President Trump’s administration has instructed senior agency officials to not cooperate with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team amid the Trump campaign’s legal challenge to election outcomes in multiple battleground states, The Washington Post reported Monday.
According to senior administration officials who spoke to the Post on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly, agencies have instructed staff who had been preparing briefing books and office space for the Biden team to not give this access until the election result is confirmed by the General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees the management and basic functioning of federal agencies.
“We have been told: Ignore the media, wait for it to be official from the government,” one senior administration official told the Post.
Biden was projected by The Associated Press and other major news outlets as the winner of the presidential election on Saturday, but Trump has indicated he will not concede, alleging without evidence that there was widespread voter fraud.
GSA Administrator Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has refused to sign paperwork releasing Biden’s $6.3 million share of nearly $10 million in transition resources and giving his team access to agency officials and information, according to the Post and other news outlets.
In a call with reporters Monday, Biden transition officials said Murphy’s decision is blocking the transition team from State Department-facilitated calls with foreign leaders and access to secure facilities where they can review classified information, among other services traditionally granted during a presidential transition.
The Biden team reportedly added in the call that they are evaluating their legal options should the Trump administration continue to prevent a peaceful transition.
The Post reported that several agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department of Veterans Affairs, have told staff to ignore outreach from Biden’s transition team.
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