Biden announces foreign policy, national security team
President-elect Joe Biden announces his nominees for several key foreign policy and national security posts.
had about 18 November 20. So far, I'm not sure the exact number. In the weeks since we've won the election, I've been struck by how much they're looking forward to the United States, reasserting its historic role as a global leader both in the Pacific as well as the Atlantic all across the world, the team meets this moment, this team behind me. They embody my core beliefs that America is strongest when it works with this allies. Collectively, this team has secured some of the most defining national security and diplomatic achievements in recent memory, made possible through decades of experience working with our partners. That's how we truly keep America safe without engaging in needless military conflicts and our adversaries in check and terrorists at bay. And that's how we counter terrorism and extremism control this pandemic and future ones deal with climate crisis, nuclear proliferation, cyber threats and emerging technologies has spread authoritarianism and so much more. And while this team has unmatched experience and accomplishments, they also reflect the idea that we cannot meet these challenges with all thinking and unchanged habits. For example, we're gonna have the first woman lead the intelligence community, the first Latino and immigrant toe lead the Department of Homeland Security on a groundbreaking diplomat at the United Nations. We're gonna have a principle on the National Security Council. Is full time job is to fight climate change for the first time ever that will occur, and my national security team be coordinated by one of the youngest national security advisers in decades. Experience and leadership, fresh thinking and perspective and an unrelenting belief in the promise of America. I've long said that America leads not only by the example of our power, but by the power of our example. And I'm proud to put forward this incredible team that will lead by example. As Secretary of State I nominate Tony Blinken. He's one of the better prepared for this job. No one's better prepared to my view. He will be the secretary of state who previously served in top roles on Capitol Hill, in the White House and in the State Department. He delivered for the American people in each place, for example, leading our diplomatic efforts in the fight against Isis, strengthen America's alliance and positions the in the age of Pacific, guiding our responses to the global refugee crisis with compassion and determination. And he will rebuild morale and trust in the State Department, where his career where his career in government began. And he starts off with the kind of relationships around the world that many of his predecessors have had to build over the years. I know I've seen him in action. Tony's been one of my closest and most trusted advisors. I know him and his family, immigrants and refugees. Ah, Holocaust survivor who taught him to never take for granted the very idea of America as a place of possibilities. Possibilities. Tony is ready on day one, A secretary for homeland security, I nominate Alejandro Mayorkas. This is one of the hardest jobs in government, a gigantic agency. The DHS secretary needs to keep us safe from threats at home and from abroad. And it's the job that plays a critical role in fixing our broken immigration system after years of chaos, dysfunction, absolute cruelty at DHS, I'm proud to nominate and experienced leader who has been hailed by both Democrats and Republicans. Ali, as he goes by, is a former U. S. Attorney, former director of U S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and a former D h. D. H s deputy secretary, helped implement DACA prevented attacks on the homeland, enhanced our cybersecurity, help communities recover from natural disaster, combated Ebola and Zika. And while DHS affects everyone, given its critical role in immigration matters, I'm proud that for the first time ever, the department re led by an immigrant, Ah, Latino, who knows that we are a nation of laws and values. And one more thing. Today's his birthday. Happy birthday man. Happy birthday. He's 21. Uh huh. As a director of national intelligence, I nominate Avril Haines, the first woman ever to hold this post to lead our intelligence community. I didn't pick a politician or a political figure. I picked a professional. She's eminently qualified. Former deputy director of the CIA, former deputy national security adviser to President Obama and a fierce advocate for telling the truth and leveling with her decisions with the decision makers straight up. Nothing unnecessary. I know because I've worked with her for over a decade. Brilliant, humble can talk literature and theoretical physics, fixing cars, flying planes, running a bookstore, cafe all in a single conversation. Because she's done all that and Above all, she gets word of a threat. If she gets word of a threat coming to our shores like another pandemic or foreign interference in our elections, she will not stop raising alarms until the right people take action. People will be able to take her word because she always calls it. As she sees it, I believe we are safer with Avril on the watch. I think we think you could make a great contribution. And as United ambassador, the United States ambassador, United Nations I nominate Linda Thomas Greenfield, a season and distinguished diplomat with 35 years in the foreign Service who never forgot where she came from. Growing up in segregated Louisiana, the eldest of eight her