Biden, Harris to receive national security briefing, but not from gov't officials




  • In Politics
  • 2020-11-17 12:50:00Z
  • By External Contributor
Biden, Harris to receive national security briefing, but not from gov\
Biden, Harris to receive national security briefing, but not from gov\'t officials  

WASHINGTON - President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are set to receive a national security briefing Tuesday, though it won't be done by government officials because the Trump administration still hasn't formally approved the transition.

Biden and Harris will meet instead with diplomatic, intelligence and defense experts, a Biden transition team official told NBC News. No government officials will participate in the briefing, a source familiar with the matter said.

The briefing is clearly part of the incoming administration's effort to pressure the General Services Administration to ascertain the election so that Biden can start receiving intelligence briefings. The GSA has so far refused to sign off on a transition as President Donald Trump has refused to concede the election.

In other transition news:

  • More senior West and East Wing staffing announcements are anticipated Tuesday, including Steve Ricchetti, who is expected to take a key administration role.

  • Biden has privately told advisers that he doesn't want his presidency to be consumed by investigations of Trump, sources have told NBC News.

  • A hearing is expected Tuesday on the Trump campaign's federal lawsuit seeking to prevent Pennsylvania officials from certifying the vote results, the Associated Press reported.

  • AP reports that the head of the GSA consulted with Dave Barram, who held her job during the 2000 presidential election, about the ascertainment process to kick-start the transition.

Biden warned in remarks Tuesday that "more people will die" from Covid-19 because of the lack of communication with the current administration. Because of the GSA's holdup, Biden can't receive any official briefings on the pandemic from government officials.

Dr. Anthony Fauci also warned Monday that the formal transition to the incoming Biden administration will be key to the quick distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

Meanwhile, Senate Republicans on Monday continued to acknowledge the importance of the transition period.

"It's absolutely imperative for public health that all of the planning that's gone on - for which the current administration deserves credit - be shared with the new administration," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who won a competitive re-election race earlier this month, said.

Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., told reporters on Capitol Hill, "It's reasonable for the vice president to be given security briefings. I don't see any harm at all, and actually a lot of help."

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