Inside pressured government official’s decision to delay formal transition to a Biden presidency


Antony Blinken, left, and Linda Thomas-Greenfield. AFP / Bloomberg / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is set to appoint Antony Blinken as secretary of state, people familiar with the matter told CNN, elevating a longtime foreign policy adviser as Biden makes his first round of announcements at Cabinet Tuesday.

New White House chief of staff Ron Klain said earlier Sunday that Biden intended to start revealing his cabinet members on Tuesday. Blinken is expected to be among the first nominations, people familiar with the matter said, with Biden intending to send a signal that rebuilding U.S. alliances is one of his top priorities.

Bloomberg was the first to report that Biden intended to appoint Blinken.

Blinken served in the Obama administration as Assistant Secretary of State and Deputy Senior National Security Advisor. He was also a national security adviser to then-Vice President Biden.

During this time, he played a central role in much of the Obama administration’s foreign policy, including how to respond to Russia’s 2014 incursion into Crimea, the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. in 2011 and the fight against ISIS.

If confirmed by the Senate, Blinken will be tasked with restoring relations with close allies around the world, many of whom have bristled with President Donald Trump’s confrontational style and attempts to remake US international responsibilities. as part of its “America First” engagement campaign.

The longtime foreign policy adviser will also be asked to address a dramatically altered State Department under Trump, including endowing an organization under a hiring freeze and fighting a baseless opinion pushed by Trump that the agency was part of a “deep state”. work against the Republican leader.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware and former United Nations Ambassador and National Security Advisor Susan Rice had been among the other contenders for the post.

Former Obama administration official Jake Sullivan is the leading candidate for the post of national security adviser.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield is the leading candidate for ambassador to the United Nations, sources familiar with the matter told CNN, who are also expected to be announced on Tuesday.

Thomas-Greenfield, an African-American woman with a long career in the foreign service, was previously Deputy Secretary of the Bureau of African Affairs. The selection of Thomas-Greenfield would help Biden fulfill his promise to build a diverse administration.

Axios first reported the possibility of Thomas-Greenfield being nominated.

The transition team has also already assigned advisers – known as Sherpas – to help guide appointed Cabinet members through the confirmation process, a source said.

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