than 5,000 pages of documents, which is “much more than Biden’s transition team requested at first ”.