A Democrat who wants to be the next president is ignoring legal challenges to his so-called election victory and proceeding with selecting his military commander in chief.
Joe Biden is widely speculated to appoint former U.S. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin as the nation’s new defense secretary.
According to Reuters, two anonymous sources who claim to be familiar with the decision-making process revealed that Biden likes the idea of Austin becoming the first African American secretary of defense.
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy Michele Flournoy was initially rumored to be Biden’s most logical choice as the nation’s first female defense secretary.
Austin retired back in 2016, meaning he does not immediately qualify for the position since there is a minimum waiting period of seven years before he can be selected. If Biden still proceeds with the appointment, he will have to seek a waiver from Congress.
The news agency revealed wavers are not uncommon since President Donald Trump chose retired marine Gen. James Mattis to become his administration’s first defense secretary.
Biden previously appointed former aide Ron Klain as the next White House chief of staff. Klain used to be a senior adviser to Biden’s 2020 campaign team and was previously chief of staff when Biden was vice president between 2009 and 2011. Klain was also the White House Ebola response coordinator between 2014 and 2015.
“Ron has been invaluable to me over the many years that we have worked together, including as we rescued the American economy from one of the worst downturns in our history in 2009 and later overcame a daunting public health emergency in 2014,” Biden said in a statement.
“Ron Klain’s deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people, all across the political spectrum, is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff, as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said on Twitter.
The decision came despite the Trump 2020 campaign’s recent lawsuits that allege President Trump is the rightful winner of the presidential election after illegal ballots are excluded.
However, Klain still claimed voters elected Biden to be president despite the lengthy recounting process still underway.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to serve President-elect Biden in this role, and I am humbled by his confidence,” he said in a statement. “I look forward to helping him, and the vice president-elect assemble a talented and diverse team to work in the White House, as we tackle their ambitious agenda for change and seek to heal the divides in our country.”