Chris MIller, the acting Secretary of Defense, has ordered the Pentagon to halt President-elect Joe Biden’s transition briefings. A top Biden transition official was unaware of the move.
Meetings between the Pentagon and members of Biden’s transition team have continued to meet since President Donald Trump allowed the transition to proceed after weeks of delay, but late last night Miller ordered officials to cancel remaining meetings that were still on the schedule.
A senior Defense Department official said the move amounts to “ “a simple delay of the last few scheduled meetings until after the new year.”
The official said: “We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week… the DoD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings.” They added that “These same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities. … With the holidays we are taking a knee for two weeks. We are still committed to a productive transition.”
It is unclear if President Trump, who has continued to claim the 2020 election was fraudulent despite authorizing the transition and the Electoral College certifying Biden’s win earlier this week, approved of Miller’s directive.
Miller was appointed on November 9 after Trump fired former Defense Secretary Mark Esper. He has leveraged his position to make policy changes affecting the special operations community, according to a report last month, including his announcement that the United States would draw down its presence to 2,500 troops by January 15 in both Afghanistan and Iraq.