dad couldn't read or write. But she says he was the smartest person she knew first in her family to go toe to graduate from high school, then college, the whole world literally ahead of her, as her dad and mom taught her to believe. Post in Switzerland, Pakistan, Kenya, the Gambia, Nigeria, Jamaica, Liberia, where she was known as the people's ambassador willing to meet with anyone. An ambassador, a student working people struggling to get by and always treating them with the same level of dignity and respect. She was our top State Department official in charge of African policy during the Ebola crisis. She received overwhelming support from her fellow career Foreign Service officers and she'll be a Cabinet status because I want to hear her voice on all the major foreign policy discussions we have on my national security advisor. I choose Jake Sullivan. He's once in a generation intellect, with experience and temperament for one of the toughest jobs in the world. When I was vice president, he served as my national security advisor. He was a top adviser to Secretary of State Clinton. He helped lead the early negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear deal. He helped broker the Gaza ceasefire in 2000 and 12, played a key role in Asian Pacific re balance in our administration and in this campaign for the presidency, he served as one of my most trusted advisers on both foreign and domestic policy, including helped me develop our Cove in 19 strategy. Jake understands my vision that economic security is national security and it helps steer what I call a foreign policy for the middle class for families like his, growing up in Minnesota, where he was raised by parents who were educators and taught him the values of hard work, decency, service and respect. What that means is toe win the competition for the future. We need to keep us safe and secure and build back better than ever. We need to invest in our people, sharpen our innovative edge, unite the economic might of our democracies around the world to grow the middle class and reduce inequity, and do things like counter predatory trade practices that our competitors of our competitors and our adversaries. And before I talk about the final person today, let me talk about this new position. For the first time ever, the United States will have a full time climate leader participate in ministerial level meetings. That's a fancy way of saying they'll have a seat at every table around the world. For the first time ever, he will be. There will be a principal on the National Security Council who can make sure climate change is on the agenda in the situation room. For the first time ever, we'll have a presidential envoy on climate. He will be matched with high level White House climate policy coordinator and policy making structure to be announced in December that lead efforts here in the United States to combat the climate crisis mobilized action to meet the existential threat that we face. Let me be clear. I don't for a minute underestimate the difficulties of meeting my bold commitments to fighting climate change. But at the same time, no one should underestimate for a minute my determination to do just that. And as for the man himself, if I had a former secretary of state who helped negotiate the Paris climate accord or former presidential nominee or former leading senator or the head of a major climate organization for the job, I would show my could. They would show my commitment to the United States in the whole world. The fact that I picked the one person who was all of these things speaks unambiguously to my commitment. The world would know that with one of my closest friends, John Kerry, he's speaking for America on one of the most pressing threats of our time. No one I trust more to this team. I thank them for accepting this call to service and for their families. I thank you all for your sacrifice. You know, we could do. We could not do this without you. In my view, together these public servants will restore America globally, its global leadership and its moral leadership. I will ensure that our service members, diplomats and intelligence professionals can do their job free of politics will not only repair, they'll also reimagine American foreign policy and national security for the next generation. And they'll tell me what I need to know. Not what I want to know. What I need to know to the American people. This team will make us proud to be Americans. And is Mawr State certified the results of this election? There's progress to wrap up our victory. You know, I'm pleased to have received the ascertainment from ESA to carry out a smooth and peaceful transition of power. So our teams come prepare to meet the challenges at hand to control the pandemic, to build back better and to protect the safety and security of the American people and to the United States Senate. I hope these outstanding nominees received a prompt hearing and that we can work across the aisle in good faith to move forward for the country. Let's begin that work to heal and unite to heal and unite America as well as the world. Well, thank you all. May God bless you. May God protect our troops. And now I turn this over this new team, starting with our next secretary of state, Tony Blinken. Get my mask here, Tony. So I don't get in trouble. We're gonna clean off the podium. Good afternoon, Mr President. Elect. Vice President Harris. Thank you for your trust and your confidence. If confirmed by the United States Senate, I will do everything I can to earn it. Mr. President elect Working for you. Having you as a mentor and friend