On Saturday, NBC News reported that a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) recently appointed chief of staff at the Department of Defense is working to obstruct the Joe Biden transition team from receiving intelligence briefings from some Pentagon officials.
"In some instances, the chief of staff, Kash Patel, who was assigned to the Pentagon after last month's election, has recast policy descriptions to include content that reflects favorably on Trump's policies before the information is shared with the Biden transition, two of the officials said," reported Courtney Kube and Carol E. Lee. "Patel made it clear early in the process that senior political officials would attend transition team meetings and briefings dealing with significant policy issues, the officials said, which is having a chilling effect on the information being shared with the Biden team."
"While mundane issues and requests for information from the Biden team are tasked out to Pentagon policy experts, the two current officials and one former official said some significant or time-sensitive policies — such as those involving Iran, Afghanistan, and North Korea — are being handled by political appointees, some of whom Trump recently installed, or not answered at all," continued the report.
Patel's promotion to Pentagon chief of staff in November, shortly after the dismissal of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, raised controversy at the time. And Patel is not the only Nunes aide to be given a high-ranking position in the national security apparatus; another, Mark Ellis, was recently named general counsel to the National Security Agency.
As President Donald Trump faces his final months in office, and as he publicly continues to challenge the election result and refuse to concede, his political appointees have resisted cooperating in the transition. Most notably, General Services Administration director Emily Murphy refused to even sign the paperwork "ascertaining" the transition for weeks after the election was called, denying resources and intelligence to transition officials.