U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said Thursday that President-elect Joe Biden should receive intelligence briefings as President Donald Trump’s administration continues to refuse to recognize the Democrat’s victory in last week’s election.
Collins, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, is one of only a handful of Republican senators to congratulate Biden on his victory, saying in a statement Monday that the president-elect and vice president-elect “should be given every opportunity to ensure that they are ready to govern” ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration.
She told reporters in Washington on Thursday that Biden “should be receiving intelligence briefings right now,” according to a New York Times reporter.
It is typical for a president-elect to receive intelligence briefings to prepare for the presidency, but the Trump administration has stalled the presidential transition process while Trump makes unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud. That has resulted in a delay in briefings and restricted the president-elect’s communication with federal agencies.
Collins’ remarks in Washington followed strong comments from Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, in a TV interview Thursday morning, where the junior senator said that denying Biden intelligence briefings is “downright dangerous for national security.” Several other senators have spoken in favor of giving the former vice president intelligence briefings, including Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma.
Collins won re-election last week with 51 percent of votes in a nationally targeted race. She declined to say whether she supported Trump in his re-election campaign this year.