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Pentagon says it's cooperating with transition but Biden team disagrees

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller identified the Pentagon's cooperation with the transition team of President-elect Joe Biden in a statement Friday, which the Biden team partically contradicted. Pool photo by Joshua Roberts/UPI
Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller identified the Pentagon's cooperation with the transition team of President-elect Joe Biden in a statement Friday, which the Biden team partically contradicted. Pool photo by Joshua Roberts/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Acting Secretary Christopher Miller on Friday cited the Pentagon's cooperation and involvement in the White House transition process, pointing to participating in numerous interviews and fulfilling scores of information requests.

The Biden team said, however, that it is not getting full cooperation.

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"As of today, we have supported 139 interview sessions [of] more than 200 DoD personnel, 161 requests for information, and disclosed thousands of pages of non-public and classified documents, exceeding prior transitions," Miller's statement says in part.

It added: "At no time has the Department cancelled or declined any interview. Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on OWS [Operation Warp Speed, the White House anti-pandemic campaign] and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition."

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Miller's statement mentioned a "mutually agreed-to holiday pause," which begins Saturday, but on Friday, Biden spokesperson Yohannes Abraham directly contradicted that claim.

"Let me be clear, there was no mutually agreed-upon holiday break," Abraham said, "That our agency review teams will be able to have access to the sort of information that is invaluable for keeping the homeland safe.

"We think it's important that briefings and other engagements continue during this period as there's no time to spare, and that's particularly true in the aftermath of ascertainment delay" -- a reference to the delay by the administration of President Donald Trump in officially recognizing Biden as president-elect.

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It also cites the Pentagon's participation with Biden's agency review teams, which are responsible for understanding the operations of each government agency to ensure a smooth transfer of power.

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