Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has been complaining lately about the Trump administration’s alleged stonewalling of his prospective White House transition process.
In a statement on Thursday, however, Office of Management and Budget Director Russ Vought claimed that Biden and certain top aides misled voters earlier in the week when they referenced a lack of cooperation with the transition team.
“Specific issues, operational questions, and more”
According to Vought, there have been dozens of meetings between his office and the Biden team since late November.
During the course of some 45 meetings, the director asserted that his team had provided “all information requested” by the transition.
“I am writing to correct several false statements that members of the Biden Transition Team (BTT) are continuing to make regarding the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) cooperation with your team,” Vought wrote in a letter to Biden transition co-chair Ted Kaufman, according to the New York Post.
He went on to argue that his agency had taken the time to “discuss specific issues, operational questions, and more” with the Biden team, acknowledging that it “is appropriate for OMB to share information about ongoing programs so the BTT can use it to develop its own policies.”
Those assurances stand in stark contrast to the scenario described by Biden on Monday during a speech in Wilmington, Delaware.
“Your team has been briefed”
“We’ve encountered roadblocks from the political leadership in the Department of Defense and the Office of Management and Budget,” the former vice president declared. “Right now, we just aren’t getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas.”
Biden said the experience was “nothing short … of irresponsibility,” and transition executive Johannes Abraham echoed those remarks in a statement two days later.
“OMB leadership’s refusal to fully cooperate impairs our ability to identify opportunities to maximize the relief going to Americans during the pandemic, and it leaves us in the dark as it relates to COVID-related expenditures and critical gaps,” he said.
Vought disputed several of the specific concerns raised by the Biden transition team, including those related to the ongoing public health crisis.
Reiterating the assertion that his office had provided all salient information, he wrote: “To your specific criticisms with respect to COVID, as you are aware, your team has been briefed by OMB, as well as the relevant agencies, on Operation Warp Speed and other COVID-relief efforts, including the various funding streams in use for these efforts. Furthermore, there is record of your team accessing these critical documents just last week.”