Former national security adviser Susan Rice said Friday that the Trump administration’s repeated refusal to meet with members of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team “puts our national security at risk.”
In an op-ed published by The New York Times, the former Obama administration official wrote that “without access to critical threat information, no incoming team can counter what it can’t see coming.”
“Mr. Biden and his top national security team have not been provided the daily intelligence briefings to which they are entitled,” Rice, who currently serves on the Biden-Harris transition advisory board, wrote.
“Mr. Biden’s team is not receiving classified information,” she added. “The Biden-Harris agency review teams are constituted but have been denied access to every element of the executive branch. Vital exchanges of information and expertise that would help combat Covid-19 and jump-start the economy remain stalled.”
Rice, who also served as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 2009 to 2013, added that “instead of acting in the national interest to orchestrate a responsible, democratic transition, Mr. Trump and many Republicans are spending time sowing false doubts about the legitimacy of Mr. Biden’s election.”
“Tragically, but not surprisingly, Mr. Trump appears determined to take a final wrecking ball to our democracy and national security on his inevitable way out the door,” Rice concluded.
In the opinion piece, Rice also revealed that the more than 12 hours she spent in 2016 advising her successor, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, “and those of other White House officials with their incoming counterparts, plus President Obama’s two-hour meeting with President-elect Trump, proved to be the sum total of the 2016 national security transition at the highest levels.”
Rice wrote that in 2016, the incoming Cabinet “was apparently told not to meet with their Obama counterparts in their respective departments and most did not do so.”
Rice’s remarks come as multiple news outlets have reported that General Services Administration (GSA) head Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has refused to sign paperwork releasing Biden’s $6.3 million share of nearly $10 million in transition resources and giving his team access to agency officials and information.
Staff at multiple federal agencies have also reportedly been instructed to not cooperate with Biden’s transition team until the election result is certified by the GSA.
While all major news outlets declared Biden the projected winner of the 2020 election last week, Trump has since refused to concede, with his campaign leading legal battles challenging results in multiple key battleground states over claims of voter fraud.
Pennsylvania and Michigan courts on Friday rejected GOP lawsuits challenging election results in those states, with multiple election expert groups also disputing claims of voter fraud and voting irregularities advanced by Trump and his allies.