The Pentagon discontinued briefings with the Biden Transition Team on Friday morning.
Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with the transition of President-elect Biden, shocking officials across the Defense Department, senior administration officials tell Axios.
Behind the scenes: A top Biden official was unaware of the directive. Administration officials left open the possibility cooperation would resume after a holiday pause. The officials were unsure what prompted Miller’s action, or whether President Trump approved.
Why it matters: Miller’s move, which stunned officials throughout the Pentagon, was the biggest eruption yet of animus and mistrust toward the Biden team from the top level of the Trump administration.
What happened: Meetings between President Trump’s team and the Biden team are going on throughout the government, after a delayed start as the administration dragged its feet on officially recognizing Biden as president-elect.
Then on Thursday night, Miller — who was appointed Nov. 9, when Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper right after the election — ordered officials throughout the building to cancel scheduled transition meetings.
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UPDATE — The Pentagon and liberal media are downplaying the news.
DoD pushes back on AXIOS scoop that Acting Pentagon Defense Secretary halts Biden transition briefings – says Miller asked for 1 day pause and both teams agreed to two week break over the holidays. Expecting statement soon. https://t.co/e24S9BM6qT
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) December 18, 2020