WILMINGTON, Del. — U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is warning of massive damage done to the national security apparatus by the Trump administration and “roadblocks” in communication between agency officials and his transition team that could undermine Americans’ security.
During remarks Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, Biden said his team has faced “obstruction” from the “political leadership” at the Defense Department and the Office of Management and Budget as they’ve sought to gather necessary information to continue the transition of power.
“Right now we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Biden said.
He warned that his team needs “full visibility” into the budget process at the Defense Department “in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”
Biden’s remarks came after he was briefed by members of his national security and defense teams and advisers, including his nominees for secretary of State, Defense and Homeland Security, as well as his incoming national security adviser. The president-elect said his team found that agencies “critical to our security have incurred enormous damage” during President Donald Trump’s time in office.
“Many of them have been hollowed out in personnel, capacity and in morale. ... It makes it harder for our government to protect the American people,” he said.