Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris discussed global issues with their diplomatic, intelligence and defense experts, according to Biden transition officials.
Among those in the meeting were Tony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state; former U.S. ambassadors Nicholas Burns and Samantha Power; former Navy Admi. William McRaven and retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal.
Numerous Republican lawmakers have said in recent days that government intelligence officials should be briefing Biden ahead of his January 20 inauguration, even as Trump continues to pursue his long-shot legal challenges to try to overturn Biden’s projected election victory and stay in office for a second four-year term.
Top Trump Aide: ‘Obviously’ Looks Like Biden Won the Election The Admission from President Trump’s national security adviser comes as the president himself continued to claim victory on social media
The Republican lawmakers say that handing Biden the “President’s Daily Brief “on intelligence assessments of national security threats to the U.S. around the globe is essential for him in assuming power. Trump’s lawsuits claiming voting and vote-counting irregularities can proceed in tandem, the lawmakers have said.
But Trump has repeatedly claimed he won the election and refuses to concede defeat. Vote counts in individual states show that Biden has won more than a 270-vote majority in the 538-member Electoral College that determines the outcome of U.S. presidential elections, not the national popular vote.
Election officials throughout the country have told VOA and other U.S. news media that they have found no evidence of widespread vote fraud, only relatively small incidences of possible voting irregularities that would not be enough to overturn the outcome of the election, even if Trump were to win his lawsuits.
For Biden to officially start the transition, with intelligence briefings and wide access to numerous government agencies, the chief of the General Services Administration must sign a document certifying that Biden won the election. Trump has blocked that action.
Biden Warns of Lethal Consequences if Trump Won’t Coordinate on Coronavirus Response President-elect also criticizes the current president for not pushing for passage of a COVID-19 economic stimulus package
In addition to his meeting with national security advisers, Biden named seven key aides to his White House staff on Tuesday, with another two appointed to assist his wife, Jill Biden. Last week, Biden named longtime aide Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff.
The new appointments include Steve Ricchetti, a career political strategist, as counselor to the president; Congressman Cedric Richmond of Louisiana as senior adviser to Biden and director of the White House office of public engagement; and Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s election campaign manager, as deputy chief of staff.
Mike Donilon, a veteran Biden aide, was named senior adviser; Dana Remus, a lawyer for the Biden campaign, as counsel to the president; Julie Rodriguez, a former aide to Harris, as director of the White House office of intergovernmental affairs; and Annie Tomasini, another longtime Biden aide, as director of Oval Office operations, a gatekeeper on the president’s daily activities.
Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, a former U.S. ambassador to Uruguay, was named as Jill Biden’s chief of staff. Longtime aide Anthony Bernal will be Jill Biden’s senior adviser.
“Our White House senior staff is composed of individuals who demonstrate the president-elect’s commitment to building an administration that looks like America, has expertise in governing, and will be ready deliver results for working families on Day One,” Biden’s transition team said.