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Former SU Professor Says Trump Delaying Transition of Power could Damage International Relations

Tom Page

The former Director of the National Securities Studies Program at SU’s Maxwell School says President Trump not conceding to Joe Biden and a continuation of a delayed transition to power can create an international security threat to the US. Bill Smullen says a poll last year revealed that only one-third of Europeans surveyed thought America was headed in the right direction and they trusted the US as an ally. 

Smullen believes President-elect Joe Biden will mend these frayed alliances, but says he won’t be able to do so until President Trump concedes.

Biden has not been able to begin the process to transition, which hinders his ability to prepare for his new position.

“Joe Biden can’t even have access to intelligence until Trump concedes. So, we’re in kind of a holding period here and this is not helpful; and the victims of this are you and I, the American people,“ Smullen said.

Part of the transition process includes filling critical positions in Biden’s new administration and cabinet, but he’s not allowed to make appointments until Trump concedes.  Smullen says Trump has been recently displaying his unrestricted power

“Trump has unrestricted, unconditional power in these last 70 days to do things that are not very helpful and one of them was when he essentially fired the senior leadership in the Department of Defense.”

Smullen also worries of the uncertainty America will be in as the country’s vulnerabilities are exposed to foreign nations, including countries with which America is not allies.

“This would be a very opportune time for any one of them to take a run at the United States in any way they would want to. They’re not going to attack the United States, but they can do things to make life very uncomfortable for America.”

Listen to an extended interview with Bill Smullen concerning President Trump not conceding to President Elect Joe Biden with WAER's John Smith.

“Everybody is worrying about a new vaccine.  We’ll here’s an opportunity… we’re going to have it here in America.  Hopefully, in the not too distant future.  Here’s an opportunity to share what we have developed in other countries of the world.  I thnk it will improve our image around the world.  So, Donald Trump needs to do what is right and the sooner he does it the better it will be for Joe Biden and his transition team.” 

Smullen compares President Trump’s grip on power to a dictatorship, as he intentionally slows the democratic process challenging the results of the recent election. Despite a lack of congratulations from Trump, Biden has already begun to reach out to leaders of foreign countries, informally - beginning his transition to become the 46th president of the United States.  Smullen worked under General Colin Powell when then President Elect George W. Bush asked Powell to become his Secretary of State in preparation for a transer of power from President Bill Clinton.