COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Ohio’s only Republican senator said Monday that Joe Biden’s transition team should start receiving national intelligence briefings and plans for distributing the coronavirus vaccine.
Sen. Rob Portman wrote in an op-ed in the Cincinnati Enquirer that enough of President Donald Trump’s legal challenges have been resolved and the “initial determination showing Joe Biden with enough electoral votes to win has not changed.”
Portman joins a growing number of Republicans recognizing that Biden, a Democrat, won the presidential election, even though Trump has yet to concede. In failing to do so, Biden’s transition team has not received intelligence briefings, been made aware of vaccine distribution plans or received transition funds from the federal government.
“The General Services Administration (GSA) should go ahead and release the funds and provide the infrastructure for an official transition, and the Biden team should receive the requested intelligence briefings and briefings on the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan,” Portman wrote.
“This is only prudent. Donald Trump is our president until Jan. 20, 2021, but in the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless and that America is ready on Day One of a new administration for the challenges we face.”
Portman was a co-chair of Trump’s campaign in Ohio, a state the president won. And Portman said he still believes that Trump’s “policies would be better for Ohio and the country.”
Since Election Day, Trump and his campaign have pushed legal challenges in several states where he narrowly lost to Biden. On Saturday, his effort in Pennsylvania was thrown out by a federal judge.
Portman said he had no problem with the challenges.
“I have said that the states and the courts should act expeditiously and that any allegations of fraud must be based on evidence, which is what the law requires,” Portman said. “There is no evidence as of now of any widespread fraud or irregularities that would change the result in any state.”
In his op-ed, Portman concluded, “My hope is that all of us, as Americans, regardless of who we supported in the campaign, will be willing to accept the result because a thorough process was followed and the final vote count was clear.”