WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. mentioned on Monday that his transition crew had confronted “obstruction” from the Defense Department, elevating new issues concerning the Trump administration’s cooperation with transition officers with simply over three weeks till Inauguration Day.
“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas,” Mr. Biden mentioned in Wilmington, Del., after he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris had been briefed by members of the transition’s company overview groups for businesses coping with nationwide safety and overseas coverage, just like the Defense and State Departments.
“It’s nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” Mr. Biden mentioned.
In his remarks, the president-elect mentioned that his crew had “encountered roadblocks” from political leaders on the Defense Department in addition to on the Office of Management and Budget. Mr. Biden emphasised the significance of a clean transition, saying, “Right now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure that nothing is lost in the handoff between administrations.”
“My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies,” he continued. “We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries may try to exploit.”
In an announcement on Monday, the performing protection secretary, Christopher C. Miller, defended the division’s degree of cooperation with the Biden crew. He mentioned the division was persevering with “to schedule additional meetings for the remainder of the transition and answer any and all requests for information in our purview.”
“Our D.O.D. political and career officials have been working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities in a compressed time schedule, and they will continue to do so in a transparent and collegial manner that upholds the finest traditions of the department,” Mr. Miller mentioned. “The American people expect nothing less, and that is what I remain committed to.”
The Biden transition was hamstrung on the outset by the Trump administration’s delay in formally designating Mr. Biden because the obvious winner of the election. The head of the General Services Administration didn’t take that step till Nov. 23.
More just lately, Mr. Biden and his crew have complained about their dealings with the Pentagon specifically.
Per week earlier than Christmas, Yohannes Abraham, the manager director of the Biden transition, mentioned that the president-elect’s crew had encountered “isolated resistance in some corners, including from political appointees within the Department of Defense.” He expressed concern about what he described as “an abrupt halt in the already limited cooperation there.”
Mr. Miller had cited a “mutually agreed-upon holiday pause,” however Mr. Abraham mentioned that no such settlement had been made.
And final week, throughout an occasion at which Mr. Biden criticized President Trump for taking part in down the Russian hacking of the federal authorities and personal corporations, Mr. Biden mentioned, “The Defense Department won’t even brief us on many things.” The division responded by calling that declare “patently false.”
After Mr. Trump’s postelection firing of Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and a purge of the division’s senior management, the Pentagon was put beneath the political management of a number of Trump loyalists, together with Kashyap Patel, Mr. Miller’s chief of workers, who’s greatest recognized for his efforts to discredit the Russia investigation when he was a Republican congressional aide.
But whilst Mr. Biden complained on Monday a couple of lack of cooperation from some political appointees within the Trump administration, he additionally provided reward for profession federal authorities staff who’ve labored with members of his transition. “For some agencies, our teams received exemplary cooperation from the career staff,” he mentioned.
Mr. Biden additionally provided a downbeat evaluation of the toll that 4 years of Mr. Trump’s presidency had taken on the nation’s nationwide safety equipment.
“The truth is, many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage,” the president-elect mentioned. “Many of them have been hollowed out — in personnel, capacity and in morale.”
Mr. Biden has emphasised a promise to rebuild alliances and restore the United States’ standing on the planet, and he has already named most of his prime overseas coverage and nationwide safety officers — although he has but to announce his alternative to guide the C.I.A.
Since profitable the election, the president-elect has had calls with an extended listing of overseas leaders, and in his remarks on Monday, he reiterated his need to restore relationships that had been broken through the Trump administration.
“Right now, there’s an enormous vacuum,” Mr. Biden mentioned. “We’re going to have to regain the trust and confidence of a world that has begun to find ways to work around us or work without us.”
Michael Crowley contributed reporting.