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Mitt Romney says consequences of lame duck period are 'potentially more severe' than delayed transition

November 19, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) stands in a hallway near the Senate chamber in the U.S. Capitol on January 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Impeachment trial proceedings against President Donald Trump have resumed today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is warning that the consequences of actions taken by President Donald Trump during the lame duck period of his term are "potentially more severe" than those caused by the delayed presidential transition.

Washington (CNN)Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is warning that the consequences of actions taken by President Donald Trump during the lame duck period of his term are "potentially more severe" than those caused by the delayed presidential transition.

"The consequences of what's happening during this lame duck period, I think, are potentially more severe than the consequences associated with a late transition process," Romney, who represents Utah, told CNN's David Axelrod on an episode of "The Axe Files" podcast released Thursday.

Romney cited the Trump administration's plan to remove more troops from the Middle East as one lame duck move that could cause more damage than Trump's refusal to formally begin the transition process, saying he's spoken with foreigners who are "alarmed" by Trump's plan and wonder if they can still "trust" America.

The comments from Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee and a frequent critic of the President, come as Trump continues to hold up the presidential transition process as he makes baseless claims of voter fraud and launches long-shot legal challenges to the election in several states, even though they have little chance of overturning results.

The delayed transition is causing concern among both national security and public health experts, who are warning that it could leave America vulnerable to foreign threats and negatively affect the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic.

President-elect Joe Biden himself criticized the Trump administration on Wednesday for not officially declaring him the winner, and warned that vaccine distribution could lag as a result of his transition team not being able to work with the administration.

National security experts, meanwhile, are also issuing similar warnings, with David Priess, a former intelligence officer for the CIA and State Department, saying the delayed transition could lead to gaps in how crucial intelligence is passed along on to the incoming administration.

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