U.S. Sen. Angus King on Thursday morning chastised the Trump administration’s decision not to provide President-elect Joe Biden security briefings, saying it puts national security at risk during a vulnerable period.
King, an independent who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, made the comments during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”
“Any transition is a moment of vulnerability when our adversaries look to take advantage,” King said. “[It’s being done for] sort of the pique of the president and … it’s just downright dangerous for national security.”
As President Donald Trump continues to contest Biden’s election victory in court, he has refused to authorize his administration to share the President’s Daily Brief with Biden, shattering years of precedent.
While Trump — who has yet to concede — has frequently spoken about widespread fraud in the 2020 election, he and his lawyers have yet to unearth evidence of such allegations, according to the Associated Press.
King — who serves on the Senate’s Intelligence and Armed Services Committees — said it was vital that Biden be made aware of national security threats as soon as possible. He cited several incidents that occurred in the first year of a president’s term, including the Sept. 11 attacks, Bay of Pigs invasion and the Black Hawk Down incident.
King — who is known for his bipartisanship and willingness to work with Republican colleagues — said he “hated” to condemn his colleagues’ lack of action but felt their conduct was putting America’s security at risk.
He applauded U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma, for pledging to step in if Biden continues to be restricted from the briefing but said other Republicans needed to join Lankford.
“This is a moment of danger for the country,” King said. “Do they really want, at this dangerous time, for their legacy to be silence?”
King also condemned the GOP’s lack of response to Trump’s firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday. Esper is believed to have been sacked because Trump viewed him as disloyal.
“To stand back and to allow the decapitation of the defense department in the middle of a transition, it’s just — you know, it’s pretty shocking,” King said.
King predicted that a lame duck Trump administration could pull troops out of Afghanistan between now and Christmas, which he said would put the United States at risk for another terrorist attack similar to al-Qaida’s Sept. 11 attacks in 2001
King — who has been a frequent critic of the Trump administration — endorsed Biden for president in October.