Officials were not clear why or what prompted Chris Miller’s action
The Pentagon has stopped cooperation with the Biden transition team, sending shock waves across the Defense Department, according to developing reports.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered the Pentagon-wide halt to cease co-operating with the Biden transition team.
Top Biden officials were reportedly unaware of the sudden directive.
Officals were not clear why or what prompted Miller’s action, or whether it was approved by President Donald Trump.
Miller’s stunning move was the biggest eruption yet of animus and mistrust toward the Biden team from the top level of the Trump administration.
Meetings between President Donald Trump‘s team and the Biden team are going on throughout the government, after a delayed start as the administration dragged its feet on officially recognizing Biden as president-elect.
Then on Thursday night, Miller ordered officials throughout the building to cancel scheduled transition meetings.
A senior Defense Department official sought to downplay the move, calling it “a simple delay of the last few scheduled meetings until after the new year.”
DoD pushes back on AXIOS scoop that Acting Pentagon Defense Secretary halts Biden transition briefings – says Miller asked for 1 day pause and both teams agreed to two week break over the holidays. Expecting statement soon. https://t.co/e24S9BM6qT
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) December 18, 2020
“We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week,” the official said.
“The DoD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings.”
“These same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities.”
“With the holidays we are taking a knee for two weeks. We are still committed to a productive transition.”
Miller said in a statement:
“At no time has the Department canceled or declined any interview.”
“After the mutually-agreed-upon holiday, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today.”