“The delay in relocation is a growing national security and health crisis. It costs nothing to the current administration to begin briefing Mr. Biden, Mrs. Harris, the new chief of staff, all cabinet members and designated senior staff,” Kelly wrote in a rare public rebuke to his former boss.
Kelly added that “the downside of not doing so could be catastrophic for our people, regardless of who voted.”
“The current administration does not have to concede, but it should only do the right thing if the constitutional system declares that they have lost. It is not about the Republican Party or the Democratic Party. It is not about the president or Mr. Biden. It is about America and what is best for our people.” “Mr. Trump should order the transition process to begin immediately. It is the right and ethical thing to do.”
Republican lawmakers have begun to support the idea that Biden’s transition team would receive the same intelligence as Trump, especially after the Oklahoma senator. James Lankford, a Republican, endorsed the idea earlier this week.
In presenting his argument, Lankford noted that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the bipartisan commission that investigated it found that the compressed time frame for the transition after the disputed 2000 elections may have contributed to the lack of preparedness for the attack.
The commission said in its report after the attacks that the disagreement over the elections and the “36-day legal battle” that followed “cut half the normal transition period.” The committee said the loss of time “hindered the new administration in identifying, recruiting, liquidating, and obtaining Senate approval for key appointments,” thus reducing US preparedness for terrorist attacks.
Trump spoke publicly on Friday for the first time since a short speech that made unsubstantiated allegations about last week’s election and did not admit to losing the presidential race. CNN predicted on Friday that Biden would win Georgia and Trump would win North Carolina, the last two states yet to be named, bringing the final electoral vote total to 306-232 for Biden.
“The depths of his dishonesty is amazing to me. The dishonesty, the transactional nature of every relationship, although it is more pathetic than anything else. He is the most defective person I have met in my life,” said a retired Marine Corps general told friends, CNN learned that.
Kelly said he would have warned Trump about the idea of using law enforcement to clear Lafayette Square of protesters ahead of the president’s now infamous photo in front of a nearby church.
This story has been updated with additional information.
CNN’s Caroline Kelly and Megan Vasquez contributed to this report.