Biden says his transition team has ‘encountered roadblocks’ from Trump appointees



“We just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas,” Biden said, after receiving a virtual briefing from members of his national security and foreign policy agency review teams.

“It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” he said.

The President-elect said his team “needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies. We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”

CNN has reached out to the Pentagon for comment on Biden’s remarks.

A transition official previously told CNN that the briefing Biden received would focus in large part on the findings of the review teams since the delayed beginning of the formal transition process, and that Biden’s remarks would serve as a broad overview of some of those key points.

The briefing was expected to be less about specific headlines in the news, and focus more broadly on the country’s institutional health and wellness on the national security and foreign policy fronts.

Biden also condemned the bombing on Christmas morning in Nashville. The blast injured at least eight people and damaged more than 40 buildings, and the bomber was found dead.

“This bombing was a reminder of the destructive power of an individual or a small group can muster and the need for continuing vigilance across the board,” Biden said, speaking from Wilmington, Delaware. He thanked the police officers who evacuated the area and first responders on the scene.

A different approach coming soon

Biden has vowed to take a markedly different approach to governing than President Donald Trump, particularly when it comes to foreign policy.

He has vowed to undo Trump’s “America First” isolationist foreign policy and restore the United States’ reputation on the world stage. Biden has pledged to rebuild international alliances and has said that global challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis, require partnerships and international coordination.

Trump, by contrast, has denigrated and questioned several of the US’s longstanding alliances, including with NATO, and pulled the US out of various international bodies and treaties. Trump has withdrawn the US from the Paris climate accord, the Iran nuclear deal and the World Health Organization and other international pacts.

Biden will inherit a number of pressing challenges when he is sworn in next month as president, chief among them the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 333,000 Americans as of Monday morning.

The President-elect has named several top members of his foreign policy and national security teams, including his longtime foreign policy adviser Antony Blinken as his nominee for secretary of state.

He also named Avril Haines, a former top CIA official and deputy national security adviser, as his pick for director of national intelligence, and Alejandro Mayorkas, a former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to lead DHS. Haines would be the first woman to lead the US intelligence community and Mayorkas would be first Latino to helm the Department of Homeland Security.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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