Biden Says That Trump Admin Has Put Up ‘Roadblocks’ To Transition At OMB, DoD

WILMINGTON, DE - DECEMBER 28: President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Queen Theater on December 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president in a scaled-down ceremony i... WILMINGTON, DE - DECEMBER 28: President-elect Joe Biden delivers remarks at the Queen Theater on December 28, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden will be inaugurated as the 46th president in a scaled-down ceremony in Washington D.C. due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on January 20, 2021. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images) MORE LESS

President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said that his transition team has hit “roadblocks” put up by leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget.

Earlier this month, Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham flatly denied the Pentagon’s claim that transition meetings had stopped for a mutually agreed-upon “holiday pause.”

Abraham argued that the Pentagon’s claim of a holiday meeting break was evidence of  “isolated resistance” from a handful of political appointees in the Trump administration, including at the Department of Defense.

Biden’s remarks on Monday took a stern tone when addressing the difficulties that he said his transition team has encountered. President Trump has continued to refuse to concede, even after General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy said in a grudging letter last month that she had greenlit Biden’s formal transition process weeks after the President-elect’s projected victory.

Following a briefing with nearly two dozen of his national security advisers, Biden said that most government agencies have shown “exemplary” cooperation with his transition team, but that in a few cases the team has had to deal with “obstruction from political leadership.”

“My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” Biden said. “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.”

Biden then reiterated that his team has encountered “roadblocks from political leadership” at the departments of Defense and the OMB, before stressing the dire potential consequences of stonewalling when it comes to national security issues.

“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas,” Biden said. “It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”

Biden further called out the Trump administration by pointing to his team being briefed on “the steps needed to clean up the humanitarian disaster that the Trump administration has systematically created on our southern border.”

“These are hard issues, and the current administration has made them much harder by working to erode our capacity. It’s going to take time to rebuild that capacity,” Biden said. “We’re going to work purposely, diligently, and responsibly to roll back Trump’s restrictions, starting on day one.”

Watch Biden’s remarks below:

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest News
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: