Trump Defense Secretary Abruptly Blocks Biden Transition

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Amidst the Biden-Harris transition team’s efforts to prepare to take over the reins of the federal government in January, acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller — who assumed his present position after then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s abrupt exit following the election — has ordered a Defense Department-wide “halt” to meetings with the president-elect’s team, according to Axios. The move was “shocking” to officials in the department, according to the same outlet, although a senior Defense Department official called the development “a simple delay of the last few scheduled meetings until after the new year.” This official also claimed that “fewer than two dozen” meetings with Biden’s team remained, insisting that officials involved in the effort “needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities.”

A top official on Biden’s team “was unaware of the directive,” Axios says, adding that Trump officials “were unsure what prompted Miller’s action, or whether President Trump approved.” Despite the federal General Services Administration’s acknowledgement of Biden’s victory, which opened the door for cooperation between the federal government and transition team, Trump has adamantly refused to acknowledge the fundamental reality of his loss. Axios characterized Miller’s decision as “the biggest eruption yet of animus and mistrust toward the Biden team from the top level of the Trump administration.” Top officials like White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany have stuck right by the president in his delusions — McEnany herself ludicrously insisted just days ago that there’s still a remotely reasonable possibility of an imminent second Trump term. There’s no such possibility!

Trump has insisted that fraud plagued the presidential election, but there is no legitimate evidence for this claim, and courts across the country have flatly rejected these allegations of fraud. The allegations have only gotten more ridiculous as time has passed — top Trump ally Rudy Giuliani, who’s helped lead the Trump team’s fight against the election outcome, has claimed that a centrally planned Democratic conspiracy to rig the election for Biden unfolded during the presidential race. There’s absolutely no legitimate evidence for this claim — to say the least.

Despite the temporary stop to cooperation with the Biden team at the Defense Department, cooperation is apparently continuing elsewhere. The Biden team has been preparing to tackle crises like the COVID-19 pandemic, as they’ll soon be taking over the critical tasks of distributing the vaccine across the country and handling relief efforts. UPDATE: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins shared on Friday that after “the Pentagon chief said there was a “mutually agreed upon” holiday pause on transition meetings, a Biden transition spokesperson [disputed] him.” This spokesperson, Yohannes Abraham, said that Biden staffers “think it’s important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period.”