WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma says it’s time for President-elect Joe Biden to get the intelligence briefings traditionally provided during a presidential transition. And he says he will step in if that process doesn’t begin by Friday.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, Lankford said both President Donald Trump and Biden were receiving intelligence reports throughout the campaign.
But he said Biden’s briefings have “stopped” since the election and he is pushing for those to resume.
“We should be in the same posture that we ran throughout the whole campaign with both of them receiving briefings as they’re both trying to be able to prepare and then allow the process to be able to go through right now,” Lankford said.
The Oklahoma Republican told reporters he has no issue with allowing Trump’s election challenges and recounts to continue, as he says “there are unresolved issues that we find in multiple states.”
But Lankford says that process will be over soon, and both candidates need to be prepared to run the country.
He pointed to the period following the contested 2000 election to make his point. While the George W. Bush team had access to the intelligence brief, an election recount delayed the Bush team’s access to government agencies and resources for more than five weeks.
The 9/11 Commission Report on the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks which happened just months later, warned of the danger in slow-walking presidential transition work in general, not just the intelligence piece.
“So for me, this is just an issue of saying, let’s learn the lesson of 2000 and let’s make sure that both sides are prepared,” Lankford says.
He told reporters if Biden isn’t getting access to the intelligence brief by Friday he’ll intervene to make that happen.