State Department is preventing Biden from accessing congratulatory messages from foreign leaders
Donald Trump/Joe Biden -- AFP/Biden Facebook page

The U.S. State Department is preventing Biden from accessing messages to him from foreign leaders, CNN's Kylie Atwood reported Wednesday.

"A stack of messages from foreign leaders to President-elect Joe Biden are sitting at the State Department but the Trump administration is preventing him from accessing them, according to State Department officials familiar with the messages," CNN reported. "Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages to State over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration, because President Donald Trump refuses to accept Biden's victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received."

Biden's team is currently contacting foreign leaders and government officials on their own, but "would prefer to be using the State Department resources," said a source familiar with the situation, who noted that the Biden team is having to deal with the unexpected challenge of facilitating these calls.

"It was helpful to have State ops place the calls and to provide translation services, and we were grateful for the cooperation from the Bush administration for making that happen," said Denis McDonough, who served in the Obama administration and worked with Obama during the transition.

That extended hand isn't happening this time around from President Donald J. Trump and his agencies toward President-elect Joe Biden.

The calls happening now are congratulatory ones, standard to what usually occurs after a new president is selected.

"These calls in the past have been handled on open lines. They are congratulatory calls," McDonough said.