President-elect to introduce his first choice for Cabinet

Sunday, November 29th, 2020 00:00 |
US President Joe Biden. Photo/AFP

US President-elect Joe Biden will formally introduce the first people he has chosen for his Cabinet later, as the transition of power gathers pace.

Many of the choices, already announced, are Biden’s colleagues from his years in the Obama administration.

John Kerry was nominated as the climate envoy, while foreign policy veteran Antony Blinken is nominated for Secretary of State.

 Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, was nominated as the first female director of national intelligence.

Alejandro Mayorkas was the first Latino nominated to serve as secretary of homeland security. He previously served as deputy secretary of homeland security under President Barack Obama.

Long-time diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield was nominated US ambassador to the UN

President Donald Trump has finally agreed that the transition process should start, after weeks of wrangling.

The General Services Administration (GSA),  the federal agency overseeing the handover, said it was now acknowledging Biden as the “apparent winner” of the 3 November election.

The move grants the Democrat access to millions of dollars in funds, as well as access to national security briefings and government officials, so he can properly prepare to take over the presidency on 20 January.

Refuses to concede

 Trump said the GSA must “do what needs to be done”, but still refuses to concede the election, repeating unsubstantiated claims of a “rigged election”.

A  statement from the transition team said those being nominated “are experienced, crisis-tested leaders who are ready to hit the ground running on day one”.

It said: “These officials will start working immediately to rebuild our institutions, renew and re-imagine American leadership to keep Americans safe at home and abroad, and address the defining challenges of our time - from infectious disease, to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats, and climate change.”

It is not yet clear when Mr Biden will be given his first classified national security briefing as incoming president. The so-called Presidential Daily Brief gives Trump details of the latest international threats and developments.

Biden revealed his key picks for his national security and foreign policy teams on Monday. Almost all of the top posts will require Senate approval.


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