Following a disastrous administration like that of the Trump one, Joe Biden and his transition team knew good and well from the very beginning that they’d be walking into a mess of proportions so epic they’ve likely never been seen before. To be quite frank about it, they knew good and well that Donald Trump himself was going to make it as messy, unorganized, and difficult as possible. There’s simply no denying that the man has inflicted as much damage as he humanly could on his way out.
But, to make matters even worse for the incoming President and his administration, his transition team fears that they have yet to see the worst of the “toxic,” Trump-inflicted damage.
According to a report from POLITICO, Biden’s transition team expects to find a plethora of hidden damage inside government agencies once his inauguration is complete and the Biden team takes over the White House.
The team has prepared itself for agencies that are hollowed out and mismanaged from top to bottom, but reportedly have a feeling that the Trump team only showed them the “tip of the iceberg” that’s lurking behind the executive branch that Donald Trump has inhabited over the past four years.
One person close to Biden’s transition team said, “Even as late as now, they’re not conveying information. Data about where vaccines are, their distributional analyses, data they haven’t released publicly about COVID cases. It’s shocking. I don’t remember this happening from Clinton to Bush, from Bush to Obama, or from Obama to Trump.”
One senior aide noted that the lack of cooperation from the Trump team was “laughable,” as they experienced everything from slow-walked requests to a downright refusal from members of the outgoing team to respond to their requests at all.
For example, officials with the National Security Council showed more than a little reluctance to the Biden team when it came to sharing information about who was serving on the staff and Department of Defense officials largely ignored requests for information — and the Biden team will not allow acting Defense secretary Chris Miller to remain in his position after the inauguration.
“Given Mr. Miller’s acting capacity in that role, as well as reduced staffing and occupation of the Pentagon and auxiliary offices during COVID-19, we deemed it appropriate not to extend that perk in this instance,” one Biden official said.
Both the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative have been less than forthcoming with information to make Biden’s transition a smooth one.
But nevertheless, we expect great things for Biden and his team, even if it means a few weeks of cleaning up the mess that was left behind.