Donald Trump’s transition team is nearing a state of stasis, causing concern among both Democrats and Republicans in Washington that his White House will be woefully ill-prepared once he is inaugurated.
The primary cause, according to multiple sources, is the revamped leadership structure at Trump’s transition offices ― the demotion of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie from the top post and his replacement with Vice President-elect Mike Pence.
On Tuesday morning, for example, the Obama administration alerted the press that it had not yet received a memorandum of understanding signed by Pence, which would legally allow the old and new administrations to begin discussions on how to hand off critical government functions. That document still hadn’t arrived by 4:30 p.m., and only later in the evening did a White House official confirm it had been received. The official noted that the language signed by Pence was identical to a memo signed by Christie, making the holdup all the more peculiar.
The disarray has left agencies virtually frozen, unable to communicate with the people tasked with replacing them and their staff. Trump transition team officials were a no-show at the Pentagon, the Washington Examiner reported. Same goes for the Department of Energy, responsible for keeping the nation’s nuclear weapons safe, where officials had expected members of the Trump transition team on Monday. Ditto for the Department of Transportation. Over at the Justice Department, officials also are still waiting to hear from the Trump team.
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