The Senate Republican who said last week that he would get involved if President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenObama: US ‘adversaries have seen us weakened’ US sees 1M new coronavirus cases in one week GOP shows limited appetite for pursuing Biden probes MORE was not given access to intelligence briefings by last Friday says his comments were misinterpreted.
In an interview with Newsmax over the weekend, Sen. James LankfordJames Paul LankfordJohn Kelly says Trump hurting national security by delaying Biden transition Lincoln Project resurfaces Kellyanne Conway tweet calling 306 electoral votes ‘historic’ Biden advisers: Trump transition delays putting national security at risk MORE (R-Okla.) told the conservative news site that he had been referring to his oversight of the General Services Administration (GSA) and questions he would raise regarding the transition process, and said he was in no “hurry” to get Biden access to the briefings.
Access to intelligence briefings is one of many issues that has been raised by President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhitmer responds to Atlas: I won’t ‘be bullied into not following reputable scientists’ Obama: US ‘adversaries have seen us weakened’ Obama describes wife Michelle’s resistance to presidential ambitions MORE‘s refusal to concede the 2020 race amid his campaign’s legal efforts in Pennsylvania and other states.
“I’m not in a hurry, necessarily, to get Joe Biden these briefings. 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 GSA. That is the entity that has to be able to make this call,” Lankford, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee for Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, said on Saturday.
“This race is not even close to being counted yet,” he continued. “So what I said I was going to step in on Friday is: How are you doing it? What are your metrics? How are you making decisions? What is the process? Those are the basic things. That’s basic oversight, what a member of the Senate would do.”
“And other networks blew this up, saying ‘Oh my gosh, there’s this Republican senator that’s now shifting away and is reporting Joe Biden now to be president or opposed to the president,” the senator added.
Lankford’s comments last week during an interview with an Oklahoma radio station drew immediate attention.
“There is no loss from him getting the briefings and to be able to do that and if that’s not occurring by Friday, I will step in as well, and to be able to push and to say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election … people can be ready for that actual task,” he said in the interview, which aired Wednesday.
The GSA has yet to certify Biden as the winner of the 2020 election despite the president’s lack of traction so far in any of his legal efforts to overturn individual states’ 2020 election results.