President-elect Joseph R. Biden said Monday that the Defense Department’s apparent lack of cooperation during his transition into office is irresponsible and is hamstringing his team’s ability to get up to speed on threats to the U.S.
Mr. Biden said his people are getting cooperation from some agencies but that they’re encountering roadblocks from the Defense Department and the White House budget office.
“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas,” Mr. Biden said in a speech in Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”
Mr. Biden spoke after huddling with top members of his incoming foreign policy and national security teams.
The Pentagon has said the idea that the department is refusing to brief Mr. Biden’s transition team is “patently false.”
“The department will continue to provide the information and meetings necessary to ensure the continuity of government,” a senior Defense Department official said last week. “As we’ve said, meetings will begin again in early January, and in fact we’ve begun scheduling them.”
Mr. Biden’s transition team said this month that they hadn’t agreed to a holiday break to meetings with the current Defense Department team, as Pentagon officials had said.
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