Almost a week after the declaration of Joe Biden as the winner of the elections in the United States, and despite the fact that the final results give the Democrat a broad victory, Donald Trump continues to maintain the order that no one from his Administration cooperate with the team of transition, despite being required by law. Trump's refusal to take over, who insists that he has won the elections, creates security risks for the country and forces Biden's team and his vice president, Kamala Harris, to work precariously at a crucial health moment, with more than 10 million affected by covid-19.
In the country of the acronyms, an increasing number of Republican senators insist that, at least, Joe Biden have access to the so-called PDB (President's Daily Brief), the daily report that the United States president receives every morning in the A map of threats to the nation is drawn, allowing you to make plans about it. At this point, sharing that information with the president-elect is no longer a political issue, it is a matter of national security. The Republican veto also prevents the release of the funds provided to achieve an orderly transfer of power (just over six million dollars).
Previous examples attest to the importance of a proper government transition to guarantee the security of the country. The Commission that investigated the terrorist attacks of September 11 found that the brevity of the relief that occurred in 2000, due to the electoral recount in Florida, which in turn delayed the appointment of the president, hampered the ability of the George W. Bush to deal with Al Qaeda's plans and react to the attacks that changed the world in 2001. As the newspaper recalls The New York TimesA few days before his inauguration, George W. Bush confessed to a reporter for that newspaper at his ranch in Texas of the risk that the reports and the meetings would have had to be shortened.
In the opinion of Democratic Senator Chuck Schummer, “every day that Republicans in the Senate indulge the president in his delusion that he has not lost the election, they are undermining faith in our democracy, putting national security at risk and preventing answers from being given. to the economic and health crisis due to the coronavirus ”. It is imperative that Biden and his closest associates have access to the PDB. This is stated by Republican Senator Susan Collins, who considers that receiving this intelligence information is perhaps "one of the most important parts of the transition."
But protocol has been broken, which is not unusual in the Trump era. Four years ago, outgoing President Barack Obama's team was ready to report and even present mock crises (including a flu pandemic). Contrary to what the Democrats are now claiming, in 2016 Trump's advisers had no interest in the documentation and testimonies that the Democratic White House passed on to them.
John Kerry, Secretary of State with Obama, never met with his successor, Rex Tillerson, because the latter simply did not see any incentive in the meeting. Michael Flynn did not sit with Susan Rice, his predecessor as a national security adviser. Flynn was ousted by Trump before serving a month in office with one of his famous "you're fired" messages.
Meetings on terraces
In these days when the pandemic imposes social and security norms, the more than 500 people who – among advisers, experts and former members of past administrations – make up the members of the Biden-Harris transition team are forced to meet in coffee terraces and working with Internet applications that safeguard the confidentiality of their conversations, since the Trump White House has denied them access to secure communications through channels of the Department of State or Defense.
Biden's nearly 78 years – more than half of them in Washington power circles – are an advantage in this difficult transition. The president-elect was president or member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee for 17 years, which means there is little that could take him by surprise. Except for one: four years of the Trump Administration. "The real risk is that we don't know what we don't know," as a Biden adviser quoted by the Times, given the continuous entry and exit of personnel in the White House.
For John Podesta, who co-chaired President Obama's transition team in 2007-2008, Trump's obstructionist maneuvers are "very dangerous." Among them, this seasoned advisor cites the management of the pandemic and its tens of thousands of deaths as one of the priorities that the new administration will have to face. In addition, Podesta is counting on the fact that Democrats will discover “minefields” left by the outgoing government for which there will be little time to react once they are in power at noon on January 20, 2021.
While Trump still does not accept that he has been president of a single term, there are few, but more and more, those within the Republican ranks who ask that Biden's victory be recognized. "I don't think you can find a single member of Congress who really thinks there is a possibility that Donald Trump is the next president of the United States," Podesta explained on public radio. "And yet they support him, perhaps because they are afraid of him," ventured the adviser, who despite everything predicts that Trump "will have to leave the White House."
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