Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford said he would step in and intervene if Joe Biden doesn’t have access to daily intelligence briefs by Friday.
Lankford told radio station KRMG that as chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, it would be “no loss” if Biden received the briefings. “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,” he told the radio station.
The White House has chosen to give Biden the deep freeze on intel briefings. But the Senate isn’t the White House. Lankford can do as he pleases.
But perhaps realizing he was off the reservation on showing Biden any consideration, he later supported the president’s legal effort.
President @realDonaldTrump is fully in his right to ask for recounts and for every legal question to be fully vetted and resolved. It is important for the 71 million Americans that voted for President Trump that at the end of all this their questions are answered.
— James Lankford (@jameslankford) November 12, 2020
Still, Lankford is only following the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, which believed the Clinton transition to George Bush — a delayed outcome during which Clinton played many of the same games that Trump is playing with Biden — led to a weakening of national security. The committee recommended the new president-elect be briefed daily about threats and opportunities.
“There’s nothing wrong with Vice President Biden getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself and so that he can be ready — the President’s already getting those,” Lankford said, adding that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, a Democratic senator from California, also has the appropriate clearances to begin receiving briefings because she serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, also called for Biden to receive the briefings.
“As has been done in every other transition, the President should order that Biden and his team receive the PDB, as has been done in the past, even during the contested election of 2000,” Warner said Wednesday. “It’s simply irresponsible to withhold this in these uncertain times.”
Biden was declared president by the media less than a week ago. They’re still counting votes in several states. Not a single state has certified the election. Donald Trump’s legal options are narrowing very quickly and will soon be gone, but he is perfectly within his rights to pursue them.
There is no rush except by the media, who are attempting to give the impression they are running Trump out of town. All they’re doing by this attempt to humiliate the president is to stiffen his spine and the spines of his supporters. Trump will never concede. It’s what the media craves and he will never give it to them.
The media wants a Trump concession because they have all these stories already written and narratives set about the Trump presidency. They want to be able to do an obituary — not to eulogize but to berate and mock Trump. I’m sure the networks had special broadcasts already in the can about what a terrible, awful, no good, rotten president he was.
How dangerous he was, they will say — a danger that never quite materialized. So I guess he wasn’t much of danger except in the fevered imaginings of paranoid liberals.
Trump will likely lose his legal challenges. At that point, he will probably relent and begin to transfer power to Biden. He, like Hillary Clinton, will never accept his defeat. And neither will his supporters.