Presidential transition begins at the Pentagon


Pentagon officials said late Monday evening that they are in contact with presumptive President-elect Joseph R. Biden’s team and have started to lay the groundwork for a January transition.

The statement came hours after Mr. Biden announced a slate of nominations to his national security and diplomatic team — though he did not name his nominee to lead the Defense Department. That announcement reportedly will come within days, and former Pentagon official Michele Flournoy remains the expected choice.

In the meantime, defense officials say they are now in communication with the staff of Mr. Biden and presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris.

“This evening, DoD has been contacted by the Biden-Harris team and their designated lead for the DoD Agency Review Team and, based on the ascertainment by the [General Service Administration] administrator, we will begin immediately implementing our plan to provide support in accordance with statute, DoD policy and the memorandum of agreement between the White House and the Biden-Harris team,” Pentagon spokesperson Sue Gough said in a statement.

“The DoD Transition Task Force will arrange and coordinate all DoD contact with the Biden-Harris team,” she said. “DoD is prepared to provide post-election services and support in a professional, orderly, and efficient manner that is befitting of the public’s expectation of the department and our commitment to national security.”

The GSA on Monday officially recognized Mr. Biden as the apparent winner of the 2020 election, allowing formal transition procedures to begin across the federal government, including at the Pentagon.

Just hours before that announcement, officials in Michigan certified the state’s election results for Mr. Biden, dealing a serious blow to President Trump’s longshot bid to reverse the apparent outcome.

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