President-elect Joe Biden said many of America’s security agencies were ‘hollowed out’ under President Trump and the lack of information being provided to his transition team by the outgoing administration was an ‘irresponsibility’ https://t.co/40yc4okBEU pic.twitter.com/krODqgJ1GY
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 29, 2020
Per the Washington Post:
… With less than a month before Inauguration Day, Biden has been laying the groundwork for how to tackle the gargantuan twin challenges that he will face as soon as he assumes the presidency — ending the coronavirus pandemic and rebuilding the economy. He has steadily filled vacancies in his Cabinet and in senior positions in his government, which will take over at noon on Jan. 20.
He has been met with remarkable resistance from Trump, who has refused to concede the election and has continued attempting to overturn the results. Trump blocked any transition efforts outright for more than two weeks before relenting, at least initially. He has declined to say whether he will attend Biden’s inauguration, and the incoming team planning the event assumes he will not…
On Monday, Trump continued to tweet conspiracy theories about the election — at one point retweeting a view that opponents were guilty of “treason” — and spent much of the day at his private golf club in Florida.
Meanwhile, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris attended a virtual briefing with 15 national security and foreign policy advisers, including several would-be Cabinet nominees. In comments that followed, Biden said the advisers told him that many of the agencies critical to national security have sustained “enormous damage” during the Trump administration.
“Many of them have been hollowed out in personnel, capacity and in morale, in the policy processes that have atrophied or have been sidelined, in the disrepair of our alliances . . . in the general disengagement from the world,” Biden said. “And all of that makes it harder for our government to protect the American people, to defend our vital interests in a world where threats are constantly evolving and our adversaries are constantly adapting.”…
Biden said Monday that most government agencies have shown “exemplary cooperation” with his transition team, especially given the challenges of the pandemic and the Trump administration’s effort to stall conversations, but that his staffers have encountered “obstruction from political leadership” when they could not afford to waste any time. He noted that four years ago, he and then-President Barack Obama gave the incoming Trump-Pence administration “access to all that we had.”
In raising concerns about the transition, Biden was careful to distinguish between political appointees in the agencies and the career professionals who he said had cooperated fully…
He’s absolutely earned some gloating rights, given that few if any candidates were as chronically underestimated as him by the media. He was far ahead in primary polls for a year and the media simply brushed it off. https://t.co/oZsQCNT0Fo
— Tentin Quarantino (@agraybee) December 28, 2020
… Recounting his successful efforts to help get the Recovery Act passed in 2009, Biden pointedly said, “I’m going to say something outrageous. I’m not bad at this because people know whatever I tell them, I will do. I’ll keep my word.” But Biden knows his policy agenda won’t be to everyone’s liking. Some of those folks are unreachable.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to get, you know, anyone, from the Proud Boys to some of our really, really strident Republicans, 20 of whom I’m told in the Senate don’t want to vote for anything. … I’m not going to get those folks,” Biden admitted before adding, “I don’t have to get those folks, I don’t think.” For the president-elect, it’s all about making the case.
“I think there’s a case that can be made that demonstrates that everything from racial equity to environmental progress to plain old jobs can be had in a way that everybody can sign on to,” said Biden, who knows that all of his goals won’t be easy to attain. The difficulty doesn’t bother him in the least. “It’s the only reason I ran,” Biden said…