Senior Republican senators say Biden should receive secret briefings

“I think – especially with regard to the secret briefings – the answer is yes,” said Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who is the caretaker president.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally who urged the president over the weekend not to compromise and exaggerate unfounded allegations of voter fraud, told CNN Thursday that he believes Biden should get an intelligence briefing that begins now.

“Yes, I think he should,” Graham said, when asked about Biden’s access to the intelligence report. Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, said he did not express his thoughts with the White House, but said, “I hope so” when asked if he expects Biden to get the briefing soon.

Whip John Thun of South Dakota also told CNN that Biden should be given confidential briefings.

“Well, I think it probably makes sense to prepare for all contingencies,” said Thon, when asked whether Biden should be briefed. “Since these electoral challenges are taking place in court, I don’t have a problem, and I think it is important from a national security standpoint, continuity. And you have seen other members suggest that. I think it makes sense.”

Another influential Republican, Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, said, “Yeah, I don’t think it would hurt” for Biden to start getting the briefings.

Those comments follow Republican Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma who made this Similar statements Wednesday On Local radio stationMany other Republicans have indicated that it is time to start the transition.
Lancford and Grassley’s statements come after Trump Refusal to concede Race and prevent its administration from taking any of the administrative steps normally taken in the transfer of power, including Permission to run public services To announce an elected president – a step that starts the transition process. While a handful of prominent Republicans They called on their party to acknowledge Biden’s victory, As shown by many party leaders Support Trump’s unfounded claim Voter fraud or He remained publicly silent.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined to comment on CNN on Thursday when asked about comments by Lancford and Grassley. Earlier this week, McConnell of the Senate Chamber said that Trump “has 100% of his rights to consider allegations of wrongdoing and assess his legal options.”

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy refused to say whether Biden should receive secret intelligence briefings.

When CNN asked him if he agreed with Grassley and Lankford, McCarthy instead cited an earlier quote by Biden himself, saying, “Having access to classified information is helpful but I’m not in a position to make any decisions on these issues anyway.” That “would be nice.” Get it. It’s not critical. “

“I think I should stand by Joe Biden,” said McCarthy, a California Republican. “He is not president now. I don’t know if he will be president on January 20, but who will get the information.”

Asked whether the General Services Administration should sign the required papers, Grassley said, “We have to do what we did” after the disputed 2000 elections.

It is noteworthy that the official report of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks warned against shortening the transition period Contribute to lack of preparednessGrassley replied, “Well, I still stick to what you said, everything that was done in the year 2000 must be done again.”
& # 39; Sad & # 39; Trump continues to be frustrated with the unfounded election battle

Lankford said on Wednesday he would intervene if the Trump administration did not allow Biden access to his daily presidential intelligence briefings by the end of the week.

“There is no loss in him getting the briefs and being able to do so,” Lankford told KRMG Radio, indicating that he is a member of a major committee on government oversight, and that he has already started participating in the issue.

Lankford said that if no progress is made on this issue by Friday, he will step in and say, “This should happen so that people, regardless of the outcome of the election, no matter which way it is going, be ready for the actual mission. “

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Several other Republican senators have also called for Biden to be allowed access to security briefings. Asked earlier this week whether Biden should be allowed to begin receiving the daily presidential briefing, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the acting chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told reporters, “I don’t think that affects the president’s legal claims in any way.” Shapes. To start the transitional work in a “state.”

This story was updated with additional developments Thursday.

Zachary Cohen, Sarah Fortinsky, and Christine Wilson of CNN contributed to this report.

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