According to a new report by CNN, the State Department, under directives from the Trump administration, is preventing projected president-elect Joe Biden from getting access to numerous messages coming from foreign leaders.
According to the report published Thursday, November 12, stacks of messages to Joe Biden are sitting at the State Department and calls Biden has received from world leaders congratulating him on the election have taken place without any logistical or translational support from the State Department.
The report comes a day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to acknowledge Biden’s win, saying that “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration because President Donald Trump refused to accept Biden’s victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received.
Biden has held numerous calls with leaders, including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Canada’s Justin Trudeau, but has done so without the logistical and translation support that the State Department operations centre provides.
“They would prefer to be using State Department resources,” said a source to CNN.
The report also states that Biden is also being blocked from getting the same intelligence briefings as the President, known as the President’s Daily Brief, and should the Trump administration continue to block a typical transition close to Inauguration Day on January 20, there are concerns Biden’s administration will be playing catch-up the day he takes office.
In the past, the State Department has facilitated a smoother process between the incoming government and the outgoing government.
“It was helpful to have state ops place the calls and to provide translation services, and we were grateful for the cooperation from the Bush administration to make that happen,” said Denis McDonough, who served in the Obama administration and worked with Obama during the transition.
“These calls in the past have been handled on open lines. They are congratulatory calls,” McDonough said, adding that both sides are providing readouts, which is consistent with protocol.