By Neha banka
It wasn’t much of a secret that Donald Trump would attempted to throw in a few curvebells if he did not win a second term as US President. And that is precisely what has been happening since November 3. Due to Trump’s refusal to accept the election results, the processes that would have typically started during the presidential transition period have effectively been stalled.
Taking the lead in this process is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who at a State Department briefing said ” there will be a smooth transition to a second trump administration’ Pompeo’s remarks were criticised by diplomats and the Democratic party, with many observers believing that Pompeo was seeking to pander to and reinforce Trump’s fantasies of a second term.
Observers’ concerns following Pompeo’s remarks aren’t misplaced. In ordinary circumstances, his team would have been expected to engage with the Biden-Harris team to ensure a smooth transition. But CBS News reported that congratulatory phone calls that President-elect Joe Biden is receiving from world leaders have been taking place on unsecured phone lines, due to a lack of cooperation from the US State Department. Typically, the President-elect would start receiving intelligence briefings along with the sitting president. In this case, it has not been happening either.
“Not only are they not getting access to classified information or already appropriated funds, they aren’t getting their review teams into the agencies, and getting ahold of the real budget picture in the agencies and the real personnel picture,” CNN reported Denis McDonough, who was President Brack Obama’s chief of staff, saying.
News reports suggest this can cause lapses in national security and result in circumstances where the Biden-Harris administration would have to scramble to catch up in January 2021 when they enter the White House to make up for the lost time.
This period of transition is important because it essentially allows the incoming team to get a sense of the working of the government on both the domestic and international stages. Experts believe the because one of the first tasks domestically for the Biden-Harris team would involve handling the outbreak. The US is among the nations that globally have the highest rates of infections and related deaths.
According to CNN, there are concerns among the Biden-Harris transition team that even current Pentagon officials, particularly Trump loyalists, may not cooperate in matters of national defense. This past week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper was fired by Trump on Monday. According to the CNN report, Biden’s team has resorted to reaching out to former Pentagon officials who worked under former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in an attempt to gather information that they would need.
On Friday, at a briefing, Trump refused to impose lockdowns to curb the growing coronavirus infection numbers in the country and for the first time, also addressed the possibility of “Whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be. I guess time will tell,” Trump said, without naming Biden. Reports suggested that Trump was looking visibly subdued during this address, perhaps due to growing pressure from Republicans to concede to Joe Biden.
The knowledge that he will have to leave the White House because of his resounding loss may be a difficult pill to swallow for a man who made his mark on reality television, making ‘You’re fired’ a catchphrase; now a judgement ironically delivered to him by American citizens, that he finds himself unable to accept. ( Indian Express )
Get real time update about this post directly on your device, subscribe now.