Joe Biden and his team are lying about his presidential transition being obstructed, says OMB Director Russ Vought. Despite Biden’s claims that the White House Office of Management and Budget is putting up “roadblocks” to the transition, Vought says there have been 45 meetings since late November.
“I am writing to correct several false statements that members of the Biden Transition Team (BTT) are continuing to make regarding the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) cooperation with your team,” Vought wrote in a letter obtained by the New York Post. “We have taken more than 45 meetings with your staff to discuss specific issues, operational questions, and more. It is appropriate for OMB to share information about ongoing programs so the BTT can use it to develop its own policies. We have provided all information requested from OMB about ongoing programs.”
White House officials told The Post that Biden may be accusing OMB of obstruction in order to “lay the groundwork” to blame them for any problems that occur in Biden’s administration after taking office, including with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Joe Biden has repeatedly lowered expectations on his eventual handling of the pandemic. “Our darkest days in the battle against COVID are ahead of us, not behind us,” he said last month, even though two COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the FDA and are currently being administered.
Vought insists that Biden’s transition team has been getting full access to all necessary information.
“To your specific criticisms with respect to COVID, as you are aware, your team has been briefed by OMB, as well as the relevant agencies, on Operation Warp Speed and other COVID-relief efforts, including the various funding streams in use for these efforts,” Vought explained in a letter to Biden transition co-chairman Ted Kaufman. “Furthermore, there is record of your team accessing these critical documents just last week.”
“As the record shows, OMB has fully participated in appropriate transition efforts. What we have not done and will not do is use current OMB staff to write the BTT’s legislative policy proposals to dismantle this Administration’s work,” Vought added. “OMB staff are working on this Administration’s policies and will do so until this Administration’s final day in office. Redirecting staff and resources to draft your team’s budget proposals is not an OMB transition responsibility.”
Vought, while dismissing the accusations of Biden’s transition team, also addressed his concern that Joe Biden’s team wants to take charge before Inauguration Day. “Our system of government has one President and one Administration at a time. OMB will not participate in developing policies that will weaken border security, dismantle the President’s deregulatory successes, and draft budgets that will bankrupt America.”
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis