STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Biden transition team denies outgoing acting defense secretary transitional office space

Twelve Army National Guard members have been removed from inauguration duty in Washington, DC, as part of the security vetting process initiated, in part, to ensure troops tasked with securing the ceremony do not have ties to extremist groups, the Chief of the National Guard Bureau said. CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Provost Marshal of the National Guard Bureau Col. Michael Dugas.

Posted: Jan 19, 2021 4:29 PM
Updated: Jan 20, 2021 6:45 AM


The Biden transition team has declined to give outgoing acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller office space and resources for his transition out of the role, according to a Biden transition official.

It is typically a courtesy to provide transitioning office space and resources to departing secretaries of defense, and the decision reflects the extraordinary bitterness of the presidential transition.

'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,' the official said. Miller was named acting secretary on November 9.

CNN has asked the Department of Defense for comment. But the decision prompted a parting shot from an outgoing Trump administration official familiar with the transition.

'Excuses aside, the American people see this break in a long tradition of accommodation, proper records management, continuity of government and good manners for what it is: the last petty act of this transition's intransigent party,' the official said.

Tensions between the Biden transition and Trump's political appointees at the Pentagon simmered for weeks, coming to a head in late December when the transition team disputed suggestions from Pentagon officials who questioned the accuracy of the President-elect's assertion that the Department of Defense has refused to brief his team on the massive cyberattack on government agencies and major American technology and accounting companies. Unnamed Pentagon officials essentially accused Biden of lying when he was discussing the attack with reporters and said that the Defense Department 'won't even brief us, on many things.'

Earlier that month, Biden's transition team said that they had not agreed to a two-week break in critical transfer-of-power discussions with Pentagon officials, despite an assertion from the acting Defense secretary that both sides had agreed to take such a 'holiday pause.' The tensions spilled into public view after Miller had said the incoming Biden team had agreed to a two-week holiday break in previously scheduled transition talks at the Pentagon.

The strained relationship between the incoming and outgoing administrations has seen several controversial last minute moves.

The National Security Agency said Sunday it was installing Trump National Security Council staffer Michael Ellis as its general counsel, after Miller ordered NSA Director Gen. Paul Nakasone to place the Trump loyalist into the role. The move is significant because the role of general counsel at the country's largest intelligence agency is a civil service position, not a political role, meaning it could be difficult for the Biden administration to remove Ellis. The strategy of trying to install political loyalists into career positions is known as 'burrowing' in the government.

Miller's appointment preceded a post-election purge that saw some of the senior-most Defense Department civilians ousted in a matter of days, including the leaders of the Defeat-ISIS task force, the top Pentagon officials overseeing policy and intelligence, and the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, among others. The positions were quickly filled with individuals perceived as Trump loyalists.

Miller has stated that he 'cannot wait to leave this job,' according to a transcript released by the Department of Defense. The admission came as the Pentagon said at least 25,000 National Guard were being mobilized in Washington, DC, amid security concerns around this week's inauguration following the deadly riot at the US Capitol.

Huntsville/Redstone
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 47°
Muscle Shoals
Partly Cloudy
53° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 53°
Huntsville/Madison
Mostly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
49° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 47°
Fort Payne
Mostly Cloudy
42° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 42°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 490220

Reported Deaths: 9744
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson704661342
Mobile35810721
Madison32203443
Tuscaloosa23961409
Montgomery22417489
Shelby21773211
Baldwin19635272
Lee14883147
Morgan13571248
Etowah13118312
Calhoun13090283
Marshall11212203
Houston10036257
Limestone9321133
Elmore9313179
Cullman8864177
St. Clair8771220
Lauderdale8570210
DeKalb8419173
Talladega7450162
Walker6492249
Jackson6466102
Autauga617285
Blount6072125
Colbert5978118
Coffee5229100
Dale4614106
Russell401431
Franklin397675
Covington3948105
Chilton383196
Escambia376670
Tallapoosa3559139
Clarke342749
Dallas3396140
Chambers3393103
Pike292771
Lawrence281284
Marion280793
Winston245665
Bibb243759
Marengo238554
Geneva238468
Pickens223554
Barbour209550
Hale208464
Fayette199356
Butler195165
Henry182341
Cherokee176338
Monroe165638
Randolph162740
Washington156233
Crenshaw143353
Clay143254
Macon140543
Cleburne136539
Lamar131632
Lowndes130148
Wilcox120825
Bullock116534
Conecuh106523
Perry105327
Sumter98231
Coosa86823
Greene86732
Choctaw54723
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 768946

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Shelby866001472
Davidson80790841
Knox45241571
Hamilton39979454
Rutherford37906375
Williamson25011202
Sumner21166312
Montgomery17207207
Out of TN1667091
Wilson16194209
Unassigned15662125
Sullivan14169273
Blount13929178
Bradley12734138
Washington12671231
Maury12141159
Sevier11889161
Putnam10537168
Madison10049226
Robertson8886118
Hamblen7958161
Anderson7893155
Greene7258144
Tipton6896101
Coffee6264114
Gibson6168140
Dickson6148103
Cumberland6072117
Carter5926152
McMinn586289
Roane581795
Bedford5756117
Loudon563164
Jefferson5580116
Lawrence554681
Warren529875
Monroe526389
Dyer5222101
Hawkins518793
Franklin470684
Fayette463771
Obion435794
Rhea411773
Lincoln410561
Cocke396192
Marshall388354
Cheatham385743
Campbell378158
Weakley377559
Giles371095
Henderson361173
Carroll346881
Hardeman337663
Macon335073
White333965
Hardin329762
Lauderdale309342
Henry298975
Marion290244
Wayne286430
Scott285042
Overton283757
Claiborne273666
McNairy265051
Haywood264359
Hickman262840
DeKalb261548
Smith253336
Grainger240746
Trousdale237922
Morgan228537
Fentress228344
Johnson215038
Chester200647
Bledsoe198210
Crockett196946
Unicoi179347
Cannon173628
Polk173621
Union168930
Lake167326
Grundy166330
Sequatchie153927
Decatur153137
Humphreys151321
Benton149939
Lewis145724
Meigs125421
Jackson124834
Stewart123124
Clay106230
Perry102527
Houston102330
Moore93616
Van Buren79120
Pickett74723
Hancock49312

Community Events