While Congressional Republicans are reluctant to acknowledge President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election, they are expressing their support for the government providing him with intelligence briefings.
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) also voiced his support for Biden receiving intelligence briefings, “There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that.”
“And if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well, and to be able to push and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election … people can be ready for that actual task,” he added.
Sen. John Thune (R-N.D.) also said Biden should receive intelligence briefings, “Well, I think that it probably makes sense to prepare for all contingencies.”
“And as these election challenges play out in court, I don’t have a problem with, and I think it’s important from a national security standpoint, continuity. And you’ve seen other members suggesting that. I think that makes sense,” he added.
While several news outlets have called the race for Biden, the General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy has not yet signed a letter of “ascertainment” to state that Biden won the election, which would allow the transition process to move forward.
Until the GSA chief signs the letter, the transition process will likely be largely stalled.
NBC News reported that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) said it will not provide intelligence briefings until the GSA acts.
In a statement, the ODNI said, “ODNI follows the statutory direction provided in the Presidential Transition Act, which requires ascertainment of the candidate by the administrator of GSA prior to supporting a potential presidential transition.”
“ODNI would not have contact with any transition team until notified by the GSA administrator,” the statement added.