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Photo: Sarah Silbiger for The Washington Post via Getty

President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that his team has "encountered obstruction" and "roadblocks" from political leadership at the Defense Department and Office of Management and Budget that could undermine national security during the transition.

Why it matters: Biden warned that foreign adversaries could gain advantage if his team is cut out of vital information sharing with the outgoing Trump administration. Before Christmas, the Pentagon abruptly halted meetings with transition officials.

Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said in response: "Our DoD political and career officials have been working with the utmost professionalism to support transition activities in a compressed time schedule and they will continue to do so."

Biden said in remarks delivered after a briefing with his national security and foreign policy advisers: "From some agencies, our team received exemplary cooperation ... from others, most notable, the Department of Defense, we encountered obstruction from the political leadership of that department."

  • "Right now, as our nation is in a period of transition, we need to make sure that nothing is lost in the handoff between administrations. My team needs a clear picture of our force posture around the world and our operations to deter our enemies."
  • "We need full visibility into the budget planning underway at the Defense Department and other agencies in order to avoid any window of confusion or catch up that our adversaries may try to exploit."
  • "Right now, we just aren't getting all the information that we need from the outgoing administration in key national security areas. It's nothing short, in my view, of irresponsibility."

Miller's statement began: "The Department of Defense has conducted 164 interviews with over 400 officials, and provided over 5,000 pages of documents — far more than initially requested by Biden’s transition team."

  • "DoD’s efforts already surpass those of recent administrations with over three weeks to go, and we continue to schedule additional meetings for the remainder of the transition and answer any and all requests for information in our purview."

Go deeper: Pentagon halts Biden transition briefings

Editor's note: This story was updated with the Defense Department statement.

Go deeper

Jan 28, 2021 - World

Biden turns the page on Trump's Israel-Palestine policies

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: David Furst/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration laid out its Israel-Palestine policy at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of repairing ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Driving the news: According to the new policies, the U.S. will resume aid to the Palestinians and reopen the PLO office in Washington and the consulate in Jerusalem.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker