At the height of hypocrisy, senior defense officials condemned the use of anonymous sources in reports that the Pentagon was slow-rolling Biden-Harris transition efforts.
The noteworthy part is that they wished to remain anonymous while doing so.
The Pentagon released an unsigned statement on December 6th to reporters saying that “the accusation by anonymous sources [the Department of Defense] had not been fulfilling its commitment” to transition efforts “is demonstrably false and patently insulting.”
Officials did not respond to an email from Task & Purpose asking why a name was not attached to a statement that criticized the use of anonymous sources.
At the same time, a generic statement was released from Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller praised the Pentagon’s long record of “bipartisan excellence” during transitions and said the department was “fully cooperating with the Biden transition team.”
Other defense officials, who said they could only be referred to as “senior defense officials” in a call on December 4th, spoke of the Joe Biden-Kamal Harris transition. They claimed reports that the Trump administration had refused members of President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team from meeting with leaders of the National Security Agency and Defense Intelligence Agency were “untrue.”
The identities of the senior defense officials are known to Task & Purpose, but cannot be disclosed due to the agreed-upon terms of the conference call.
“First, an anonymous statement, then a press briefing by unnamed DoD officials to push back on a story with unnamed sources,” said retired Marine Col. Dave Lapan, a former spokesman for the Department of Defense. “The hypocrisy never ends.”
A second unnamed senior defense official said the Biden-Harris team would have nearly 50 meetings with DoD officials next week, including leaders of the NSA and DIA. The official added that so far, the Biden-Harris team had completed 21 transition-related interviews and had been provided with thousands of pages of written materials.
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