Summary List Placement
It’s been nearly two weeks since the election, and President Donald Trump still refuses to concede to President-elect Joe Biden despite handily losing both the electoral college and national popular vote to him. Instead, Trump and those around him are alternating between claiming that he won the race and claiming without evidence the election was stolen from him, while purging government agencies of perceived enemies and stacking them with loyalists.
Simultaneously, Biden is plowing full steam ahead with building a COVID-19 task force, staffing up his transition team, and preparing for Inauguration Day on January 20.
The juxtaposition between the two camps raises a question that hasn’t been tested in modern US history: what happens when a democratically elected president is denied the chance at a smooth transition because the incumbent refuses to concede and hamstrings the agencies responsible for maintaining stability?
In many ways, four national security veterans told Insider the biggest risk to the US isn’t what Trump is doing to hamper Biden — who will take office regardless of whether Trump concedes — but what the president himself might do in the 65 days between now and when he leaves office in January.
“One worries that a person like Trump, who’s pissed off at the world and sitting there sucking his thumb and feeling sorry for himself, will wake up at three in the morning and tweet something that could be really destabilizing,” Bob Deitz, the former general counsel at the National Security Agency, told Insider. “There’s also the concern that he might just — and he’s been trying to do this — declassify information about Russia because of his vendetta over the Mueller investigation.”
Since Trump lost the election, the following officials were fired, stepped down, or resigned in protest: the secretary of defense, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, the defense secretary’s chief of staff, the deputy chief of staff, the National Security Agency’s general counsel, the Department of Homeland Security’s assistant director for cybersecurity, the Department of Energy’s head of National Nuclear Security Administration, the DHS’s assistant undersecretary for international affairs, and the head of the Justice Department’s Election Crimes division.
More shoes may drop soon. Trump has been furious for months with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General William Barr over their refusal to open investigations targeting the Bidens to give Trump a pre-election boost in the polls. The president is also said to be frustrated with CIA Director Gina Haspel after she and other officials strongly opposed his push to broadly declassify intelligence about Russia that could compromise sources and methods.
And in the last several days, Chris Krebs, the head of the DHS’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency who played a robust role in countering Trump’s conspiracy theories about voter and election fraud, told associates he expected to be fired by the White House.
Trump’s post-election …read more
Source:: Businessinsider – Politics