US President-elect Biden and VP-elect Harris to receive intelligence briefings

President-elect Joe Biden (right) and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Wilmington, US, on Nov 19, 2020. PHOTO: NYTIMES

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - US President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris will receive on Monday (Nov 30) the same daily intelligence briefing that President Donald Trump gets, belatedly beginning the transition between leaders of some of the nation's most sensitive secrets.

The President's Daily Briefing has been offered to every president-elect since Richard Nixon in 1968, often the morning after Election Day. But that courtesy is extended by custom and is not required by law, and Trump's refusal to concede defeat has put Biden nearly a month behind.

Biden received the President's Daily Briefing for eight years as vice-president, and received some intelligence briefings as the Democratic presidential nominee but will likely see an intelligence product unlike the one he's used to.

"Joe Biden is no stranger to the President's daily brief," said David Priess, a former officer at the Central Intelligence Agency and the author of The President's Book of Secrets, a book on the history of the briefing. "Biden is in the best position of almost anyone imaginable to make up for a few weeks of lost time early in the transition."

Biden could be surprised by what he sees, however, because the style and substance of the briefing is tailored to the current President. While President Barack Obama and Biden often received dense, analytical briefing books, Trump likes to see shorter bullet points and more graphics.

Priess said Biden's briefers from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence will likely provide him with background reports and other supplemental details on any major developments he's missed over the last four years.

As part of the presidential transition, the intelligence community has set up a secure room in Biden's hometown of Wilmington for him to receive the briefing. Harris will also receive the briefing Monday, but it's unclear if she will be briefed with Biden.

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