December 5th – Comprehensive report, U.S. media reports say that the U.S. Trump administration prevented President-elect Biden’s transition team from meeting with Pentagon intelligence agency officials this week.
On December 4, U.S. Department of Defense spokesman Sue Gough denied the news and said that the Biden team “did not be denied any visits”.
The Department of Defense declined the Biden team’s request this week, keeping Biden’s team from contact with the heads of the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency and other military spy agencies, citing current and former U.S. officials.
For much of the week, members of the Biden team met with officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, which are also part of the U.S. intelligence agency but independent of the Department of Defense.
On the 4th local time, Sue Gough denied the news, saying that the Biden team “did not be denied any visits” and that the requested meeting could be held as early as next week. Another U.S. media pointed out that a senior defense official said that a briefing on military affairs had been held for members of Biden’s transition team on the 4th, covering high-level policies and international security issues, but there was no briefing.
Officials reportedly said that the rejection letters forwarded to Biden’s team this week were due to some seemingly insignificant procedural obstacles. One of the sources said that the Pentagon has repeatedly asked the Biden team to provide a list of people who will participate in the visit, a list of issues and the expected time to take.
An anonymous Defense Department official pointed out that due to the sensitivity of the relevant issues, members of Biden’s transition team improperly contacted the relevant agencies directly to arrange visits and briefings, but were told that they needed to submit applications to the Pentagon.
A spokesman for Biden’s transition team declined to comment, as did officials of the National Security Agency and the National Defense Intelligence Agency.
This follows a letter dated November 23, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to Biden informing that it will be provided with the resources and services needed for the presidential transition process. U.S. government departments have since started power transfer and transition procedures.