US President-elect Joe Biden’s team has warned of the risks to national security after the Pentagon suddenly halted briefings for the transition team, according to the US “Axios” website.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered to cease cooperation at the Pentagon level with President-elect Biden’s team, which shocked defense officials, senior administration officials told the site.
“We are concerned to see the sudden halt in the already limited cooperation there,” said Johannes Abraham, executive director of Biden’s transition team.
President Donald Trump, who is refusing to acknowledge his electoral loss to Biden, refused until recently to allow government agencies to cooperate with Biden’s team, as is the custom.
On Friday, Trump’s acting defense secretary, Chris Miller, said in a statement that the two sides had “mutually agreed a pause” on the briefings with military officials.
Abraham said this is not true. “There was no mutual agreement on stopping the briefings,” he told reporters, warning that “failure to work together may have consequences beyond” Biden’s inauguration in January.
The NDTV website said the latest stumbling block in what is traditionally a carefully designed handover of power between outgoing and upcoming US administrations comes as Washington is resisting a massive cyber attack, possibly by the Russian state.
Abraham said: “There is no time to lose.”
Trump has yet to make a direct statement about the hacking hack or comment on claims by senior politicians and private cybersecurity companies that Moscow carried out.
Abraham said the attack was a “major concern” and that in light of the cyberattacks, it would be a “significant cost” for Biden not to be informed.
According to Abraham, the Biden team had a “hope and expectation” that the Pentagon briefings would resume “immediately”.