Breaking with Donald Trump, Republican Sen. James Lankford of Oklahoma said Wednesday that he will intervene if the Trump administration has not allowed President-elect Joe Biden access to presidential daily intelligence briefings by the end of the week, arguing that it’s one of the first rights of a presidential candidate after winning the election.
The Biden transition team is not getting the same briefings that presidents-elect typically receive because Trump refuses to accept the results of the election despite having no evidence of voter fraud.
“There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that,” the Oklahoma Republican told radio station KRMG, noting that he sits on the Senate Oversight Committee and that he’s already started engaging on this issue. He added that if no progress is made on the issue by Friday, he will step in and say, “This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.”
Lankford’s remarks come as Biden and his senior advisers are not yet receiving the President’s Daily Brief, the highly classified intelligence briefings about pressing national security issues that their soon-to-be predecessor has been offered daily.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Monday that Biden’s lack of access stems from the election being not yet ascertained by the director of the General Services Administration, a Trump appointee.
It remains unclear whether the race needs to be ascertained before the President-elect can legally receive the briefings. Biden has said that the daily briefings “would be useful, but it’s not necessary.”