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The Transition: Chaos at Pentagon adds to postelection confusion

Political Theater, Episode 156

The surge of turnover at the Pentagon has added chaos to the uncertainty surrounding the presidential transition.
The surge of turnover at the Pentagon has added chaos to the uncertainty surrounding the presidential transition. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Presidential transition times are always a delicate matter, even under the best of circumstances. With President Donald Trump refusing to concede the election and preventing his administration from cooperating with President-elect Joe Biden’s team, these are not the best of circumstances.

Among the biggest flash points is Trump’s purging of the senior leadership of the Pentagon, starting with Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper. There are potentially huge security risks at play. CQ Roll Call senior writers Todd Ruger and John M. Donnelly, who join us on this special episode of Political Theater, have been reporting on the legal and national security implications of this chaotic situation, including:

  • the status of the Trump campaign’s lawsuits challenging parts of the election and their chances of success
  • the effect on selection of electors
  • why this is such a sensitive time for the Pentagon and national security
  • the 9/11 commission’s warnings about the importance of doing presidential transitions right
  • what happens if there’s a conflict between civilian and uniformed Pentagon leadership?
  • where do we go from here?

Show Notes:

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