While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said that President-elect Joe Biden should be receiving pertinent national security briefings before taking office in January.
He said that while President Donald Trump may be challenging the 2020 presidential election results, Biden should still be given intelligence briefings now.
“The president is contesting the election, and I would urge him to give intel briefings to Joe Biden,” he said.
“How much further to go?” Graham asked. “I don’t know. We’re going to be fine at the end of the day. This thing will work itself out,”
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said that it would not begin briefing President-elect Biden until the GSA had completed the “ascertainment” and determined who really won the election. This was talked about last week.
The Trump appointee who leads the General Services Administration still has not certified the results of the election.
Once the results are certified, several resources would be freed up and made available for the transition team: millions of dollars, access to government officials, office space in federal agencies, and taxpayer-funded equipment.
Other Republicans aside from Graham have made similar calls.
“I would think — especially on classified briefings — the answer is yes,” said Senator Chuck Grassley from Iowa to CNN.
Senate Majority Whip John Thune from South Dakota also told CNN that Biden should have access to classified briefings.
“Well, I think that it probably makes sense to prepare for all contingencies,” Thune said when he was asked if Biden should get briefings. “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.”
Senator Rob Portman from Ohio said that “yeah, I don’t think that would hurt,” if Biden started getting the briefings.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor that Trump was “100% within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.”
On the other hand, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to answer whether Biden should receive classified intelligence briefings or not.
Do you agree with Grassley and Lankford? McCarthy answered by quoting Biden, saying, “access to classified information is useful, but I’m not in a position to make any decision on those issues anyway” and that “it’d be nice to have. It’s not critical.”
“I think I got to stand with Joe Biden,” said McCarthy, a Republican from California. “He’s not president right now. I don’t know if he’ll be president on January 20th, but whoever is will get the information.”