While President Donald Trump refuses to allow the 2020 elections to take place, several top Republicans say it is time for Joe Biden to gain access to secret briefings while he prepares for a change of power.
On Thursday, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and John Thune (R-S.D.) told CNN that Biden should receive the secret information.
“I think, especially with secret briefings, the answer is yes,” Grassley said.
Thune told the news station that “it probably makes sense to prepare for all eventualities” and that “since these election campaigns are being conducted in court, I have no problem with – and I think it’s important from a national security perspective – continuity. And you have seen how other members have suggested this”.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) said the same thing when asked on Thursday if Biden should have access to daily intelligence briefings and told reporters that he knew of no justification for withholding the information.
Other Republicans who said on Thursday that Biden should have access to secret briefings were Senators Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
Their comments come the day after Senator James Lankford (R-Oklao) told local radio station KRMG that he would “step in” if Biden did not begin receiving the briefings.
“There’s nothing wrong with Vice President Biden receiving the briefings to prepare himself so he can be ready,” Lankford said on Wednesday. “If this doesn’t happen by Friday, I will also be able to step in and urge him to say, “This has to happen so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whatever it is, people can be ready for this real task.
Lankford made it clear, however, that he supports Trump’s legal challenges to the election based on unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud. In a tweet on Thursday, the Senator wrote that the President “is fully within his rights to demand recounts and that any legal issue must be fully reviewed and resolved. For the 71 million Americans who voted for President Trump, it is important that their questions be answered at the end of all this.
Biden, who was predicted to win the election on November 7, has not yet received the President’s daily report on urgent national security matters – an unusual limitation for an elected president.
The reason for this is that the General Services Administration (GSA) has not yet made a “determination” about the winner of the race, which would free up critical resources such as briefings and funding for the president-elect. The agency said it would do so as soon as a “clear” winner was determined.
Several other Republicans have called for Biden to have access to transitional instruments to avoid national security risks.
“We must have that opportunity,” Florida Senator Marco Rubio told Bloomberg News. “I do not believe that allowing the GSA to advance some of the transitional work in any way detracts from the legal claims the President intends to make.
Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania said in an interview with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 that “we are on a path [where]it is likely that Joe Biden will be the next president of the United States. It is not 100 percent certain, but it is quite likely. Therefore I think that a transition process should begin”.
On Thursday morning, Biden had 290 votes compared to Trump’s 217, but the president refused to give in, repeatedly claiming without evidence that the election was rigged and stolen. The Trump campaign and Republican allies have filed several lawsuits to challenge the vote count in key swing states including Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
But Democrats said on Thursday that it was time for Republicans to deviate from the election and accept Biden as the elected president.
“The election is over. It was not close,” Schumer said during a press conference. “The Republicans in the Senate: Stop denying reality.”
Washington Newsday turned to the White House for comment, but did not listen back in time for publication….