has been the greatest privilege of my professional life. So many people have brought me to the state, from college classmates to bandmates, my colleagues in the Clinton and Obama administrations, in the Senate and at the State Department. I thank them all, and I ask forgiveness from my insatiable appetite for bad puns. Mostly, I'd like to thank my family, sisters and sisters in law, brothers in law, nieces and nephews. My wonderful in laws. The Ryans and especially my wife, Evan Ryan and our Children, John and Lila. They are truly my greatest blessings for my family assed. For so many generations of Americans, America has literally been the last best hope on Earth. My grandfather, Maurice Lincoln, fled programs in Russia and made a new life in America. His son, my father, Donald Lincoln, served in the United States Air Force during World War Two and then as the United States ambassador. He is my role model on my hero. His wife, Vera Blinken, fled Communist Hungary is a young girl and help future generations of refugees come to America. My mother, Judith Peas, are builds bridges between America and the world through arts and culture. She is my greatest champion, and my late step father, Samuel Peas, are. He was one of 900 Children in his school in Bialystok, Poland, but the only one to survive the Holocaust. After four years in concentration camps. At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank, but instead of the Iron Cross he saw painted on its side. A five pointed white star. He ran to the tank. The hatch opened an African American G. I looked down at him. He got down on his knees and said the Onley. Three words that he knew in the in English that his mother taught him before the war. God bless America. That's who we are. That's what America represents to the world, however imperfectly. Now we have to proceed with equal measures of humility and confidence. Humility because is the president elect said. We can't solve all the world's problems alone. We need to be working with other countries. We need their cooperation. We need their partnership, but also confidence because America, at its best, still has a greater ability than any other country on Earth to bring others together to meet the challenges of our time. And that's where the men and women of the State Department, foreign service officers, civil servants, that's where they come in. I've witnessed their passion, their energy, their courage Up close. I've seen what they do to keep us safe, to make us more prosperous. I've seen them add luster to a word that deserves our respect diplomacy. If confirmed, it will be the honor of my life to help guide them. And so thank you all. And may God bless America. Yes. Sorry. Good afternoon, Mr President. Elect. Madam Vice President Elect, Thank you for placing your trust in me to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Thank you for the privilege of returning with the consent of the Senate to Government service. As a member of your administration, it is the honor of a lifetime. The Department of Homeland Security has a noble mission to help keep us safe and to advance our proud history as a country of welcome. There are more than 240,000 career employees who selflessly dedicate their talent and energy to this mission. Many risk their lives. In doing so, I would be honored to return to the department and support these dedicated public servants in fulfilling their responsibilities and realizing our country's greatest hopes. All in partnership with the communities we serve. For 12 years, I had the privilege to stand in a federal courtroom and announce Alejandro Mayorkas on behalf of the United States of America. The words on behalf of the United States of America meant everything to me and to my parents, whom I think of today and every day. My father and mother brought me to this country to escape communism. They cherished our democracy. And we're intensely proud to become United States citizens. As was I. I have carried that pride throughout my nearly 20 years of government service and throughout my life. My parents are not here to see this day. Mr. President Elect! Madam Vice President Elect, Please know that I will work day and night in the service of our nation two able to lead the men and women of the United States Department of Homeland Security and to bring honor to my parents and to the trust you have placed in me to carry your vision for our country Forward. Thank you. Thank you, Mr President Elect. Madam Vice President Elect. I am grateful and even more so humbled by the trust that you placed in me for this role. I'm especially honored to be standing not only by your side, but also alongside some of the most talented and inspiring public servants this country has ever seen. I know. Mr President Elect and Madam Vice president elect that you have selected us not to serve you, but to serve on behalf of the American people to help advance our security, our prosperity, our values. That the call to service in this role is what makes this nomination such a tremendous honor. It reported the opportunity to do so. I will never forget that my role on this team is unique, better than that of a policy adviser. I will represent to you, Congress and the American public, the Patriots who comprise our intelligence community. Mr. President elect, You know that I have never shied away from speaking truth to power, and that will be my charge as director of national intelligence. I've worked for you for a long time. And I accept this nomination knowing that you would never want me to do otherwise, and that you value the perspective of the