Long-time aide Biden's pick for top envoy

Top News | 24 Nov 2020

US President-elect Joe Biden will name his first cabinet picks today, his chief of staff says, even as Donald Trump clings to unsubstantiated claims of fraud despite growing dissent from within his own party.

Biden has pushed ahead with preparations to assume the presidency on January 20, regardless of Trump's bid to undo the results of the November vote.

Several US news organizations, including Bloomberg and The New York Times, reported that Biden will nominate seasoned diplomat and long-time aide Antony Blinken as secretary of state.

Blinken, 58, served as deputy secretary of state and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration.

If nominated and confirmed, he would be a leading force in the incoming administration's bid to reframe the US relationship with the rest of the world after four years in which President Donald Trump questioned longtime alliances.

Biden has also said he has already decided his pick for the key position of treasury secretary. US media also widely reported he will name Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who served as assistant secretary of state for Africa under President Barack Obama, as his United Nations ambassador.

A growing number of Republicans have either recognized Biden's victory or at least urged the General Services Administration - the usually low-profile agency that manages the federal bureaucracy - to release federal funds for the Biden transition.

With Trump refusing to acknowledge the election outcome, Biden and his top aides have been denied briefings on sensitive domestic and foreign policy issues.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who in 2016 advised the Trump transition, said Trumps's legal team was a "national embarrassment."

Maryland governor Larry Hogan, another prominent Republican, said Trump is making the country look like a "banana republic." He tweeted Trump should "stop golfing and concede."

Trump has golfed on every weekend day since the election, though he took part virtually in the G20 summit at the weekend - skipping a Saturday session on the pandemic.


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