READ: John Kelly statement on Trump not helping with the transition to a Biden administration
Posted November 13, 2020 6:35 p.m. EST
CNN — Former White House chief of staff John Kelly issued an on-the-record statement Friday night lambasting President Donald Trump for not helping with the transition to a Biden administration.
Read the full statement:
The delay in transitioning is an increasing national security and health crisis. It costs the current administration nothing to start to brief Mr. Biden, Ms. Harris, the new chief-of-staff, and ALL identified cabinet members and senior staff as they are identified over the days and weeks ahead. That said, the downside to not doing so could be catastrophic to our people regardless of who they voted for.
Just as important are getting the landing or beachhead teams into the various departments and agencies that protect Americans, our health, and our way of life. In particular are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Department of Defense (DOD), the Intel Community (IC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) so they can begin to build the absolutely critical situational awareness essential for a smooth transition of presidents if required.
Also, time is of the essence to commence the SF-86 process that will lead to required high-level security clearances. Hopefully, the incoming administration, be it Biden or Trump, will take security clearances—and who gets them and why—seriously
All this will allow a Biden Administration, if declared the winner via our Constitutional and rule of law process, to be well on its way to taking the reins to lead and protect the country and our people. It will allow the incoming professionals, if Mr. Biden does indeed win the election, to understand where the current administration is leaving them on incredibly important issues like terrorism, Syria, Afghanistan, China, Iran and Russia, and what our current relationship is with our vital allies and partners particularly in NATO, Japan, South Korea, India, the five eyes, etc.. Just as importantly they will be in a position to develop an effective national strategy to protect all of us against the increasing ravages of the corona virus.
Beginning the transition, even as some claim that a clear winner in the election has not yet been identified, is critically important. The current administration does not have to concede, but it should do the right thing just in case the Constitutional system declares they lost. It is not about the GOP or the Democrat Party. It is not about the president or about Mr. Biden. It is about America and what is best for our people. Mr. Trump should order the transition process begin immediately. It is the right and moral thing to do.