This post was written by CBS News White House correspondent Mark Knoller:
The Bush Administration is planning "table-top exercises" of terror attack scenarios for the Obama Transition Team next month.
Briefing reporters at the White House, Ken Wainstein, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, expects a couple of such exercises to be run next month – no dates yet set.
Asked if it wouldn't be worthwhile for Mr. Obama himself to take part, Wainstein hesitated and then said Mr. Obama is getting a series of briefings on these scenarios.
Wainstein says the exercises are just one piece of a "broad effort" to prepare the Obama Team for what it will face on January 20th.
Other interesting points from Wainstein:
- He senses the Obama team takes the terror threat just as seriously as the Bush Administration
- Thirty to forty percent of his time is spent briefing the Obama team on homeland security and counter-terrorism issues.
- He says this is "a period of perceived heightened vulnerability" to a terror attack, but he says there is no chatter or intelligence to back that up.
Wainstein spoke to reporters in advance of a speech President Bush is making today that trumpets the policies that have kept America safe from a second terror attack since 9/11.
Despite all the actions the administration has taken – of which he feels the Patriot Act tops the list - Wainstein concedes that "luck is always a factor" in these matters.