Trump Rebuffs Biden Transition Team, Setting Off Virus and National Security Risks

first_img– Advertisement – The Presidential TransitionUpdated Nov. 12, 2020, 11:30 a.m. ET Now, Mr. Biden has loaded his transition team with many of the same officials who were ready to brief the Trump appointees. But they have not gotten far.With Mr. Trump unwilling to recognize the election result and authorize the ascertainment that allows formal transition to begin, the White House Communications Agency is forbidden to run secure lines to Mr. Biden’s house in Delaware. That creates a risk that some of his conversations could be vulnerable to foreign eavesdropping. His team cannot use the government transition email system, and intelligence agencies have warned that the transition operation is a prime target for Chinese, Russian, North Korean, Iranian and other hackers. – Advertisement – Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, said she believed the Trump administration should share vaccine distribution plans with Mr. Biden, ensuring that “as the president-elect is able to come in and bring with him a transition team, that there is that flow of information that we typically see when we have transitions.”Other matters also have a short time fuse. The last remaining arms control treaty between the United States and Russia, called New START, expires days after the inauguration. Mr. Biden has expressed a willingness to renew it, but his national security staff has had no access to the detailed discussions between the national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, and his Kremlin counterpart, or to a team of State Department negotiators who have dealt with Russia on questions like future inspections and verification. An array of newer threats persist, as well, like terrorist plots or brewing cyberattacks. The 9/11 commission concluded that the short transition caused by the Florida recount in 2000 hampered the Bush administration’s ability to deal with Qaeda plots. At the time, President-elect George W. Bush discussed the dangers of abbreviated briefings in an interview with The New York Times at his ranch eight days before his first inauguration.In many ways, what is happening now, officials said, is a reverse of four years ago — when President Barack Obama’s team was ready with detailed briefings and simulations of potential crises (including a pandemic flu), and Mr. Trump’s advisers were unwilling to receive them.Mr. Trump’s incoming national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who was fired within a month, did sit for reviews of urgent national security threats with Susan Rice, his predecessor. But other officials refused briefings, apparently not wanting Mr. Obama’s worldview to taint theirs. Secretary of State John F. Kerry never met with his successor, Rex W. Tillerson. Ernest J. Moniz, the Obama energy secretary, never gave his full brief to Rick Perry, the former Texas governor, who was coming in to oversee, among other things, the remaking of America’s nuclear weapons arsenal.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Wisconsin heads behind enemy lines

first_imgWisconsin heads into its final series of the regular season at Minnesota on a three-game win streak. After ending its home slate with a 5-2 win over Denver Feb. 18, UW hit the road for the rest of the season, sweeping Bemidji State with a 4-2 decision both Friday and Saturday night last weekend. With 13 goals over through the winning streak, UW hopes to keep its offense on track.[/media-credit]There is probably no better way for the Wisconsin men’s hockey team to prepare for the first round of the WCHA playoffs than by going on the road for the second consecutive weekend to take on the fifth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, currently sitting atop the WCHA standings.Trying to build off just its second and third road wins of the season in a sweep of Bemidji State last weekend, Wisconsin (15-15-2, 10-14-2 WCHA) looks to extend its three-game winning streak against a Minnesota (23-11-1, 19-7-0 WCHA) squad that split the earlier season series at the Kohl Center in November.“We have to continue to play well and keep rolling in order for us to have a chance to play as long as we can, get through the playoffs, get to the Final Five and then see what happens,” UW head coach Mike Eaves said. “There’s a sense in the locker room from the inside out, an intrinsic sense, of how we need to play, after playing Denver well Friday but losing and then winning Saturday and then winning this past weekend in a tough environment in a rink that hasn’t given up very many wins there for the opponent.”Minnesota also pulled off the road sweep last weekend, taking the brooms to Nebraska-Omaha and extending its own winning streak to four games. A single victory on the weekend will secure the WCHA title, the Gophers’ first league title since the 2006-07 season, thanks in large part to the quintet of 30-pont scorers that Minnesota features in forwards Nick Bjugstad (38), Erik Haula (37), Kyle Rau (34), Nate Schmidt (32) and defenseman Jake Hansen (30).At this point in the season, it is difficult to discern which team will be more motivated come Friday night for game one. For the Badgers, the only playoff ramifications they face are which destination they will travel to for the first round of the playoffs. The Gophers maintain a two-point lead over Minnesota-Duluth, and in this, the last weekend of the regular season, could lose its grasp on the MacNaughton Cup and the WCHA regular season title if they yield a minimum of three points to the Badgers and Minnesota-Duluth sweeps St. Cloud State.On the other hand, Wisconsin may not be able to alter its seeding enough to host a playoff series, but it will certainly want to continue its solid play and earn points against one of its fiercest rivals. Whether Minnesota faces more pressure with the title on the line is yet to be seen.“I think it depends on the people on your team [if you feel pressure],” Eaves said. “I think you can look at it in a general sense, and you can project. But unless you know the dynamics within a locker room, heck, [Minnesota] may have the type of people that’ll play loose no matter what. So here I go again. We’re going to control what we can. And we’re playing pretty well right now. We’re going to go bang our drums and see what kind of noise we can make.”Wisconsin does hold a recent edge when traveling to Mariucci Arena, with a 4-1-1 record in its last six games in Minneapolis. Freshman forward Joseph LaBate and sophomore defenseman Joe Faust are two Badgers that have contributed points during the Badgers’ three-game winning streak and offensive out-pouring, each tallying an assist – Faust’s fifth and LaBate’s 20th point of the season.LaBate hails from Eagan, Minn., and as a freshman, he hasn’t had the chance to skate at Mariucci as a Badger, but recalls his first time visiting the storied arena.“It’s going to be awesome,” LaBate said. “I remember the first time I ever went there I was with my dad and I was probably nine or eight years old and buying a knee hockey stick. I just remember watching how old the guys were and how big the guys were and just being amazed. So it’s going to be fun to go there and be able to play.”The revelation of the Badgers’ offense during that streak makes this matchup even more intriguing. Scoring four goals in its last three wins – the longest such scoring streak since October – Wisconsin’s offense will have to continue to find ways to get the puck past Minnesota’s stalwart goaltender, Kent Patterson. The senior goaltender has started 56 straight games for the Gophers dating back to the 2010-11 season, and Patterson will aim to break his school-record of seven shutouts this season.Faust, a Bloomington, Minn., native, is looking forward to the chance to be playing on his hometown rink and all the thrills that go along with it.“It’s more exciting. I know a lot of people that go to school in Minnesota and my family’s close so they’ll all be there,” Faust said. “It’s just fun to be playing against kids that I know and in an atmosphere where I know a lot of people are watching. I would say it’s more exciting than anything and to have it be the last conference series of the year just puts that much more excitement into it. I’m looking forward to it.”Kelly Erickson contributed to this article.last_img read more