Lankford says he stepped in on Friday and had a private conversation with GSA about Biden’s transition process

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“I intervened. I spoke to them on Friday, ”Lankford said, declining to provide details of who he had spoken with and what they had said. “My staff were involved; I was involved. ”

Lankford said he had spoken to the agency about the process to be followed in determining whether Biden was the president-elect and that a formal transition should begin, including intelligence briefings for the new administration.

“We talked about the process, where they come from. I’ve talked about what I consider a good process, but I just won’t go into all the details, ”said Lankford, who chairs a Senate agency subcommittee.

Lankford defended the General Service Administration’s decision not to ensure Biden is the president-elect, arguing that the agency cannot make such a decision with any of the candidates contesting the election and before that the results are not certified by the states.

“There’s no way to verify it,” Lankford said. “GSA is not the voters. “The comments come after Lankford drew attention last week when he said Biden should be briefed on national security matters by November 13.

“There is no loss for him to have the briefings and to be able to do it. If that doesn’t happen by Friday, I will intervene, ”Lankford told KRMG radio station on November 11. the outcome of elections, however they are conducted, people can be ready for this real task. ”

Lankford said Monday that Biden should receive regular briefings on the confidential information he received as a candidate. But he argued that Biden should not have access to the Presidential Daily Brief – or the daily summary of high-level information – until he is officially declared president-elect.

Lankford told conservative news outlet Newsmax on Saturday: “I’m not necessarily in a rush to get these briefings from Joe Biden. It was interesting to see how the media – the national media, not this network but others – have distorted this term. ‘intervene.’ ”

Lankford said Monday he was not inconsistent: “Nothing has changed for me. He argued that he was “concerned” about the shortened transition process and that he wanted to make sure Biden got a certain level of briefings as Trump challenges the election results.

“I really wouldn’t like to have a gap in the information,” Lankford said.

When asked about the deadline for Trump, Lankford pointed to December 14, which is the time when the Electoral College casts its ballots, “when the whole country is certified.”

One of the first official steps in a transition from one presidential administration to the next is for the GSA administrator to sign a letter to release funds to Biden’s transition team through a process called verification, a step which Administrator Emily W. Murphy has not yet crossed. , while Trump refused to concede the election.

Following Lankford’s initial comments, a number of senior Senate Republicans also called last week for Biden to have access to confidential security briefings, including Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who as interim president is the longest-serving Republican in the chamber, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close ally of Trump. Some GOP lawmakers have cited the official report of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, which described how national security was negatively affected during the transition from the presidency of Bill Clinton to that of George W. Bush.

CNN’s Betsy Klein, Alison Main and Caroline Kelly contributed to this report.

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