Foreign leaders are sending congratulatory messages for Joe Biden to the State Department, where they are being held, sources told CNN, as President Donald Trump has not conceded the presidential election.
Dozens of messages have been received, but Biden’s team is eschewing official State Department channels to communicate with foreign leaders, per the report.
Also, foreign leaders are working around normal State Department channels, communicating with Obama-era holdovers to get messages to the Biden transition team, per the report.
“They would prefer to be using the State Department resources,” a source told CNN.
The State operation center offers translation and logistical support, but as the report notes, Trump did not use those resources himself during his own transition, doing most of the work from his own properties at Trump Tower in New York City and his resort in Bedminster, New Jersey.
“It was helpful to have State ops place the calls and to provide translation services, and we were grateful for the cooperation from the Bush administration for making that happen,” Obama transition official Denis McDonough told CNN.
“These calls in the past have been handled on open lines,” he added. “They are congratulatory calls.”
The news comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joked Tuesday, “there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”
Also, Biden is not being read in on U.S. intelligence briefings for the president, but Biden admitted to reporters this week he was unconcerned because there was nothing actionable he could do with the information.
Still, Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., vowed to get access to intelligence briefings for Biden’s transition, he told an Oklahoma radio station.
“There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that, and if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well, and to be able to push and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election,” Lankford said, “people can be ready for that actual task.”
CNN’s sources noted, however, as a former vice president, Biden has always had access to the State Department operational support.
“The agencies implemented the law faithfully prior to the election,” Director of the Center for Presidential Transition at the Partnership for Public Service David Marchick told CNN. “The materials are ready, the offices are ready, everything is ready; they are waiting for the green light.”
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