President-elect Joe Biden said on Monday many of America’s security agencies had been “hollowed out” under President Donald Trump and the lack of information being provided to his transition team by the outgoing administration was an “irresponsibility”, Reuters reported.
“We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said after a meeting with his foreign policy team.
“Right now we just aren’t getting all of the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” he added.
After Biden beat Trump in the Nov. 3 election, the Democrat’s team only began meeting with administration officials in late November to coordinate the handover.
Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede defeat and his administration only authorized cooperation with Biden on Nov. 23. Biden takes office on Jan. 20.
Earlier this month, Biden’s team said they had met resistance to requests for information from some Pentagon officials.
The Pentagon pushed back. In a statement, acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said the Pentagon had conducted 164 interviews with over 400 officials and provided more than 5,000 pages of documents.
“Our (Department of Defense) political and career officials have been working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities in a compressed time schedule and they will continue to do so in a transparent and collegial manner that upholds the finest traditions of the department,” Miller said.
But Biden reiterated his team’s concerns on Monday. When he takes office, he will inherit a wide range of foreign policy and national security challenges, including China, Iran and North Korea, as well as the coronavirus pandemic raging across the globe.