The Pentagon denied that it had cut off meetings with the Biden transition team on Thursday, asserting that the two-week pause in meetings over the holidays was “mutually-agreed upon.”
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller sent out a statement on Friday morning after the publication of a report in Axios stating that Miller had ordered a “Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden.”
Axios reported on Friday morning that Miller had issued a directive halting briefings with the Biden transition team in a move that “stunned officials throughout the Pentagon.” Miller disputed the report and said that the move was agreed upon beforehand with the Biden transition team and that briefings would begin again after the holidays.
The Department of Defense will continue to provide all required support to the Agency Review Team (ART) to keep our nation and her citizens safe. As of today, we have supported 139 interviews sessions more than 200 DoD personnel, 161 requests for information, and disclosed thousands of pages of non-public and classified documents, exceeding prior transitions. At no time has the department canceled or declined any interview.
Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on [Operation Warp Speed] and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition. This is my major focus area.
After the mutually-agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today. Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition – this is what our nation expects and the DoD will deliver AS IT ALWAYS HAS.
In a possible reason for the pause, Axios had reported that “Fury at the Biden team among senior Pentagon officials escalated after the Washington Post published a story on Wednesday night revealing how much money would be saved if Biden halted construction of Trump’s border wall.” Trump administration officials had blamed the leak on the Biden transition team.
Miller’s statement appears to deny that suggestion, however.
The Biden transition, started after President Trump launched a series of legal challenges over the outcome of the election in a handful of battleground states, is experiencing its latest crisis over the admission of Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, that his “tax affairs” are under federal investigation. As The Daily Wire has reported:
Additional reporting suggested that federal investigators are focusing on Hunter’s business dealings in China. Hunter and several business partners attempted to strike a deal with Chinese Energy Company CEFC in 2017 to set up a joint venture called Sinohawk Holdings. The venture never took off and there were never any payments made between CEFC and Sinohawk.
Trump has considered pushing for a special counsel to take up the investigation into Hunter, which would insulate the probe from an incoming Biden administration.
One of Hunter’s former business partners, Anthony Bobulinski, has claimed that the Democratic presidential candidate stood to benefit from his son’s business dealings in China.
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