President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday received a security briefing from national security experts for the first time since his victory was projected on November 8th, in absence of federal support under Trump.
As per US post-election traditions, the transitioning administration ensures the upcoming administration is given regular security briefings from state-sources to update the President-elect on vital parameters of national security, foreign policy among others.
In the US, the General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for the official transitioning of governments every four years, but the current head of GSA — appointed by Donald Trump, has refused to initiate the formal process to brief Biden and allot his administration budget and access to other federal agencies and intelligence briefing.
Joe Biden and his team, have been systematical except regular intelligence briefing from the federal agency because incumbent President Donald Trump has not conceded the 2020 US Election results where Biden emerged the victor.
But President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, in the absence of federal support, were reportedly briefed by national security experts about the intelligence, diplomatic, and security challenges facing the nation, PTI news agency reported.
The report, as confirmed by Biden’s team on Tuesday, said the upcoming administration will continue to get daily briefings from the distinguished former national security practitioners including General (retd) Lloyd Austin, Tony Blinken, Nicholas Burns, David Cohen, Avril Haines, Kathleen Hicks, General (retd) Stanley McChrystal, Admiral (retd) William McRaven, Carmen Middleton, Samantha Power, Lieutenant General (retd) Vincent Stewart, Linda Thomas-Greenfield and Robert Work.
“I am not being critical, to state the obvious, you know, I am unable to get the briefings that ordinarily would come by now. So I just wanted to get your input on what you see ahead” Biden was quoted as saying by PTI.
“To state the obvious, there’s no presidential responsibility more important than protecting the American people, so I appreciate you taking your time and I am anxious to hear what you all have to say,” Biden added.
Just short of conceding
Trump has on the other hand launched a slew of lawsuits in key states he lost to Biden, over claims that the election was rigged and involved widespread voter fraud, which he said without any substantiating evidence.
His administration’s latest lawsuit came in the Western US state of Nevada, where the Republicans and Trump’s team lodged the fifth such lawsuits over election fraud.
“This lawsuit is bigger than whether the president won Nevada or former Vice President Joe Biden won Nevada,” former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, co-chair of Trump’s campaign in Nevada, said.
“Many of these votes were improperly cast,” he said, also alleging that there are “north of 15,000 people who voted in Nevada and another state.”
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“People that had already done a change of address and left this state outside of the 30-day requirement, their ballots were still cast,” he said. “We are also presenting dead voters.”
US media reported the 2020 elections was one of the most secure and smoothest in the nation’s history, which had a record turnout from voters despite an ongoing pandemic, by which the US is worst-affected.
Trump’s refusal to conceded the election has mounted him pressure from peers, including from his own cabinet. An incumbent US President refusing to accept the elections largely deemed secure and legitimate is a stain on the American Democracy which has held its head high for decades.
On Tuesday, Trump went just short of conceding Joe Biden’s victory during a White House Briefing after Nevada came in favor of Biden.
“Ideally we won’t go to a lockdown,” he said responding to a reporter’s query if there will be another national lockdown in the US as caseload mounts. “I will not go. This administration will not be going to a lockdown.”
“Hopefully, the, the whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be, I guess time will tell,” Trump added, appearing to remotely acknowledge the fact elections were not in his favor.
The Center Square’s Derek Draplin contributed to this report.