US President-elect Joe Biden says many of America’s security agencies have been “hollowed out” under President Donald Trump and the lack of information being provided to his transition team by the outgoing administration is an “irresponsibility.”
“We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership at the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget,” Biden said on Monday after a meeting with his foreign policy team.
“Right now we just aren’t getting all of the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility.”
After Biden beat Trump in the November 3 election, the Democrat’s team only began meeting with administration officials in late November to coordinate the handover.
Trump is refusing to concede defeat in the November election. He has not met with Biden and it is unclear if he will before the inauguration in January.
Traditionally, the outgoing administration works with the incoming team to help ensure a smooth transition, in the name of the national interest.
Trump, a Republican, only authorised cooperation with Biden on November 23.
Earlier this month, Biden’s team said they had met resistance to their requests for information from some Pentagon officials.
The Pentagon pushed back against the Biden team’s earlier complaints.
A senior defence official last week said that the Pentagon had conducted 163 interviews and 181 requests for information and that it would continue to provide information and meetings.
But Biden reiterated those concerns on Monday.
“We encountered obstruction from the political leadership of that department (Pentagon). And the truth is many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage,” Biden said after a meeting with his foreign policy team.
“The truth is that many of the agencies that are crucial to our security have incurred enormous damage. Many of them have been hollowed out – in personnel, capacity and in morale,” he said.
Biden takes office on January 20.