Saying 'America is back,' Biden presents security and foreign policy team

AFP
President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced a slate of veteran diplomats and policymakers who will make up his national security and foreign policy team.
AFP
Saying America is back, Biden presents security and foreign policy team
AFP

US President-elect Joe Biden speaks during a cabinet announcement event in Wilmington, Delaware, on November 24, 2020. 

President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday introduced a slate of veteran diplomats and policymakers who will make up his national security and foreign policy team, saying: "America is back, ready to lead the world."

Biden, 78, at an event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, presented his picks for secretary of state, national security adviser, homeland security secretary, intelligence chief, UN ambassador and climate change envoy.

"These public servants will restore America's global leadership and moral leadership," Biden said as the six men and women stood behind him wearing face masks on the stage of the Queen theater.

"It is a team that reflects the fact that America is back, ready to lead the world, not retreat from it," the former vice president said in a jab at President Trump's go-it-alone "America First" policies.

Biden's remarks came shortly after Trump suffered further setbacks in his unprecedented effort to overturn the results of an American presidential election with unsubstantiated claims of fraud.

Pennsylvania and Nevada certified the November 3 election results on Tuesday, a day after the state of Michigan did so, a move which triggered the General Services Administration to launch the transition process.

As more members of his Republican Party came out demanding an end to the impasse, Trump signed off on the GSA move, effectively admitting defeat but still refusing to concede.

"The GSA does not determine who the next President of the United States will be," the president tweeted on Tuesday along with a picture of himself in the Oval Office with the caption: "I concede NOTHING!!!!!"

Saying America is back, Biden presents security and foreign policy team
AFP

First lady Melania Trump looks on as US President Donald Trump gives the National Thanksgiving Turkey "Corn" a presidential pardon during the traditional event in the Rose Garden of the White House November 24, 2020, in Washington, DC.

The 74-year-old Trump, who has made few public appearances since his defeat, later attended a traditional Thanksgiving turkey-pardoning event at the White House.

He appeared to at least indirectly address the election at one point, saying: "I say America First, shouldn't go away from that, America First."

No begrudging

The GSA determination that Biden is the apparent winner gives him access to classified briefings on national security threats and will allow his aides to coordinate with health officials on addressing the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

Biden, in an interview with NBC Nightly News, said intelligence briefings were expected to begin soon and cooperation is being worked out in other areas.

"We've gotten outreach from the National Security shop," he said. "We're already working out meeting with the COVID team in the White House.

"The outreach has been sincere," Biden said. "There's not been begrudging so far. And I don't expect it to be."

With Biden having won a comfortable victory, Trump's last card is to try to disrupt the normally routine process of state-by-state certification of the vote and challenge election results in the courts with claims of irregularities.

The legal efforts have fallen flat, however, along with the attempts to delay state certification.

"The Trump campaign's legal efforts have no basis in fact, no basis in law," said Bob Bauer, a senior adviser to the Biden campaign and a former White House counsel. "Their only purpose is to delay the inevitable."


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