Senator James Lankford is preparing to step in if Joe Biden is not given access to daily intelligence briefings by the end of the week, he told radio station KRMG on Wednesday, claiming there’s no harm in him participating even if it turns out he didn’t win the election.
‘There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that,’ Lankford, who sits on the Senate Oversight Committee, told the radio station.
The Republican from Oklahoma added that if no headway is made with Biden receiving access to the daily presidential intelligence briefings, then he would intervene and say, ‘This needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.’
‘There’s nothing wrong with Vice President Biden getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself and so that he can be ready – the President’s already getting those,’ Lankford said, adding that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, already a senator from California, has the appropriate clearances to begin receiving briefings because she serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Lankford, however, has still not admitted that Biden won the presidency and has cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory.
Republican Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford said Wednesday he would step in if Joe Biden is not granted access to the daily presidential intelligence briefing by the end of the week
Lankford, however, has still not admitted that Biden is the president-elect as Donald Trump continues to raise questions over the validity and integrity of the election
President Donald Trump’s administration has not yet allowed the president-elect access to the daily briefings as they continue to draw into question the integrity of the election and have questioned whether Democrats cheated or ‘stole’ the presidency for Biden.
Administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy, has not yet ascertained the election, which typically happens following the election and allows the president-elect to receive the same briefings as the president.
It remains unclear if she needs to ascertain the election before Biden can legally receive the briefings.
Biden has said the briefings ‘would be useful, but it’s not necessary.’
Lankford said rather than knowing who the winner is quickly, it’s more important that voters, especially Republicans, who supported their candidate get answers to questions they might have about the results and how they were reached.
‘It is important for the 71-million plus people that voted for President Trump that at the end of it, they know all of their questions were answered,’ Lankford said. ‘And that there is a president that was actually duly elected.’
Most major media outlets, including the Associated Press, called the election for the former vice president over the weekend – shortly thereafter, Biden declared victory. The call came after a few key states, including Pennsylvania, projected their Electoral College votes would go to the Democratic ticket.
Republicans have cast doubt on the results, insisting there was funny business with the massive influx of mail-in ballots this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump and his aides, allies and most staunch supporters claim Democrats cheated by way of counting fraudulent mail-in ballots.
‘Joe Biden can continue to be able to function and say, ‘I’m the president-elect,’ and great if you want to say that, go do it, and to be able to do your preparation wor,’ Lankford said in his radio interview Wednesday. ‘The President can say, ‘Not so fast. I’ve got questions to answer.’ Great, go ask them.’
Lankford suggested if Trump is blocked from following through with its legal proceedings in several battleground states, it might stoke conspiracies among his supporters and further divide the country.
Many judges have already dismissed lawsuits the Trump campaign has filed in an attempt to raise questions of voting irregularities, fraud and suppression.
Elections experts make clear Biden’s margin of victory is too wide for court cases to reverse, but if a few key states were to overturn their Electoral College votes for the president, it’s still possible, but extremely unlikely, that he could take back the election.
Administrator of the General Services Administration, Emily Murphy (pictured), has not yet ascertained the election, which is what is blocking Biden from receiving the briefings
The president said before Election Day that he would concede to Biden and peacefully transition power as long as he felt the election was free, fair and fraud-free.
‘I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States,’ Lankford reiterated to KRMG.
During a press conference earlier this week, a reporter asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo if the State Department’s lull in transition efforts would harm national security.
‘There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration,’ Pompeo said, implying he expects Trump to prevail despite already having lost the race.
The daily presidential intelligence briefings are highly classified and provide the president – and usually incoming president – about pressing national security issues.