03:50 GMT28 January 2021
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    WASHINGTON, (Sputnik) - The US Defense Department will continue working with the Biden transition team after a holiday pause which was mutually agreed upon, Acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said in a statement on Friday.

    Earlier on Friday, the news website Axios said citing unnamed senior Trump administration officials that the Defense Department has suspended briefings for the Biden transition team on Miler’s orders.

    "The Department of Defense will continue to provide all required support to the Agency Review Team (ART) to keep our nation and her citizens safe... At no time has the Department cancelled or declined any interview," Miller said. "After the mutually-agreed upon holiday pause, which begins tomorrow, we will continue with the transition and rescheduled meetings from today."

    Miller noted that the Defense Department has so far conducted 139 interviews with 265 officials, responded to 161 requests for information and provided 4,400 pages of controlled non-public information and 900 pages of classified information.

    Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on Threats to the Homeland on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2020. U.S. President Donald Trump said on November 9, 2020 that Miller will become acting secretary of defense after Trump announced he had terminated current U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.
    © REUTERS / POOL New
    Christopher Miller, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, testifies during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on "Threats to the Homeland" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 24, 2020. U.S. President Donald Trump said on November 9, 2020 that Miller will become acting secretary of defense after Trump announced he had "terminated" current U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

    Miller also said the Defense Department continues to schedule interviews with senior leaders and career officials and is now working to reschedule some 20 interviews with 40 officials until after January 1.

    “Our key focus in the next two weeks is supporting essential requests for information on OWS and COVID-19 information to guarantee a flawless transition. This is my major focus area,” Miller said. “Again, I remain committed to a full and transparent transition - this is what our nation expects and the [Defense Department] will deliver as it always has.”

    On Monday, the Electoral College convened in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia and gave Biden 306 electoral votes and gave Trump 232 electoral votes. Congress will meet on January 5 to count the votes and confirm the victor.

    U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters as he announces more nominees and appointees during a news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 11, 2020
    © REUTERS / MIKE SEGAR
    U.S. President-elect Joe Biden speaks to reporters as he announces more nominees and appointees during a news conference at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., December 11, 2020

    While the Biden team has started the transition process, Trump continues his legal challenges in state and federal courts, saying he won the election but it was stolen from him by massive fraud and acts of impropriety.

    Biden Transition Team Not Agree on Holiday Pause

    "Let me be clear, There was no mutually agreed upon holiday break," senior transition aide Yohannes Abraham said on Friday. "In fact, we think it’s important for briefings and other engagements to continue."

    Abraham emphasized that the Biden transition team hopes and expects the meetings and requests for information will resume immediately.

    Tags:
    transition team, Trump, Biden, US Election
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