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Biden: Trump Is Obstructing the Transition

Some agencies are cooperating, president-elect says, while others have been 'hollowed out'
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2020 5:02 PM CST

(Newser) – President-elect Joe Biden turned up his criticism of President Trump and his appointees' handling of the transition on Monday, saying they're putting up roadblocks. "Right now, we just aren't getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas," Biden said. The president-elect spoke in Wilmington, Delaware, after meeting with his national security advisers, the Washington Post reports. Citing the cybersecurity breaches earlier this month, Biden said impairing the transition could allow the nation's enemies to exploit vulnerabilities. "All of it makes it harder for our government to protect the American people," he said. Biden specifically mentioned needing "full visibility into the budget planning" at agencies, including the Defense Department.

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There are agencies whose cooperation has been "exemplary," Biden said, per NPR. He seemed to distinguish between the efforts of political appointees and those of career employees. Biden's team has run into "obstruction from political leadership," he said, while referring to career staff members as "patriots who’ve earned our respect, and who should never be treated as political footballs." Biden referred to national security and foreign policy agencies that have been "hollowed out" during the Trump administration and now lack "personnel, capacity, and morale." He said those offices' "policy processes have atrophied or been sidelined." The effort got off to a late start; the General Services Administration and Trump didn't approve starting the transition until Nov. 23. "We need to make sure nothing is lost in the handoff between administrations," Biden said. (Read more Joe Biden stories.)

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