Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports a bombshell potential major disruption in a key part of the presidential transition before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn in on January 20: the Pentagon has without warning or explanation halted Biden’s intelligence transition briefings.
Reports Swan: “Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden, shocking officials across the Defense Department, senior administration officials tell Axios.”
Biden’s team has so far maintained that it’s unaware of the directive while Pentagon officials are said to be stunned and in the dark: “Administration officials left open the possibility cooperation would resume after a holiday pause,” the breaking Axios report notes. “The officials were unsure what prompted Miller’s action, or whether President Trump approved.”
“Miller’s move, which stunned officials throughout the Pentagon, was the biggest eruption yet of animus and mistrust toward the Biden team from the top level of the Trump administration,” Axios details.
However at least one senior Defense Department official downplayed the halt in Pentagon cooperation with President-Elect Biden, calling it “a simple delay of the last few scheduled meetings until after the new year.”
But Jonathan Swan in a follow-up tweet noted this is all spin, saying “there was NOTHING routine about this decision” and appears part of an emerging information and intelligence war between the White House and president-elect Biden’s team.
Previously scheduled Pentagon meetings with the Biden transition team have been canceled, according to senior national security correspondent for Defense One, Katie Bo Williams. …
It comes after Trump admin officials were reportedly enraged over alleged leaks from the Biden transition team designed to embarrass Trump politically. …
Update: Biden’s team is directly contradicting an earlier statement by Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller which sought to severely downplay the controversy, claiming Biden transition officials had agreed to a holiday “break” in DoD intelligence briefings. “There was no mutually agreed upon holiday break” for transition briefings, Biden’s spokesman Yohannes Abraham has stated pushing back against Miller’s explanation.
Curious. Might indicate something is afoot, or maybe it’s just jostling between antagonistic teams of officials.