National Security

GOP senator says Biden should get access to intelligence briefings

GOP Sen. James Lankford (Okla.) said there was “nothing wrong” with President-elect Joe Biden getting intelligence briefings and pledged to “step in” if the former vice president doesn’t have access by Friday. 

Asked about Biden not getting the briefings, Lankford told Oklahoma radio station KRMG, in an interview that aired Wednesday, that it “should be resolved” by Friday. 

“There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that and if that’s not occuring by Friday I will step in as well, and to be able to push and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election … people can be ready for that actual task,” Lankford said. 

He added that President Trump already gets intelligence briefings and that there was “nothing wrong” with Biden “getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself.” 

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Lankford noted, is also a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, meaning that “she has all the clearances that she needs.” Lankford is a former member of the Intelligence panel and a current member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

Lankford’s comments come as the General Services Administration (GSA) has not yet determined that Biden won the presidential election as Trump has refused to concede the race. The Associated Press and other outlets called the race for Biden on Saturday, but Trump’s campaign has launched a myriad of legal challenges in key battleground states where he trails Biden. 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence told NBC News that it wouldn’t interact with the Biden campaign until the GSA had made an “ascertainment” on who won the election. 

Biden’s campaign also said that he is not getting the president’s daily brief, a roundup of intelligence reporting given to the president and key Cabinet officials and advisers. NBC noted that Trump could grant Biden access to that, but has not done so. 

NBC News and The New York Times reported that it was unclear if Biden’s team would be given access to classified information. 

Then-President Clinton, the Times noted, gave then-Gov. George W. Bush access to the president’s daily brief even while votes were still being recounted in Florida during the 2000 election. 

–Updated at 9:27 p.m.

Tags Biden transition Donald Trump intelligence briefings James Lankford Joe Biden PDB President's Daily Brief presidential transition

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