Friday, January 22, 2021

Biden accuses Trump administration of withholding defense information

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President-elect Joe Biden has accused the Trump administration of withholding Defense Department information from its transition team, endangering U.S. national security.

Mr Biden said on Monday that while some agencies were cooperating fully with the incoming administration, his team had “encountered obstruction from political leaders” at the Pentagon as well as “roadblocks” at the Office of Management and Budget.

“We need full visibility into ongoing budget planning in the Defense Ministry and other agencies to avoid any window of confusion or catch-up that our adversaries might try to exploit,” Mr. Biden.

“At present, we are simply not getting all the information we need from the outgoing administration in key areas of national security. It is simply irresponsible.

Mr Biden spoke of Wilmington, Delaware, after meeting with members of his cabinet and transition officials who were carrying out exams government activities ahead of his inauguration next month.

He said the team discussed the strategic challenges posed by China and Russia, and the need to “innovate and rethink our defenses against growing threats in new areas like cyberspace,” as demonstrated by ‘spreading. SolarWinds hacking which has come to light this month.

“This is an area where Republicans and Democrats agree – and we should be able to work on a bipartisan basis to better protect the American people from malicious cyber actors,” Biden said.

The president-elect said the new administration should also make “critical early investments” in the State Department and USAID, the US development agency, to rebuild alliances that had faltered under Trump.

Stronger alliances would allow the United States to better compete with China and hold Beijing responsible on trade, technology and human rights abuses, he added.

Mr. Biden did not address the coronavirus stimulus bill signed by Mr. Trump on Sunday evening in his prepared remarks. However, as he left the scene whether he was in favor of increasing direct payment checks to Americans from $ 600 to $ 2,000 – a change Mr. Trump and Democrats have advocated – Mr. Biden responded. : “Yes”.

Mr Biden also spoke on Christmas Day bombing raid in Nashville, Tennessee, which Mr. Trump did not mention in public remarks.

The president-elect said federal, state and local law enforcement agencies “were working around the clock to get more information about motive and intent.” He said the bombing was “a reminder of the destructive power that individuals and small groups can harness.”

He thanked the police, firefighters and first responders in Nashville who had arrived quickly. “Their courage and composure probably saved lives and prevented a worse outcome – and we are all grateful for that,” Biden said.

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