National Security & Defense

James Lankford Says ‘Not In A Hurry’ to Give Joe Biden Intelligence Briefings

Sen. James Lankford (R., Okla.) attends a hearing with the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, on Capitol Hill, September 16, 2020. (Anna Moneymaker/Reuters)

Senator James Lankford (R., Okla.) said he was “in no hurry” to give Joe Biden intelligence briefings, in a Saturday interview on Newsmax TV, backtracking from comments earlier last week in which he called for Biden to receive those briefings.

President Trump has refused to concede defeat in the presidential race, accusing Democrats of using widespread voter fraud to “steal” the election. Trump administration officials have not been meeting with Biden’s transition team. However, Republicans, including Senators Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Susan Collins of Maine, and Marco Rubio of Florida, have said Biden should receive intelligence briefings to prepare to take office.

Lankford, who is up for reelection in 2022, also called for Biden to receive intelligence briefings while election officials tally the remaining votes.

“I will step in . . . and be able to push and say, this needs to occur,” Lankford told Oklahoma’s KRGB radio on Wednesday, “so that regardless of the outcome of the election, whichever way that it goes, people can be ready for that actual task.”

Lankford backtracked from those comments on Saturday.

“I’m not in a hurry, necessarily, to get Joe Biden these briefings,” Lankford told Newsmax on Saturday. “It’s been interesting how the media, the national media, not this network, but others have twisted this term ‘step in.’ I happen to chair the committee that oversees [the General Services Administration], that is the entity that has to be able to make this call.”

National Review has reached out to Lankford’s office for comment.

White House trade adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News on Friday that the Trump administration is operating “under the assumption there will be a second Trump term.”

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.