Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) says that President Donald Trump’s behavior during the lame-duck period between his election loss and the inauguration of the Biden-Harris administration could yield “potentially more severe” consequences than a delayed transition. Thus far, the president has ordered his administration not to cooperate with the Biden-Harris transition team.
“The consequences of what’s happening during this lame duck period, I think, are potentially more severe than the consequences associated with a late transition process,” Romney told CNN’s David Axelrod on an episode of “The Axe Files” podcast released today.
Romney says foreign nationals he’s spoken to have expressed “alarm” over Trump’s plan to withdraw troops from the Middle East, a move that could endanger the United States’ relationships with its allies.
“We have some 40 coalition members that also have troops there. For us to pull our troops out obviously puts our remaining troops in some danger, as well as their troops,” Romney said. “And they wonder, ‘how do we deal in a coalition with the United States leading it if there is a decision taken on a precipitous basis with which we may or may not have been familiar that puts our troops in jeopardy?'”
Romney’s forceful criticism is the latest sign that more Republicans are breaking away from the president despite his claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent. (There is no evidence to support the president’s claim, which has been disputed by U.S. security agencies.)
A few Trump administration officials have quietly reached out to the Biden-Harris transition team despite Trump’s insistence that they not cooperate.
Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager and transition adviser to Biden, confirmed to CNN that officials have reached out, but called on the General Services Administration (GSA) to acknowledge Biden’s victory and begin the transition.
It requires more than former officials choosing to step forward and be helpful to ensure a smooth transition of power,” Bedingfield said. “GSA should follow the law and ascertain the results of the election so that Americans get a smooth and effective hand off between administrations.”