On Friday, Donald Trump’s former chief of staff John Kelly spoke with POLITICO about the president and his failure to concede to Joe Biden, despite having lost the election.
Kelly touched on the subject of national security and how Trump’s failure to accept defeat threatens the country.
“You lose a lot if the transition is delayed because the new people are not allowed to get their head in the game,” Kelly said Friday. “The president, with all due respect, does not have to concede. But it’s about the nation. It hurts our national security because the people who should be getting [up to speed], it’s not a process where you go from zero to 1,000 miles per hour.”
“Mr. Trump doesn’t have to concede if he doesn’t want to, I guess, until the full election process is complete. But there’s nothing wrong with starting the transition, starting to get people like the national security people, obviously the president and the vice president-elect, if they are in fact elected, to start getting them [up to speed] on the intelligence,” he said.
Kelly said that starting transition intelligence briefings early is key because it’s a gradual process.
“The transition, in the national security realm in particular and the homeland security realm, is just so important that every day that the transition is delayed really kind of handicaps” the new team, he said.
“I think it’s crazy not to” start the transition, Kelly said. “I know Mr. Trump better than most people do. I know that he’ll never accept defeat and, in fact, he doesn’t have to accept defeat here. He just has to do what’s best for the country and in the country’s interest.”