The Trump administration prevented Joe Biden’s team from meeting with Pentagon intelligence agencies this week, according to a former senior intelligence official told CNN.
The slowdown means the Biden team has not yet been able to meet with officials from the military intelligence agencies within the Defense Department — including the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
Sue Gough, a Defense Department spokesperson, denied there has been any issue with the Biden teams’ ability to meet with intelligence officials at the Pentagon.
“The DOD Agency Review Team has not been denied any access,” Gough said in a statement. “We continue to work with the DOD ART to schedule all requested interviews, briefings and updates.”
A defense official said the Biden transition team for intelligence had “made direct coordination with DOD intelligence agencies for interviews, briefings and site visits,” and the Pentagon had then asked that it reach out to Patel for all of its requests for interviews and site visits “per the statute, GSA guidance”.
“In case that isn’t clear,” the defense official said, “the schedule change/delay happened because the (Biden team) didn’t reach out to DOD before scheduling a meeting with DOD agencies, PER THE GUIDANCE and MOU. They weren’t denied, they just had to follow the proper procedure.”
Gough said in her statement that visits were “tentatively scheduled for early next week,” and that Patel and the acting under secretary of defense for intelligence and security are working closely with others “and are completing coordination” for the Biden teams to visit.