The US president-elect, Joe Biden, will nominate the veteran diplomat Antony Blinken as his secretary of state and Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the UN, moving forward on his campaign pledge to restore the US as a leader on the global stage and rely on experts.
Blinken and Thomas-Greenfield bring deep foreign policy backgrounds to the nascent administration while providing a sharp contrast with Donald Trump, who distrusted such experience and embraced an “America First” policy that strained longstanding US relationships.
Blinken could be named as early as Tuesday, according to sources close to Biden, while Axios first reported Thomas-Greenfield’s impending nomination.
Blinken’s appointment made another longtime Biden aide and foreign policy veteran, Jake Sullivan, the top candidate to be US national security adviser, a source told Reuters.
Thomas-Greenfield, served as the assistant secretary of state for Africa under Obama, and Axios reported that her appointment was intended to restore morale and help fulfill Biden’s pledge to choose a more diverse cabinet than Donald Trump’s.
Welcome to our live coverage of US politics. Joe Biden is setting up his cabinet in preparation for becoming president on 20 January, even while Donald Trump continues to deny the result and pledges victory to his supporters. Here’s a quick catch up on where we are, and what we can expect to see today.
- Joe Biden to expected to nominate Antony Blinken as his secretary of state. The veteran diplomat may be named as early as Tuesday. It will mark a sharp break with the Trump era. Blinken is a longtime Biden confidant who served as No 2 at the state department and as deputy national security adviser in Barack Obama’s administration.
- Linda Thomas-Greenfield is expected to be named as ambassador to the UN, moving forward on Biden’s campaign pledge to restore the US as a leader on the global stage and rely on experts. Thomas-Greenfield served as the assistant secretary of state for Africa under Obama.
- Israel’s Haaretz newspaper has reported that Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly visited Saudi Arabia on Sunday, and met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and visiting US secretary of state Mike Pompeo there.
- The Trump legal campaign – or at least Rudy Giuliani and Jenna Ellis – have distanced themselves from attorney Sidney Powell after her bizarre election fraud claims. Powell’s raft of incorrect claims include that Georgia’s voting software was created at the behest of late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.
- Nevertheless, overnight president Donald Trump has again been tweeting election disinformation and claiming “We will win!”. Joe Biden’s total vote lead over Trump in the popular vote is now more than six million.
- Rep. Fred Upton of Michigan, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have joined the ranks of Republicans breaking ranks with Trump’s attempts to undermine the election result.
- There were 142,732 new coronavirus cases and 921 more deaths recorded in the US yesterday. Healthcare workers are urging Americans to ‘scale back’ Thanksgiving gatherings.
- In El Paso, inmates have been used to help move bodies into morgues as Covid deaths soar.
- A Trump supporter who exhaled over women during protests has been charged with assault. Video showed Deskins blowing air on two unidentified women after one of them asked him to get away and pointed out that he’s not wearing a mask amid the Covid pandemic.
- President Donald Trump has no public engagements in his diary again. President-elect Joe Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris will meet virtually with the US conference of mayors.