The long-standing White House tradition Trump looks set to avoid

Brianne Tolj
·3-min read

Donald Trump is reportedly considering turning his back on a significant Presidential tradition after losing the US election to Joe Biden on Saturday.

With the President refusing to concede and tweeting unsupported claims of fraud, his aides say it is unclear if he will invite president-elect Biden to the White House for a symbolic meeting, according to The New York Times.

The gathering is supposed to represent the peaceful transfer of the powerful role and has been respected for at least four decades.

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Source: Getty
President Donald Trump's aides say it is unclear if he will invite president-elect Biden to the White House for a symbolic meeting. Source: Getty

Former President Barack Obama hosted Trump and his wife Melania just two days after the Republican was elected.

Aides say it is also unknown if Trump will attend Biden’s inaugural ceremony, which is also a long-standing tradition.

The publication said Democrats are concerned that Trump will dismiss a number of such steps in the presidential transition, but Biden has declared he will forge ahead regardless.

Biden has also labelled Trump’s refusal to admit defeat “embarrassing”.

“We're going to be going, moving along, in a consistent manner, putting together our administration ... and reviewing who we're going to pick for Cabinet positions, and nothing's going to stop that,” he said Tuesday (local time).

“We’re going to do exactly what we would have been doing if he had conceded.”

President-elect Joe Biden addresses the media. Source: Getty
Aides say it is also unknown if Trump will attend Biden’s inaugural ceremony, which is also a long-standing tradition. Source: Getty

Donald Trump denies access to security information

President Trump has not authorised Biden to be able to access the ultra-secret daily brief of the nation’s most sensitive intelligence.

National security and intelligence experts hope Trump changes his mind, citing the need for an incoming president to be fully prepared to confront any national security issues on day one.

“Our adversaries aren’t waiting for the transition to take place,” former Michigan Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, who was chairman of the House intelligence committee, said.

“Joe Biden should receive the President’s Daily Brief starting today. He needs to know what the latest threats are and begin to plan accordingly. This isn’t about politics; this is about national security.”

Trump, left, pauses while speaking as James Mattis, US secretary of defense, listens during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. Source: Getty
US adversaries can take advantage of the country during an American presidential transition. Source: Getty

US adversaries can take advantage of the country during an American presidential transition and key foreign issues will be bearing down on Biden the moment he steps into the Oval Office.

Biden is familiar with the briefing, having read it during his eight years as vice president.

But threats are ever-changing and as Inauguration Day nears, his need for Trump to let him get eyes on the intelligence brief will become more critical.

“It’s an important and meaningful tradition, and I’m concerned that it’s not being continued,” Denis McDonough, a former White House chief of staff during the Obama administration who oversaw the 2017 transition, said.

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