Joe Biden introduces diplomatic, national security team

Declaring "America is back," the US president-elect Joe Biden introduced selections for his national security team on Tuesday, news wires reported. The nominees are all Washington veterans with ties to the Obama administration, as the president-elect has sought to deliver a clear message about his desire to reestablish a more predictable engagement from the United States on the global stage.

"It's a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," Biden said, at an introductory event at which his selections stood on stage, at least six feet apart and masked.

The president-elect's team includes Anthony Blinken, a veteran foreign policy hand well-regarded on Capitol Hill whose ties to Biden go back some 20 years, for Secretary of state; lawyer Alejandro Mayorkas to be homeland security secretary; veteran diplomat Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be US ambassador to the United Nations; and Obama White House alumnus Jake Sullivan as national security adviser.

Avril Haines, a former deputy director of the CIA, was picked to serve as director of national intelligence, the first woman to hold that post, and former Secretary of State John Kerry will make a curtain call as a special envoy on climate change. Kerry and Sullivan's position will not require Senate confirmation.

With the Senate's balance of power hinging on two runoff races in Georgia that will be decided in January, some Senate Republicans have already expressed antipathy to Biden's picks as little more than Obama world retreads.

Outside the realm of national security and foreign policy, Biden is expected to choose Janet Yellen as the first woman to become treasury secretary. She was nominated by Obama to lead the Federal Reserve, the first woman in that position, and served from 2014 to 2018.

Donald Trump, who continues to press a legal challenge to overturn the election results, again on Tuesday refused to concede his election loss.

 

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