U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said the outgoing Donald Trump administration was doing “enormous damage” to agencies critical to the nation’s security.
Biden made the allegation in a speech from his home state of Delaware after receiving a briefing from his aides on national security and foreign policy.
He alleged that his team was not getting all the needed information, including on defence matters, for a smooth transfer of power.
He specifically mentioned the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget, accusing them of setting up “roadblocks” to information flow.
“Many of the agencies that are critical to our security have incurred enormous damage.
“Many of them have been hollowed out in personnel, capacity and in morale. The policy processes have atrophied or have been sidelined.
“Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas.
“It is nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility,” he said, adding that he needed clear information on the posture of U.S. forces around the world.
He warned that the nation’s enemies could take advantage of any resultant lapse in security.
But the Trump administration debunked the allegations, with the Department of Defence saying it had been completely open with Biden’s transition team.
Acting Secretary of Defence, Christopher Miller, said officials had been “working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities”.
According to him, the Pentagon has conducted 164 interviews with over 400 officials and provided over 5,000 pages of documents.
Miller said the information so far released to the Biden team was far more than it initially requested.