Joe Biden’s transition team was reportedly not happy about a decision by President Trump’s Defense Department to temporarily “pause” meetings until after the holidays.
Though transition meetings between the president’s team and Biden’s have been going on despite a delayed start due to the official election results, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller reportedly ordered the Pentagon to halt scheduled transition briefings on Friday, setting off an angry response from the Democrat’s team.
Meetings with the Biden transition team that were originally planned for Friday were rescheduled until after the new year in what Miller said was part of a “mutually agreed” pause. But Biden transition executive director Yohannes Abraham insisted that “there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break” while Biden continues to dismiss allegations against his son Hunter Biden as “foul play” by Republicans.
U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan told Fox News host Laura Ingraham that Biden and his family are in no position to accuse anyone else of “foul play” after the evidence revealed about his son’s foreign business dealings. The Ohio Republican spoke on “The Ingraham Angle” Friday after speculation that the Justice Department’s pause on the briefings may be related to the investigation of the younger Biden.
(Source: Fox News)
“Though they deny it, would you be in favor of the Pentagon pausing the briefings given what we know now about the Biden family’s Chinese entanglements?” Ingraham asked Jordan, citing an Axios report on the pause in intelligence briefings.
“I will leave it up to the experts. But here is what I do know, Laura: Hunter Biden took $1 million from the Ukraine energy company, took $3 million from a Russian billionaire, took $4 million from a company with ties to the communist party in China and was asking for $10 million more – all while the Justice Department had him under investigation,” Jordan responded.
“So if the Biden family wants to talk about foul play, I would prefer to call that facts, not foul play,” the lawmaker added, recounting the many attacks President Trump had to endure at the hands of Democrats. “The idea that they’re calling this foul play is ridiculous.”
After reports that Miller had ordered a halt to briefings with the Biden transition team, the Pentagon noted that about 20 meetings with 40 officials had been rescheduled until after Jan. 1. A “senior Defense Department official” told Axios that it was “a simple delay of the last few scheduled meetings until after the new year.”
“We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week,” the official told the outlet, adding that “the DoD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings.”
“These same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities. … With the holidays we are taking a knee for two weeks. We are still committed to a productive transition,” the official reportedly said.
But the Biden team blasted the move in a news briefing on Friday.
“Our agency review teams continue making progress on a shortened timeline, and we’ve benefited from constructive cooperation within many departments and agencies, but we have met isolated resistance in some corners, including from political appointees within the Department of Defense,” Abraham said.
“We were concerned to learn this week about an abrupt halt in the already limited cooperation there, and as indicated by DOD earlier today, we expect that decision will be reversed,” Abraham continued, adding later that there is “no time to spare.”
“Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed upon holiday break,” the Biden transition executive said. “In fact, we think it’s important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period, as there’s no time to spare.”
But Miller, who stepped in as acting defense secretary after Trump fired Mark Esper last month, issued a statement saying that the Justice Department had, at no time, “cancelled or declined any interview.”
“Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on [Operation Warp Speed] and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition,” Miller said, referring to the coronavirus vaccine program.
“After the mutually agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today,” Miller said. “Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition — this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS.”
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