Biden complains of roadblocks to transition placed by Trump administration
Washington, Dec 28 (efe-epa).- President-elect Joe Biden on Monday complained of “roadblocks” to the transition of power process he said are being placed by the outgoing Donald Trump administration, and specifically in the way of his picks for top Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget posts.
“We’ve encountered roadblocks with the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware, where he lives.
“Right now we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It is nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”
Biden emphasized that his team needs to get a complete idea of the country’s military operations around the world to be able to dissuade US enemies and adversaries.
He also said that he and his team need to get a full picture of the budget of the Defense Department and other agencies to avoid any confusion or delays in getting his administration up to speed that Washington’s adversaries might be able to exploit.
Biden is due to take office on Jan. 20, 2021.
Nevertheless, the president-elect said that most of the US government agencies had shown “exemplary” cooperation with his transition team and he praised the response shown by career government professionals at those institutions with regard to his nominees for various posts in the new administration.
“Many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage,” Biden said regarding other government agencies, adding that “Many have been hollowed out in personnel capacity, and in morale.”
Biden also discussed his plans to reverse many of the Trump administration’s immigration policies, saying that “We are going to work purposely, diligently and responsibly to roll back Trump’s restrictions starting on Day One. But it is not as simple as throwing a switch to turn everything back on, especially in a pandemic.”
On Dec. 18, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller announced that meetings with Biden’s team were being suspended until after Jan. 1, which the president-elect’s aides denounced as a decision showing evidence of the “resistance” of certain sectors to the whole transition process.
Trump still has not acknowledged his defeat by Biden in the Nov. 3 election and delayed for several days before giving the green light to allowing the transition process to move forward.
In early December, the White House fired nine members of the Pentagon’s Defense Business Board, a consultative body, and installed people loyal to Trump, Politico magazine reported.
On Nov. 9, Trump summarily dumped Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who last summer opposed the president’s wishes regarding sending US military forces to suppress race riots, putting Miller in his place.
After that decision, the Pentagon’s top civil leadership resigned and the White House approved their departure to put three of Trump’s allies into the posts of chief of staff to the secretary of defense, the undersecretary of defense for policy and the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security.