The Trump administration is preventing President-elect Joe Biden to access the stack of messages from foreign leaders which are sitting at the desk of US State Department.
Traditionally, the State Department supports all communications for the President-elect, which is why many countries began sending messages to the department over the weekend. But with Biden prohibited from accessing State Department resources by the Trump administration, because President Donald Trump refuses to accept Biden's victory, dozens of incoming messages have not been received, reports CNN.
Biden's team is in touch with foreign governments without State Department involvement, and he has held numerous calls with leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel and Canada's Justin Trudeau. But they are operating without the logistical and translation support that the State Department operations center provides.
"They would prefer to be using the State Department resources," said a source familiar with the situation, who noted that the Biden team is having to deal with the unexpected challenge of facilitating these calls.
Not only is Biden being blocked by the State Department from receiving messages and assistance facilitating and from preparing for calls, on Tuesday
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to acknowledge Biden's victory, saying that "there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration," igniting a furor and roiling diplomats.
Biden is also being blocked from getting the same intelligence briefings as the President, known as the President's Daily Brief, and should the Trump administration continue to block a typical transition close to Inauguration Day on January 20, there are concerns Biden's administration will be playing catch-up the day he takes office.
Foreign leaders have begun to figure out that State cannot get them in touch with the President-elect and their teams have reached out to former Obama-era diplomats for their assistance on how to send congratulatory messages to Biden's team, sources told CNN. Some foreign governments feel they are navigating an unfamiliar maze, according to the comments of some foreign diplomats.
In the past, the State Department has facilitated a smoother process.
"It was helpful to have State ops place the calls and to provide translation services, and we were grateful for the cooperation from the Bush administration for making that happen," said Denis McDonough, who served in the Obama administration and worked with Obama during the transition.