Pentagon: Biden transition meetings with spy agencies set for early next week

Pentagon: Biden transition meetings with spy agencies set for early next week
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Meetings between officials with President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenPharma lobby eyes parliamentarian Demand for US workers reaches historic high Biden to award Medal of Honor to three soldiers who fought in Iraq, Afghanistan: report MORE’s transition team and some military-run spy agencies are scheduled to take place early next week following reports that the Trump administration was barring the discussions. 

Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough told The Hill on Friday that the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence & Security and the Pentagon transition director were finalizing the coordination for Defense Department intelligence agencies.

The spokesperson initially said the visits were "tentatively scheduled for early next week,” with the Pentagon following up Saturday to say the meetings are scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

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The Biden transition team declined to provide comment when asked to confirm if the meetings were scheduled. 

News of the talks comes after a report from The Washington Post that said the Trump administration was barring transition officials from meeting with intelligence agencies that fall under the Pentagon’s purview, including the National Security Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Biden advisers have already spoken with officials at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the CIA, both of which are independent of the Defense Department. 

Transition officials were unable to meet with government staffers for days after the Biden was projected to win the White House race as the General Services Administration declined to certify the election. The body finally did so on Nov. 23.

The delay sparked criticism from Democrats and a group of Republicans who accused the administration of hindering Biden’s readiness to take office.

The Pentagon has also been embroiled in turmoil since the election after former Pentagon chief Mark EsperMark EsperThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden to update Americans on omicron; Congress back Former defense secretary Esper sues Pentagon in memoir dispute Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by Boeing — Major Russia weapons test stokes tensions MORE was ousted in favor of current acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who is seen as more closely aligned with President TrumpDonald TrumpJury in Jussie Smollett trial begins deliberations Pence says he'll 'evaluate' any requests from Jan. 6 panel Biden's drug overdose strategy pushes treatment for some, prison for others MORE.

Gough denied that the meetings had been barred, though they are now scheduled to take place roughly a month after Biden was projected to beat Trump.

“The DOD Agency Review Team (ART) has not been denied any access. We continue to work with the DOD ART to schedule all requested interviews, briefings and updates,” she said.

Updated: Dec. 5 at 10:45 a.m.