President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday formally unveiled his picks for diplomatic and security positions — including Antony Blinken for secretary of state and Avril Haines as intelligence director.
“It’s a team that will keep our country and our people safe and secure,” Biden said in Wilmington, Del., as his masked nominees for cabinet and other top positions stood behind him. “This team behind me embody my core beliefs that America’s strongest when it works with its allies.”
Biden, denounced as a warmonger by President Trump, including for supporting the 2003 Iraq War, said his team would work to prevent “needless military conflicts” and to fight global warming.
Biden’s selections were already announced by his campaign and include Alejandro Mayorkas as homeland security secretary, Linda Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador, Jake Sullivan for White House national security adviser and John Kerry to fill a new senior role as “special presidential envoy for climate.”
Blinken, deputy secretary of state from 2015-2017, will “rebuild morale and trust in the State Department, or where his career in government began,” Biden said.
The incoming top diplomat “is ready on day one” and “starts off with the kind of relationships around the world that many of his predecessors have had to build over the years,” the president-elect said.
Mayorkas, deputy secretary of homeland security from 2013-2016, during a time when then-President Barack Obama was dubbed “deporter in chief” by liberal activists, will end the Trump administration’s “absolute cruelty at DHS,” Biden maintained.
Mayorkas, a descendant of Cuban Jews, is “an immigrant, a Latino,” Biden said, and “helped implement DACA,” which since 2012 has given work permits and shielded from deportation illegal immigrants who arrived to the US as children.
It’s possible Mayorkas will face Republican headwinds in the Senate over an inspector general report that determined he intervened to help foreign investors connected to top Democrat with a visa program.
Biden said it was Mayorkas’ birthday, joking: “Happy Birthday, man… he’s 21.”
Kerry, the failed 2004 Democratic presidential nominee and a secretary of state in the Obama administration, will address “one of the most pressing threats of our time,” Biden said.
Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, is “a fierce advocate for telling the truth,’ Biden said.
“I’ve worked with her over a decade — brilliant, humble — can talk literature and theoretical physics, fixing cars, flying planes, running a bookstore cafe, all in a single conversation, because she’s done all that,” he said.
Sullivan, whose job is not Senate confirmed, told reporters in 2016 that Trump’s campaign may have links to Russia.
Biden praised Thomas-Greenfield’s life story.
“Her dad couldn’t read or write,” Biden said.
Thomas-Greenfield has held diplomatic posts around the world and is known as “the people’s ambassador,” Biden said. She was a top State Department official in charge of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa during Obama administration, and Biden said she would have Cabinet status.
Share this article:
Source: Read Full Article