intelligence community and that you will do so even when what I have to say maybe inconvenient or difficult. And I assure you there will be those times. And finally to our intelligence professionals, the work you do oftentimes under the most austere conditions imaginable, is just indispensable. It will become even more complex because you will be critical to helping this administration position itself not on Lee against threats such as cyber attacks or terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear, biological or chemical weapons, but also those challenges that will define the next generation from climate change to pandemics and corruption. And it would be the honor of a lifetime to be able to work alongside you once again to take thes challenges on together. Thank you so much. Yeah. No. Good afternoon, Mr President. Elect. Madam Vice President Elect. I'm humbled and honored by the trust that you have placed in me to become a member of your cabinet as ambassador to the United Nations. In the years that I've worked in government, I'm always struck by how Onley in America would we be where we are today, where life can be hard and cruel. But there's hope in the struggle. There was promise in our dreams where you learn to believe in yourself and that anything is possible. Like both of you. I learned from my family, Mr President Elect. Thank you for those generous words that you said about me. My parents had very little back in Louisiana, where I grew up, but they gave me and my siblings everything they had. And I know how proud they would be of this day. On this day, I'm also missing my mentor, Ambassador Ed Perkins, who served as the U. S. Ambassador to the United Nations under President George H. W. Bush and President Clinton and who was also from Louisiana. He told me constantly, Linda, don't under sell yourself, and he would always do everything possible to lift me up. He passed away last week, but I know he's here with us today. And on this day I'm thinking about the American people, my fellow career, diplomats and public servants around the world. I want to say to you, America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back, Mr President elect. I've often heard you say how all politics is personal, and that's how you build relationships of trust and bridge disagreements and find common ground. And in my 35 years in the foreign service across four continents, I put a Cajun spin on it. I called it gumbo diplomacy. Wherever I was posted around the world, I'd invite people of different backgrounds and beliefs to help me make a roux and chop onions for the Holy Trinity and and make homemade gumbo. It was my way of breaking down barriers connecting with people and starting to see each other on a human level. Ah, bit of land. Yap is what we say in Louisiana. That's the charge in front of us today. The challenges we face, Ah, global pandemic, the global economy, the global climate change crisis, mass migration and extreme poverty. Social justice are unrelenting and interconnected. But they're not unresolvable if America is leading the way. Thank you. Here, Mr President Elect. Madam Vice President Elect. Thank you, Mr President Elect. I am honored and humbled by the immense responsibility that you placed in me of being your national security advisor. I pledge to you and to the American people that I will work relentlessly in service of the mission you have given us to keep our country and our people safe to advance our national interests and to defend our values. I pledge to the exceptional national security team you see behind me and to the brilliant and diverse career professionals across our government that I will manage a humane and rigorous decision making process that honors their work. And I pledge to my parents who taught my brothers, my sister and me toe work hard, tell the truth and serve others that I will do my utmost to make you proud. Sir, we will be vigilant in the face of enduring threats from nuclear weapons to terrorism. But you have also task dust with reimagining our national security for the unprecedented combination of crises we face at home and abroad. The pandemic, the economic crisis, the climate crisis, technological disruption, threats to democracy, racial injustice and inequality in all forms. The work of the team behind me today will contribute to progress across all of these fronts. You have also tasked us with putting people at the center of our foreign policy. You've told us that the alliance's we rebuild the institutions, we lead the agreements we signed. All of them should be judged by a basic question. Will this make life better, easier, Safer for families across this country. Our foreign policy has to deliver for these families, and perhaps most importantly, you've tasked us with helping unite America. As you said in your remarks, through our work, to pull people together to tackle big challenges. My wife, Maggie, the love of my life and my partner and all things served as a senior adviser to Senator John McCain. She and I shared this commitment to common ground deep in our bones to the American people. I had the honor of serving as Joe Bidens, national security adviser when he was vice president. I learned a lot about a lot about diplomacy, about strategy, about policy, but most importantly about human nature, I watched him pair strength and resolve with humanity and empathy. That is the person America elected. And that is also America at its best. So, Mr President Elect, thank you for giving this kid from the Heartland an extraordinary opportunity to serve the country I love. Except Mr President Elect, Vice