President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted Joe Biden access to presidential intelligence briefings, according to two White House officials, after stonewalling the information amid his ongoing resistance to the transition of power.
The President’s Daily Brief, a summary of high-level national security intelligence, is routinely shared with the president-elect to prepare him for his move into the White House. But until Tuesday, Trump had refused to loop Biden into the briefs as he challenged the outcome of the Nov. 3 presidential election. Officials are still working out the coordination, but the briefings for Biden are likely to start early next week, one official added.
Trump’s acquiescence comes only a day after the General Services Administration formally acknowledged Biden as the apparent winner of the election, allowing the former vice president’s team to go ahead with the transition.
But Trump has maintained publicly that he will not concede anytime soon, even as his and his allies’ numerous lawsuits casting doubt on the legitimacy of the election and alleging mass voter fraud fall apart.
CNN first reported Biden‘s getting access to the PDB on Tuesday.
Biden confirmed to reporters later Tuesday afternoon that he‘d been offered the briefings but said he hadn’t seen one yet. He told NBC News‘ Lester Holt, in an interview that aired Tuesday evening, that he might get his first briefing on Wednesday.
Some Republican senators argued for nearly two weeks that Biden should be granted access to the President’s Daily Brief, even though they stopped short of acknowledging him as the victor. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) pointed out that President Bill Clinton allowed George W. Bush access to presidential briefings even while his election was subjected to a recount in Florida back in 2000.
“Both of them have got to be ready to serve, if selected,” Lankford said less than a week after the race was called for Biden. “We don’t know who the winner is. So keep the briefings going. Ultimately, the president has to make this decision.”