John Kelly to Trump: You Can't Keep Doing This

The former White House chief of staff urges Trump to share intelligence briefings with Biden
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2020 4:00 PM CST
John Kelly Has Strong Words for Trump
In this Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly testifies during the Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on his confirmation to be Secretary of Homeland Security on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

John Kelly is standing up to his old boss for the way he's treating the incoming Biden administration, CNN reports. At issue is President Trump's decision to withhold intelligence briefings: "You lose a lot if the transition is delayed because the new people are not allowed to get their head in the game," the former White House chief of staff told Politico. "The president, with all due respect, does not have to concede. But it's about the nation. It hurts our national security because the people who should be getting [up to speed], it's not a process where you go from zero to 1,000 miles per hour." The retired four-star Marine Corps general, who was Trump's chief of staff from 2017 to 2019—and Trump's homeland security secretary before that—said he has no illusions about Trump's approach to politics.

"I know Mr. Trump better than most people do," he said. "I know that he'll never accept defeat and, in fact, he doesn't have to accept defeat here. He just has to do what's best for the country and in the country's interest." The Hill reports that "a growing chorus of Republicans" is echoing Kelly's sentiment on intelligence briefings. "There is no loss from him getting the briefings," Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told KRMG, adding that "this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election ... people can be ready for that actual task." Lankford noted that according to a bipartisan probe, the contested 2000 election gave the Bush administration less time to put people in position, which may have lessened their preparedness for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (More Election 2020 stories.)

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