Speaking with MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Friday morning, Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire said there is no one left advising the president who will tell him that he needs to concede defeat and hand over to President-elect Joe Biden the important national security information he will need to keep the country safe.
“He knows he’s lost.” Scarborough said of Trump. “He has to know that Biden’s got to start getting these briefings. Is there any suggestion, are any of his advisers, are any of his children trying to broach the topic with him to say, ‘you can’t do this, there’s too much that is at stake and if you ever want to run for office again, don’t gamble with the national security of America as you’re leaving office.’”
“We are all the way through the looking glass here, Joe,” Lemire explained. “The short answer is ‘no.’ There are some voices in the White House growing louder trying to nudge the president to the graceful exit and perhaps maintaining some sort of fight here as fruitless as it may be on the legal challenges to at least cooperate with the transition. Even at the bare minimum authorizing the briefings, but no one is doing that, because it would be perceived as a sign of disloyalty.”
“This is a place that’s hollowed out because of the coronavirus, like [Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows, who got sick or were exposed to others,” he continued. “It’s a small circle of people around the president and we saw from Secretary of State Pompeo earlier this week joking allegedly about the transition to a second Trump term. There’s no appetite at the State Department to cooperate whatsoever with the incoming Biden transition.”
“As you note, there are a few more Republican senators who suggested at least on this, this briefing should be offered to President-elect Biden,” he added. “But the person of course who could really make this happen could really force — could build pressure from Republicans to make the president cooperate — is Mitch McConnell, but he’s shown no appetite to do so because according to our reporting he’s so concerned about keeping the Republican base fired up and motivated for the two runoff races in Georgia.”