John Kelly, ex-White House chief, condemns Trump for blocking transition process

Kelly, Trump's first chief of staff, says the outgoing president must do 'what’s best for the country'

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It’s been six days since former Vice President Joe Biden was projected the winner of the 2020 presidential election, and current President Donald Trump has still yet to concede defeat nor aide in the transition.

Trump’s former chief of staff, John Kelly, is not pleased with the president’s behavior and has made a public statement about it.

During an interview with Politico, Kelly, Trump’s first chief of staff who lasted for 18 months, believes that while Trump is within his rights not to concede “until the full election process is complete,” refusing to debrief Biden and his transition team will prove to be detrimental to the nation.

White House chief of staff John Kelly listens as U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House October 5, 2017 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Andrew Harrer-Pool/Getty Images)

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“You lose a lot if the transition is delayed because the new people are not allowed to get their head in the game,” Kelly stated. “The president, with all due respect, does not have to concede. But it’s about the nation. It hurts our national security because the people who should be getting [up to speed], it’s not a process where you go from zero to 1,000 miles per hour.”

Biden has already begun drafting his transition and future administration staff. According to theGrio, this includes a COVID-19 task force that is co-chaired by Marcella Nunez-Smith, Yale School of Medicine’s associate dean for health equity. However, as reported by NBC News, Biden has not been getting the president’s daily briefs, which is customary during the transition period.

READ MORE: Trump advisor Peter Navarro says WH operating under ‘assumption of a 2nd Trump term’

Kelly states that such behavior from Trump is compromising national security. “The transition, in the national security realm in particular and the homeland security realm, is just so important that every day that the transition is delayed really kind of handicaps,” Kelly continued.  

White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly looks on as President Donald Trump speaks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower, August 15, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

While Kelly understands why Trump will likely never accept the results of the election, he says that Trump doesn’t have to in his mind. However, Kelly believes Trump should put his pride to the side for the good of the country.

“I know Mr. Trump better than most people do. I know that he’ll never accept defeat and, in fact, he doesn’t have to accept defeat here,” he said. “He just has to do what’s best for the country and in the country’s interest.”

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