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Biden transition to receive defense intelligence briefings on Monday

Posted December 6, 2020 2:52 p.m. EST

— Members of the Biden transition team are scheduled to receive briefings from the Pentagon's intelligence agencies beginning on Monday, according to defense officials.

"They are meeting with DoD intelligence agencies Monday and Tuesday of this week," according to a senior defense official.

The briefings are to take place days after, according to a former senior intelligence official familiar with intelligence transition discussions, that the Pentagon had blocked the Biden transition team's access to the Department of Defense's intelligence agencies such as the NSA and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The Department of Defense strongly denied claims that it had hindered the briefings, with a spokesman calling the claims "demonstrably false and patently insulting."

Multiple Pentagon officials blamed the meetings being delayed on the Biden transition organization, saying the members of its intelligence transition team reached out directly to the Pentagon's intelligence agencies, which they said was a violation of the transition arrangement agreed to with the Biden camp.

"We can't help them if they can't read an org chart," a defense official told CNN.

"That was more of an internal issue for the Biden team than a DoD issue," another defense official said.

Biden transition team spokesman Ned Price declined to comment about the briefings.

Pentagon officials also said that this week's briefings between defense intelligence officials and the Biden transition team were scheduled prior to reports of the Pentagon denying access being published by multiple news outlets.

Defense officials say 47 total interviews with the Biden transition team are scheduled for next week including with Deputy Secretary of Defense David Norquist and the chiefs of the military services.

Other briefings have already taken place, including briefings on policy and international security affairs.

Defense officials have also denied reports that the newly installed Pentagon chief of staff, Kash Patel, was controlling the transition process saying "Kash has delegated much of his responsibility to Tom (Muir)," a career defense official.

They said that Patel "hasn't edited or modified" briefing material, much of which has been placed on iPads as opposed to the traditional hard copy briefing binders.

Officials also said that partly due to coronavirus and the Biden transition teams preferences, 90% of interviews have been virtual as opposed to taking place in the Pentagon.

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