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Pentagon is cooperating with Biden transition, acting chief says, after blocking claims

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WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) – The Pentagon is “fully cooperating” with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller said, pushing back against a newspaper report that the Trump administration blocked some briefings.

Planned transition meetings on Monday and Tuesday include the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA), according to a Defence Department (DoD) statement.

The Washington Post reported on Friday (Dec 4) that the administration had refused to let Biden’s transition team meet with officials at Pentagon-controlled intelligence agencies such as the DIA and the NSA.

“The accusation by anonymous sources that DoD has not been fulfilling its commitment to professionally assist any of the Agency Review Teams is demonstrably false and patently insulting,” the Pentagon said in the statement published on Saturday (Dec 5).

It said the Pentagon is following “the normal process” and has given Biden’s transition team access to thousands of pages of documents, including classified materials.

The Pentagon “and its transition leadership are fully cooperating with the Biden transition team, placing national security and the protection of the American people at the forefront of any and all discussions,” Miller said in the statement.

President Donald Trump installed Miller, a former Green Beret and White House counterterrorism coordinator, at the Pentagon after the Nov 3 election along with several other Trump loyalists – after firing defence secretary Mark Esper in a tweet.