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The Department of Defense fired back at Democrat Joe Biden after he whined again about “roadblocks” his transition team had encountered in getting information.
The Pentagon set the record straight in a statement this week following Biden’s complaints that members of his team “just aren’t getting all the information that we need” from the potentially outgoing Trump administration. The Democrat provided no evidence to back his claims but the Defense Department quickly gave him a reality check, noting that his team had been given more resources than they even had asked for.
“My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware on Monday.
“We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch up that our adversaries may try to exploit,” he added.
Biden: We have encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget pic.twitter.com/AyjzeQCQ0I
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) December 28, 2020
“But as I said from the beginning, we have encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget. Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas,” Biden claimed. “It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”
In other remarks, Biden said his team “encountered obstruction from the political leadership” at the Defense Department.
“From some agencies, our team received exemplary cooperation … from others, most notable the Department of Defense, we encountered obstruction from the political leadership of that department,” President-elect Biden says on national security issues regarding the transition. pic.twitter.com/kHhAkxVFgA
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 28, 2020
Though transition meetings between President Trump’s team and Biden’s have been going on despite a delayed start due to the official election results, the Democrat’s team reacted angrily earlier this month when Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller reportedly ordered the Pentagon to halt scheduled transition briefings.
Some meetings were rescheduled until after the new year in what Miller said was part of a “mutually agreed” pause, but Biden transition team members claimed there was no agreement between parties to pause any meetings.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 19, 2020
Biden’s alarms this week were echoed by Democrats and the liberal media, still without evidence to back his claims.
This is alarming and so dangerous. For the good of our national security and our entire country, I implore those at the Defense Department to fully cooperate with @Transition46—it’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s the patriotic thing to do. https://t.co/DDiXtxETjs
— Tammy Duckworth (@SenDuckworth) December 29, 2020
Sullivan: “We’re not getting the information we need on the major hack…we believe by the Russians. We’re not getting the information… [on] the COVID-19 vaccine. We’re not getting the information that we need to have a clear picture of our force posture around the world.” @NPR
— Steve Inskeep (@NPRinskeep) December 29, 2020
Miller fired back on the latest claims in a lengthy statement on Monday.
“The Department of Defense has conducted 164 interviews with over 400 officials, and provided over 5,000 pages of documents – far more than initially requested by Biden’s transition team,” he said.
“DOD’s efforts already surpass those of recent administrations with over three weeks to go and we continue to schedule additional meetings for the remainder of the transition and answer any and all requests for information in our purview,” he added.
“Our DOD political and career officials have been working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities in a compressed time schedule and they will continue to do so in a transparent and collegial manner that upholds the finest traditions of the Department,” Miller emphasized.
“The American people expect nothing less and that is what I remain committed to,” he said, adding that, since November 23rd, the department has held 164 interviews with over 400 officials, has responded to 188 information requests and given the Biden transition team “over 5,000 pages of controlled non-public and classified information.”
“We continue to schedule interviews with senior leaders and career officials for early January,” Miller added in his statement, continuing to punch a hole in Biden’s narrative.
“Additionally, we will coordinate any urgent Operation Warp Speed or COVID-related requests as they arise over the holidays, as well as provide responses to RFIs specifically related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution,” he said, noting that there are two COVID-related interviews and one on cybersecurity scheduled for this week.
He went on to detail that the Defense Department has supported the team with access to information, visits to the Pentagon and more, all while maintaining COVID-19 safety protocols amid the ongoing pandemic.
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