On Friday, reports emerged indicating that briefings and meetings between the Department of Defense and President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team would come to an immediate halt pending the upcoming Christmas holiday season and would resume afterward as part of a mutual agreement.
However, according to the Washington Times, Biden’s transition team reported that no such agreement was in place. Adding to that, the transition team demanded that the briefings and meetings immediately resume in order to prepare the incoming administration to resume business as usual when Biden takes the keys to the White House in January.
As the news of the paused Pentagon cooperation broke, acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Miller pushed back on reports that they were intentionally stonewalling Biden’s team, releasing a statement in which he said that the Pentagon is heavily focused on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and other tasks, along with the coming holiday season.
“After the mutually agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today,” Miller said. “Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition —this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS.”
Miller also indicated that the DoD has granted hundreds of interviews and other briefings, as well as having turned over thousands of documents, claiming that his department has gone above and beyond over prior presidential administration transitions.
Yohannes Abraham, one of the Biden transition team’s top officials, said that he believed the DoD would reverse their decision to halt the briefings and suggested that he believes they will resume “immediately.”
Abraham also added that while a number of DoD personnel they’ve worked with have been nothing but professional, some of the political appointees in the department have resisted working with the Biden transition team, according to CBS News.
The apparent rift between the two groups comes as President Donald Trump continues to insist that the 2020 election was “rigged” and “stolen” due to alleged ballot and voter fraud in a number of key battleground states.