Biden says his team is already talking with the Trump administration

Now that the General Services Administration has determined President-elect Biden may access the transition tools of the federal government, formal conversations between Mr. Biden’s team and Trump administration officials are already underway, the incoming president said Tuesday.

Shortly after CBS News confirmed the former vice president can access the presidential daily briefing, Mr. Biden told NBC’s Lester Holt about the access his team is getting to current administration officials. Since the GSA’s letter of ascertainment Monday night, Mr. Biden said there’s been “immediate” outreach from national security officials, adding that he can now access the daily briefings and his team is working out a meeting with the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force on vaccine distribution.

“And I must say, the outreach has been sincere,” Mr. Biden told Holt.

Earlier Tuesday, asked by reporters if he would accept a meeting with President Trump if offered, Mr. Biden responded, “Of course I would, if he asked.” So far, Mr. Trump has not given any indication that he would invite Mr. Biden to the White House, and he has refused to concede. 

Several White House officials told CBS News that White House chief of staff Mark Meadows sent a memo to staff telling them the White House “will comply with all actions needed to ensure the smooth transfer of power.” Bloomberg first reported the memo’s existence.

“Unless specifically authorized personnel are not permitted to speak directly with a member of the Biden transition team or the federal transition coordinator,” the memo said.

GSA’s cooperation also means the Biden team can access the $6.3 million designated for transition activities, as well as federal office space. 

Biden’s agency review team, made up of dozens of mostly volunteers, can now reach out to agencies to access critical information about agency processes and their latest work. 

The FBI says it can also now begin background investigations of potential appointees, upon receiving written requests from the office of the president-elect. The FBI works to thoroughly investigate candidates as swiftly as possible. The results of the background check are given to the requesting agency.

CBS News’ Andy Triay contributed to this report 

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