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Jeh Johnson: Trump administration’s refusal to aid transition a ‘disservice to our national security’

Former Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said on Sunday that the Trump administration’s refusal to aid in a transition to a Biden presidency is a disservice to Americans as well as national security, stating that a new administration cannot begin without any information.

“A new government cannot start on January 20 from a standing-still position. This is what transitions are for. Intelligence briefings, [presidential daily briefings], when you’re in office, in national security are your eyes and ears,” said Johnson while appearing on ABC’s “This Week.”

“President Trump himself should appreciate that. During the transition four years ago, I personally visited Trump Tower to tell him things before he became president that I thought he’d rather hear directly from the Secretary of Homeland Security and I know he appreciated it,” Johnson told host Martha Raddatz. “So, it’s a disservice to the American public, it’s a disservice to our national security to make the incoming government wait until January 20 to actually begin to get up to speed on a myriad of issues.”

Johnson said that addressing the growing concern that a large portion of voters will not accept President-elect Biden’s victory due to Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud would be a “top priority” for the new administration.

“Our nation is divided right now, and there are over 70 million people bitterly disappointed in the election result. This is going to be a time for healing. When I was in office as Secretary of Homeland Security I made a point of talking to all groups,” said Johnson.

When asked by Raddatz if he would accept an offer to be a part of Biden’s administration, Johnson appeared to leave the door open to that possibility while saying he is “enjoying private life.”

“As a patriotic American, I’d have to seriously consider anything, but I’ve had a range of experience in national security and if I don’t serve in a Biden administration I’d of course be pleased to advise whoever is serving,” he said.

Tags ABC News This Week Biden transition Donald Trump Donald Trump Jeh Johnson Joe Biden Martha Raddatz
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