Top Senate Republicans have indicated that they believe that it’s appropriate for President-elect Joe Biden to begin receiving daily intelligence briefings, which contrasts strikingly with outgoing President Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the fact that Biden won the recent presidential election in the first place. During a Thursday appearance on Fox & Friends, top Trump staffer Kayleigh McEnany referred a question about Biden getting briefings to the White House… which she herself is the top spokesperson for. The Republican Senators who’ve more conclusively stated their support for or acceptance of Biden getting briefings include James Lankford (Okla.), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), and others.
Sen. Lankford said that he was prepared to intervene in the process if Biden did not start getting intelligence briefings before the end of the work week. Lankford told radio station KRMG that Biden getting the briefings “needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.” To be clear: the outcome of the election is already established, and Biden won. Republicans just keep providing lip service to Trump’s lies that there’s potentially system-threatening fraud that could hand the election to Trump once battles play out in court. Trump has yet to produce any meaningful evidence of the kind of election fraud that he has alleged.
The decision to allow Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings falls on the Trump administration itself. Allowing Biden to access the briefings could be a de facto admission of Trump’s sinking political prospects, and those closest to the president have consistently resisted this basic reality.
The General Services Administration — a government agency that would apparently handle granting Biden access to the briefings — has also so far resisted officially acknowledging Biden as the president-elect, and this refusal means that transition funding has been held up. The General Services Administration has so far declined to say whether they’ve been blocking the Biden team’s access to transition resources at the direction of the president or White House.
Meanwhile, Sen. Graham — who was recently re-elected — said “yeah, I think he should,” when recently questioned about whether Biden should have access to daily intelligence briefings. Sen. Grassley said that he “would think — especially on classified briefings — [that the] answer is yes,” that Biden should have access. Sen. John Thune (S.D.) agreed — tepidly — stating that he thinks “that it probably makes sense to prepare for all contingencies,” apparently including a Biden presidency. A Biden presidency is not a possible contingency — it’s what’s going to begin next January.
Sen. Marco Rubio (Fl.) — another Republican who won’t give up on the president’s conspiracy theories about potential widespread fraud — said that he doesn’t “think it prejudices the President’s legal claims in any way to begin the transition work just in case.” Again — preparing for a Biden presidency isn’t a “just in case” scenario. It’s reality. Why is reality so difficult to accept for these top Republican allies of the president? Trump is a consistent fraudster.