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President-elect Joe Biden should be able to receive intelligence briefings by Friday, a Republican member of the U.S. Senate said in a radio interview that aired Wednesday.
If Biden doesn’t receive the briefings, then U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., said he is prepared to “step in” and make sure Biden does.
However, in a Twitter message Wednesday night, Lankford clarified that he continues to believe President Trump “is fully in his right to ask for recounts and for every legal question to be fully vetted and resolved.”
“It is important for the 71 million Americans that voted for President Trump that at the end of all this their questions are answered,” Lankford wrote.
Earlier Wednesday, in the interview that aired on Tulsa’s KMRG, Lankford said there was “nothing wrong” with the idea of Biden receiving intelligence briefings, even as President Trump and other Republicans continued to dispute the outcome of last week’s election.
Lankford said the briefings are necessary for Biden “to be able to prepare himself” for the presidency, should the former vice president’s election victory withstand any court challenges.
“There is no loss from him getting the briefings,” Lankford told KMRG, according to The Hill, “and to be able to do that, and if that’s not occurring by Friday I will step in as well, and to be able to push and say this needs to occur so that regardless of the outcome of the election … people can be ready for that actual task.”
U.S. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla. (Associated Press)
The senator added that regardless of the outcome of any disputes about the election, he was confident that a new presidential term would begin Jan. 20 without violence.
“I can assure you there will be a peaceful transition of power in the United States,” Lankford said, according to KRMG.
Lankford added that Vice President-elect Kamala Harris already “has all the clearances she needs” to receive intelligence briefings because the U.S. senator from California is a current member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
In his interview on KMRG, Lankford noted that if Biden ultimately takes over the presidency, and if Democrats win both Senate runoffs in Georgia in January, then Harris – as president of the Senate – would be able to break any ties in an evenly divided Senate.
That means the Trump-Biden election not only determines control of the White House, but also potentially determines “whether Mitch McConnell or Chuck Schumer is the [Senate] majority leader, who sets the directions of the committees, who takes up what bills,” Lankford said.
Lankford, 52, a former member of the U.S. House, has been serving in the Senate since January 2015, after winning a special election in 2014 to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Lankford then won election to a full six-year term in 2016 and will be up for election again in 2022.
He is the current chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee and is a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
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