Former US ambassador: Biden's lack of access to intel briefings 'potentially catastrophic'

Former US ambassador: Biden's lack of access to intel briefings 'potentially catastrophic'
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David Adelman, who served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore during the Obama administration, said Monday that the White House’s failure to provide President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenHouse panel approves bill to set up commission on reparations Democrats to offer bill to expand Supreme Court Former Israeli prime minister advises Iran to 'cool down' amid nuclear threats MORE’s team with transition materials was “potentially catastrophic.”

“So far I think it’s not terribly damaging; it’s really still early days,” Adelman said in an appearance on CNBC’s “Capital Connection,” but added, “If it were to persist for weeks or even more than a month, I think the damage would be substantial.”

It will become increasingly critical that Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal after pushback Scalise carries a milk carton saying Harris is 'missing' at the border Harris to visit Mexico and Guatemala 'soon' MORE have access to the presidential daily briefing, he added.


“The PDB is historically, by now, being given to the president-elect. That has not yet happened,” he said. “In the next couple of weeks, we’re going to get to the point where they’re going to really be in need of the highly confidential briefings in order to really do their job and prepare for the transfer of power.”

Several Republican senators have called on Biden to begin receiving the PDB even as they hesitate or outright refuse to acknowledge him as president-elect. Trump has refused to concede the election, instead making unsubstantiated allegations of cheating. Yesterday he tweeted that those conspiracy theories were why Biden “won.”

Adelman noted, however, that in the weeks ahead the results of the election will be formally certified and that once Biden is certified the winner, he will become president on Jan. 20 regardless of Trump’s concession.

“The sort of stubborn unwillingness to engage in the transition is unprecedented, it’s harmful to the United States and … raises risks for the whole world,” he said. “I expect in the next week or so, we’ll see some softening of the president’s position, and an openness to at least the very basics of a transition and preparation for the peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 20.”