GOP Senators Push For Biden To Receive Intelligence Briefings

Several Republican senators have signaled support for President-elect Joe Biden to receive intelligence briefings as part of the transition of power.

What We Know:

  • Although many members of the GOP have yet to recognize Joe Biden as the President-elect and support President Donald Trump’s legal challenges to the election, several Senators acknowledge that Biden should receive intelligence briefings for the sake of national security.
  • Senator James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, said that he would intervene if the Trump administration does not give the Biden transition team access to government intelligence. Lankford sits on the Senate Oversight Committee and said he would investigate the General Services Administration if the situation does not change.
  • The GSA has not yet declared Biden as the winner of the presidential election, which is preventing the Biden team from getting access to intelligence briefings and interacting with federal agencies. The Biden campaign received abbreviated briefings during the race, but have not received any since the election.
  • Lankford noted that both Bush and Gore received briefings during the disputed 2000 election and that it should continue that way. He also referenced the 9/11 Commission, which was a bipartisan report which said a lack of cooperation during the 2000 transition contributed to the lack of preparations ahead of the attacks.
  • Republican senators John Cornyn, Lindsay Graham, Chuck Grassley, and Roy Blunt all echoed similar sentiments. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley told reporters “At this point, at least, I think he should absolutely be getting intelligence briefings.” Only four Republican senators – Mitt Romney, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Ben Sasse – have congratulated Joe Biden as the president-elect.

Biden said that the president’s daily briefings “would be useful, but it’s not necessary,” and that his transition team’s plans will not be affected.

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