President Elect Harris. Thank you, Mr President. Elect for your generous words and most of all, thank you for the trust and the responsibility of disappointment. I will do all in my power to live up to your expectations and to this moment for our country and for the world. And I begin by thanking my family for empowering me and encouraging me to take this task on Secretary designate Blinken. We've worked together for many years on the Foreign Relations Committee and at Foggy Bottom. And it will be a huge pleasure to partner with you again. You will be a terrific secretary, Mr President Elect. You've put forward a bold, transformative climate plan. But you've also underscored that no country alone Consol this challenge. Even the United States, for all of our industrial strength, is responsible for only 13% of global commissions to end this crisis, the whole world must come together. You're right to rejoin Paris on day one and you're right to recognize that Paris alone is not enough. At the global meeting in Glasgow one year from now, all nations must raise ambition together or we will all fail together. And failure is not an option. Succeeding together means tapping into the best of American ingenuity, creativity and diplomacy, from brain power to alternative energy power. Using every tool we have to get where we have to go. No one should doubt the determination of this President, Vice President. They shouldn't doubt the determination of the country that went to the moon, cured supposedly incurable diseases and beat back global tyranny to beat World War to win World War Two. This kind of crisis demands that kind of leadership again, and President Biden will provide it. The road ahead is exciting. Actually, it means creating millions of middle class jobs. It means less pollution in our air ocean. It means making life healthier for citizens across the world. And it means we will strengthen the security of every nation in the world. In addressing the climate crisis, President elect Joe Biden is determined to seize the future now and leave a healing planet to future generations. 57 years ago this week, Joe Biden and I were college kids. When we lost the president who inspired both of us to try to make a difference a president who reminded us that here on Earth, God's work must truly be our own president. Joe Biden will trust in God and he will also trust in science to guide our work on Earth to protect God's creation. Mr. President Elect, Vice President Elect Harris. I look forward to getting toe work. Thank you, John. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Secretary Kerry and congratulations, Mr President elect on bringing together this extraordinary team. I have always believed in the nobility of public service, and these Americans embody it. Their lives and careers are a testament to the dedication, sacrifice and commitment to civic responsibility that have strengthened our democracy and kept America's promise alive for more than 200 years. President elect Biden and I have long known that when we were elected, we would inherit a Siris of unprecedented challenges upon walking into the White House. Addressing these challenges starts with getting this pandemic under control, opening our economy responsibly and making sure it works for working people. And we also know that are challenges will require us here at home toe overcome those issues that block our ability to proceed. Our challenge here is a necessary foundation for restoring and advancing our leadership around the world, and we are ready for that work. We will need to reassemble and renew America's alliances, rebuild and strengthen the national security and foreign policy institutions that keep us safe and advance our nation's interest and confront in combat the existentially threat of climate change that endangers us all. I take these issues very seriously. My whole career has been about keeping people safe from serving as district attorney to California's attorney general to the United States Senate, where I have served on the intelligence and Homeland Security committees, I have come to know firsthand the gravity of the challenges and threats facing the United States. And over the past few months, I've also come to know the sound, judgment, expertise and character of the people on this stage. I can say with confidence that they are to a person, the right women and men for these critical positions. And I look forward to working alongside them on behalf of the American people and on behalf of a president who will ask tough questions, demand that we be guided by fax and expect our team to speak the truth no matter what, a president who will be focused on one thing and one thing only doing what is best for the people of the United States of America. When Joe asked me to be his running mate, he told me about his commitment to making sure we selected a Cabinet that looks like America that reflects the best of our nation, and that's what we have done. Today's nominees and appointees come from different places. They bring a range of different life and professional experiences and perspectives. And they also share something else in common. An unwavering belief in America's ideals. An unshakable commitment to democracy, human rights and the rule of law. And they understand the indispensable role of America's leadership in the world. These women and men are patriots and public servants to their core. And they are leaders. The leaders. We need to meet the challenges of this moment and those that lie ahead. Thank you. I called you. Thank you. All right. Thank you, folks. Okay, fine. Yeah.