Pentagon Officials Willing to Meet Biden Team Off-Site if Transition Standoff Continues: Report


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Pentagon officials are reportedly willing to meet with members of Joe Biden’s transition team informally if a standoff over the White House transition continues into December.

“January is too late,” one official told The Wall Street Journal in a report published Tuesday.

It isn’t clear how many officials would be involved with that effort, or the extent to which the mutiny against President Donald Trump extends to the department’s leadership. The president last week appointed Christopher Miller to replace fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, with whom Trump disagreed on a range of issues, including the withdrawal of troops from the Middle East, which the administration reportedly plans to do by Jan. 15.

The General Services Administration, meanwhile, has refused to declare Biden the winner of the presidential election, mostly preventing federal agencies from working with Biden’s transition team, and preventing his team from claiming $9.9 million in federal funding to assist with related activities.

There are few legal maneuvers to force the issue before Dec. 14, when members of the Electoral College vote for president. Certificates recording the result of that vote must be finalized by Dec. 23, two days before Christmas.

It isn’t the only security-related issue where Democrats have encountered obstacles. The Trump administration has similarly declined to provide Biden’s team with daily intelligence briefings, an assessment of global affairs offered by the intelligence community to presidents and their staff.

Biden has yet to name the officials who might lead national security efforts under his administration, though Sen. Angus King (I-ME) is reportedly a candidate to lead the intelligence community. Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) is a prospect for Defense secretary.

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