- The Pentagon has officially begun the transition process, but there are questions about the man in charge.
- Kash Patel, a senior defense officer leading the Pentagon’s transition, is a man widely regarded as Trump’s loyalist and was deployed to the Pentagon earlier this month after a leadership cleanup.
- Unlike his predecessor, who is perhaps better prepared to handle the transition process, Patel has only been working for two weeks, and this lack of experience could hinder incoming administration, a former official told Insider.
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The Department of Defense is officially preparing for the incoming Biden administration, and the transition’s chief defense officer is loyal to Trump, who had just left the Pentagon two weeks ago following a leadership cleanup.
Although not yet adopted, President Donald Trump tweeted Monday night to allow the transition process to begin, allowing Emily Murphy, the General Services Administration administrator, to make certain resources and services available to the incoming administration.
The Pentagon staff contacted the Biden-Harris Transition Team and was “prepared to provide post-election services and support in a professional, orderly and efficient manner that meets public expectations of the Department and our commitment to national security,” Sue Gough, a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement tonight.
Gough told Insid on Tuesday that Secretary of Defense Kash Patel is leading the Pentagon’s transition, confirming a previous CNN report.
Patel is widely believed to be Trump’s loyal and was deployed to the Pentagon after some of the ministry’s leaders left earlier this month, with Trump’s defense secretary resigning.
On November 9, Trump abruptly fired Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, replaced by outsiders Chris Miller, formerly director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
The next day, James Anderson, Secretary of Defense, and Joseph Kernan, Deputy Secretary of State for Intelligence and Security, resigned, and the vacancies were filled by Trump’s allies.
Esper’s chief of staff, Jen Stewart, has also resigned, being replaced by Patel, a former member of the National Security Council and a former Hill employee who has become unreliable on the Russia probe and who has shown Trump’s accountability in connection with the Ukrainian scandal.
It is expected that Stewart led the transition before resigning, and now Patel will take on these responsibilities.
Questions arise about the degree of collaboration that Biden’s transition team will receive, given Patel’s history, but there are other possible issues, such as experience.
The Pentagon oversees an annual budget of roughly $ 700 billion, with 2.8 million troops and civilians, making it America’s largest employer.
David Lapan, a former Pentagon spokesman with decades of military service, told Insider earlier that people who moved to the Pentagon seemed largely unskilled or underqualified for the positions they took over, a problem for a number of reasons, one being transition.
As a result of the Pentagon cleanup, Lapan said that “the individuals to be deployed do not have the level of experience their predecessors experienced for the transition.”
“The moment the Trump administration finally allows for the transition, the incoming people from Biden will meet people who have been at work for a week or two,” he continued.
– How much help will this be? he said, and told Insider that they would hinder the transition process because he would have new people who had no such experience.