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Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Pentagon Suspends Temporarily Meetings with Biden Team 


Fri 18 Dec 2020 | 10:44 PM
Ahmed Moamar

The Pentagon is temporarily pausing meetings with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team due to other demands and reportedly because some Department of Defense staff has felt "overwhelmed" by transition tasks, according to Business Insider.

"Meetings originally scheduled for Friday were canceled," a defense official said Friday morning.

Axios first reported the cancellations. The Pentagon then pushed back on aspects of the reporting.

The defense official explained that Friday's meetings were canceled due to competing priorities and are expected to be rescheduled for after the holidays, a two-week break starting Saturday that was agreed to by both the Pentagon and the Biden transition team.

"While meetings are being canceled and rescheduled, other transition activities, such as answering requests for information and providing written materials, continue uninterrupted," the official explained.

Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller said in a statement Friday that since Nov. 23, the Department of Defense has conducted 139 interviews with 265 officials, responded to 161 requests for information, and provided 4,400 pages of controlled information and 900 pages of classified information in support of the transition.

Axios reporter Jonathan Swan, citing a senior Pentagon official, reported that the reason for the pause on transition meetings was because some of the Pentagon staff members involved in the transition feel "overwhelmed."

Washington Post reporter Dan Lamothe reported that there have sometimes been as many as 20 meetings per day, even as officials dealt with other demands, and that some people had raised concerns.

"We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week," a Pentagon official told Axios, explaining that the department is "taking a knee" for a couple of weeks rather than having those meetings but is "still committed to a productive transition."

The official said that "the DoD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings," further stating that "these same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities."