Receiving classified intelligence is one of the presidential candidate’s first rights after winning an election. It contains information on national security issues that the new president will soon face. But Biden has not yet received an intelligence brief due to Trump’s efforts to overthrow the election results, which is confusing the federal government as to whether a transition could begin.
The Preliminary Draft Budget is known to be prepared by the Office of the National Intelligence Director for the President, Vice-President and Senior Advisers.
The ODNI official attributed the change directly to the White House’s efforts to formally grant Biden access to the PDB. CNN previously reported that it was Trump’s decision, and access to the Preliminary Draft Budget could have been granted even before the GSA administrator formalized the transition on Monday.
ODNI, overseen by Trump’s national intelligence chief, John Ratcliffe, had previously referred all issues related to Bidend and the PDB back to the White House, underlining the fact that Bump had decided on Biden’s access to the nation’s top-ranked secrets.
“Following the legal requirements of the Presidential Transition Act, ODNI will provide the requested support to the transition team,” an ODNI spokesman told CNN on Tuesday. “This afternoon, the White House approved ODNI to move forward with the provision of the PDB as part of its support for the transition.”
Biden’s interim official told CNN that they would not comment on the elected president’s decision to order a secret briefing. Biden declined to answer a question about the status of the briefings when he unveiled his key national security selections on Tuesday.
According to an ODNI official, this transition period could include a review of the agency and related operations, as well as support for the conduct of intelligence briefings.
The PDB is often adapted to the current President. President George W. Bush liked to keep verbal information from his chief intelligence staff, while President Barack Obama often read it through a secure tablet. Trump often received career intelligence officers at his late-morning meetings, although at times this completely disappeared from his schedule.
For the past three weeks, Trump has tried to overthrow the outcome of an election his own administration called the safest in U.S. history before dismissing the official making the statement. In recent days, several Republicans have signed up to urge Trump to allow Biden to receive classified intelligence, including his longtime ally, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.
This story has been updated with additional reports.