Privately, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien is open about President Trump losing the election and the need to start a transition with President-elect Joe Biden, one official told The Daily Beast, but he won't say anything about the matter to Trump's face.
Multiple officials told The Daily Beast that O'Brien has been enabling Trump and his refusal to concede the election. He has urged national security staffers to go along with Trump's false claims about widespread voter fraud, the officials said. O'Brien has also spent the last several months complaining about Mark Esper, who Trump fired as defense secretary earlier this week, and he has supported Trump installing loyalists in top Pentagon positions.
One former national security official told The Daily Beast it's not surprising that O'Brien is behaving this way, as he is a yes man who "does whatever Trump says." Several officials also said the name "Biden" can't be uttered these days, with one national security official claiming that if "you even mention Biden's name ... you'd be fired. Everyone is scared of even talking about the chance of working with the [Biden] transition." A White House official told The Daily Beast — only half kidding — that in the West Wing, you can say Biden's name, but only if "you're talking about who lost the election to the president."