Acting Secretary of Defense, Chris Miller has reportedly ordered Pentagon officials to stop cooperating with the Biden transition team, according to Axios.
Miller sent the order instructing staff to cancel scheduled transition meetings Thursday night, a move which stunned officials across the Defense Department.
A senior defense official tried to downplay the move, telling Axios that cooperation will resume after the holiday pause and that DoD staffers involved in the transition are “overwhelmed”.
“We had fewer than two dozen remaining meetings on the schedule today and next week,” the official said, adding “the DoD staff working the meetings were overwhelmed by the number of meetings.”
“These same senior leaders needed to do their day jobs and were being consumed by transition activities,” the official added, telling Axios that the department is “taking a knee” for a couple of weeks but is “Still committed to a productive transition.”
Miller was appointed when Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper in a post election purge of civilian leadership from the Defense Department and fill their vacant seats with Trump loyalist.
Kash Patel, a Trump loyalist and the new chief of staff for Miller is in charge of the transition at the Department of Defense after only two weeks on the job, according to Business Insider.
Officials at DoD are still not sure what led Miller to halt the Pentagon’s cooperation with the transition or if Trump approved of the move.