Biden team slams Pentagon cooperation

The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden warned on Friday of risks to national security after it said the Pentagon suddenly halted briefings for the transition team.

Yohannes Abraham, executive director for the Biden transition team, said he was “concerned to learn this week about an abrupt halt in the already limited cooperation there”.

President Donald Trump, who is refusing to acknowledge his election loss to Mr. Biden, until recently held back from allowing government agencies to cooperate with Mr. Biden’s team, as is the custom.

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On Friday, Mr. Trump’s acting Defense Secretary, Chris Miller, said in a statement that the two sides had a “mutually agreed upon holiday pause” on briefings with military officials. Mr. Abraham said this was not true.

“There was no mutually agreed upon holiday break,” he told reporters, warning that “a failure to work together could have consequences well beyond” Mr. Biden’s inauguration in January.

The latest stumble in what is traditionally a carefully choreographed handover of power between outgoing and incoming U.S. administrations comes as Washington reels from a massive, possibly Russian state cyberattack. “There’s no time to spare,” Mr. Abraham said.

Mr. Abraham said the attack was of “great concern” and that under Mr. Biden cyberattacks will meet a response inflicting “substantial cost”. According to Mr. Abraham, the team has “hope and expectation” that the Pentagon briefings will recommence “immediately”.

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