Trump admin orders federal agencies to resist Biden transition team
A senior Trump administration official says they were told to 'wait for it to be official from the government.'
On Monday, the Donald Trump administration told multiple government leaders to resist cooperation with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team, according to The Washington Post.
Many government agencies had created physical space for Biden’s people to come and work so the transition would be seamless once the administrations changed. But because of this new directive, Biden’s team was told that they would not be able to use said space until the election results were confirmed by the General Services Administration.
“We have been told: Ignore the media, wait for it to be official from the government,” a senior Trump administration official told The Post.
As theGrio previously reported, the GSA is an independent government agency that helps with all governmental logistics including transportation for federal employees, property management and more. They also play an integral role in helping presidential administrations change hands.
theGrio also reported that the current administrator of the GSA is Emily W. Murphy, who was nominated by Trump in 2017. She has “refused to formally recognize Mr. Biden as the president-elect with a letter of ‘ascertainment,’” according to The New York Times, “leaving the country’s transition of power in flux.”
Agency leaders appointed by Trump have reportedly told staff to ignore all reach-out efforts from Biden’s team. These agencies are also not currently planning any briefings on budgets or logistical operations, and they will not do so until Murphy gives the go-ahead.
“There is a process underway that is guided by law, and we will await conclusion of that process,” said a Veteran’s Affairs spokeswoman. Still, VA officials are currently creating documents for Biden’s transition team.
A spokesman at the EPA said they would not discuss plans with the press because votes are still being counted, and all questions should be directed to the GSA.
The GSA and Murphy are responsible for releasing to Biden officials his $6.3 million share of almost-$10 million in transition funds, along with access to GSA’s people and insight. The president-elect cannot move forward without them.
“The Presidential Transition Act, passed by Congress in 1963, does not specify what factors the GSA administrator must consider when determining the apparent winner of an election, giving Murphy leeway to make that call,” according to The Washington Post.
As theGrio previously reported, Biden’s team is weighing their legal options.