GOP Senator Breaks Promise to ‘Step In’ As Trump Admin Misses His Deadline to Start Biden’s Intel Briefings: ‘I’m Not in a Hurry’
Senator James Lankford (R-OK) pulled an abrupt about-face, saying he was now “not in a hurry” to facilitate President-elect Joe Biden getting daily intelligence briefings after promising to make that happen by Friday of last week.
The Trump administration has notably still refused to accept the result of the 2020 election, even though the Trump campaign’s futile legal efforts to contest the vote count in various swing states are “100 percent dead.” The governmental official who is empowered to approve the governmental transition of power — a Trump appointee in the General Services Administration — continues to hold up the process.
Last Wednesday, Lankford told a local reporter from Tulsa that he would be compelled to “step in” and address the delay with the GSA if President-elect Biden was not getting daily briefings by Friday.
There is no loss from him getting the briefings to be able to do that and if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well and to be able to push to say ‘This needs to occur,’ so that, regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.
As of Monday, however, Biden was still not received official government intelligence briefings. Biden’s running mate, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, maintains her access to that national security information, however, as she still retains her seat on the Senate Intelligence Committee until Biden is sworn in.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Lankford offered a sharply different take after his self-imposed deadline came and went, claiming that the press misconstrued his previous comments. Notably, Lankford’s flip-flop occurred during a Saturday interview with the stridently pro-Trump cable TV network Newsmax, in which he said he was now content to wait on the GSA’s Trump appointee to decide when the intel briefings of Biden should commence.
“I’m not in a hurry, necessarily, to get Joe Biden these briefings, it’s been interesting how the media, the national media, not this network, but others have twisted this term ‘step in,'” Lankford said. “I happen to chair the committee that oversees GSA, that is the entity that has to be able to make this call.”
Lankford went on to claim that his previous pledge to “step in,” he said, was merely to inquire about the GSA’s decision-making process and to offer it any help — a far cry from the finality of his declaration last Wednesday that ‘this needs to occur,’ in reference to the briefings themselves.
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