Trump's former chief of staff admits delaying transition 'hurts our national security'
President Donald Trump's efforts to stall the White House's peaceful transfer could be harmful to the United States' national security, according to John Kelly, the president's former White House chief of staff.
It has been one week since Trump lost the election to President-elect Joe Biden, but even now, he is refusing to cooperate with the incoming administration. General Services Administration Administrator Emily Murphy has yet to even sign the documents acknowledging that Biden has been declared the apparent election winner of the election so the transition process is currently stalled.
If Trump's current behavior is any indication of how he will handle the situation in the days ahead, he won't be committing to a peaceful transfer of power anytime soon. In fact, the president also appears more focused and involved in his post-election legal battle than governing the country which is another vulnerability and potential risk for the country.
During an interview with Politico, Kelly weighed in with his perspective and concern about Trump's handling of the situation.
"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," Kelly said.
Kelly, who has often criticized Trump since his departure from the White House in January 2019, also admitted that Biden should be included in the daily intelligence briefings because 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."
While the former Trump administration official appears hopeful that Trump will make the right decision for the country, he also admitted that he is aware of the president's difficulty and unwillingness to accept defeat.
"I know Mr. Trump better than most people do," Kelly said. "I know that he'll never accept defeat and, in fact, he doesn't have to accept defeat here. He just has to do what's best for the country and in the country's interest."
Kelly's latest remarks follow his recent statement published by CNN where he also expressed concern about the growing threat of a national crisis.
"The delay in transitioning is an increasing national security and health crisis," he wrote. "The current administration does not have to concede, but it should do the right thing just in case the Constitutional system declares they lost."
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