Source: Trump national security team slow to engage

"Two days after the election, the President meets with President-elect Donald Trump." (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

(CNN)The Trump transition team for national security has been slow to interact with the Obama administration's National Security Council, according to a source close to the transition.

NSC staff have written a series of briefing materials to bring the Trump team up to speed and there is uncertainty within the Obama administration on whether Trump's team have read them, the source said.
One official said that the Trump team has "begun engaging at the staff level only recently."
The same source said the challenges are being attributed to delays in the appointments of key staff and getting required security clearances. The New York Times was first to report this story.
    Obama's National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, told The Times that that it took "more time than we expected for them to be ready to engage with us" and that the White House was "racing to make up lost time." Rice emphasized to The Times that she was confident that the Trump administration would have what it needed by the inauguration on Friday.
    Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer disagreed with any assessment that the transition team isn't prepared, telling reporters during a conference call on Wednesday that the incoming deputy national security adviser, KT McFarland, "has met with her counterpart countless times" and he added that "there's been readings of briefings that have been sent over."
    Spicer emphasized preparedness, saying, "Make no mistake: The landing teams are ready to go" and ready to start working on Inauguration Day, adding that he thinks the Trump transition plan "will become the gold standard moving forward."
    Several State Department officials have also described very little interaction with the Trump transition team.
    Although the department has produced dozens of briefing papers on various issues to prepare the incoming administration for the myriad foreign policy issues it will face, officials said they do not know if they have been read.
    The team has asked a lot of questions about budget and organization of the department, but officials said while there have been some discussions, there has not a robust dialogue about foreign policy.
    "They are still in receive mode," one official said.
    According to a State Department official, there is no expectation of any press briefings at the State Department next week because there is "no policy yet."
    Unlike previous transitions, the officials said they have no idea who will be serving at the State Department in the incoming administration.
    Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Secretary of State, has not tapped a deputy or designated any staff that will be working with him, and no undersecretaries and assistant secretaries for the various regional bureaus -- typically among the first senior positions filled -- have been named.