Report: Pentagon Abruptly Halts Biden Transition Briefings


Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller abruptly ordered a Pentagon-wide halt to cooperation with presumptive President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, shocking Defense Department officials, according to a report.

Senior Trump administration officials told Axios that they were unsure what induced Miller’s action, or if President Donald Trump approved of the sudden standstill.

Meetings between the Trump administration and Biden’s team have been ongoing since late November.

On Thursday night, however, Miller ordered all scheduled transition meetings to be canceled, according to Axios.

“We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week,” a senior Defense Department official told Axios. “The DOD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings.”

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Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe said on Twitter that there had been as many as 20 transition meetings per day.

The Defense Department official added to Axios, “These same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities. … With the holidays we are taking a knee for two weeks. We are still committed to a productive transition.”

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Although the meetings were reportedly canceled and rescheduled, other transition activities like answering requests for information were uninterrupted, according to Business Insider.

Miller cast doubt on some aspects of Axios’ report in a statement.

“At no time has the Department cancelled or declined any interview,” he said. “After the mutually-agreed upon holiday, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today.”

But Biden transition director Yohannes Abraham claimed this was untrue, telling reporters: “Let me be clear: there was no mutually agreed-upon holiday break.”

Miller was appointed on Nov. 9 after Trump fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

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“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately,” Trump tweeted.

“Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”

In a series of tweets 20 days after the Nov. 3 presidential election, Trump announced he was recommending that the General Services Administration make federal resources available to the Biden transition team, but added he wasn’t giving up on the legal fight over election results.

Numerous affidavits testifying to various types of election fraud have been filed in courts in several swing states.

These affidavits constitute evidence of fraud, but those allegations have yet to be proven in court. Legal action on behalf of the Trump administration remains ongoing.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith