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US President-elect Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he had chosen Ron Klein, his long-time advisor and aide, to take over the position of chief White House staff in his next administration, in his first appointment before taking office on January 20.
Biden said in a statement on Thursday that Klin, the seasoned 59-year-old Democrat who was Biden’s chief of staff when the latter was Vice President Barack Obama, “has been invaluable to me over the many years we have worked together.”
He added that “his deep and varied experience and his ability to work with people of all political spectrums is exactly what I need in the White House chief of staff at this time when we face a crisis and reunite our country.”
Cullen was a confidant of Biden who first worked with him in 1989 when he was a senator.
Klein drew sharp criticism for President Donald Trump’s handling of the emerging corona virus pandemic, and he is expected to be a key figure in Biden’s response to the health crisis.
The president-elect enlisted the help of financial, commercial and banking experts in his transitional team, whose members range from democratic comrades to progressive activists, reflecting an ongoing debate within his party about how to address climate change and wealth disparity, among other issues.
Biden, former Vice President Barack Obama, is also using people who crafted tougher environmental rules during his tenure in the Obama administration.
The Trump administration is not cooperating with the Biden team, which is unable to enter federal government offices or use the funds to hire employees.
Trump also appointed loyalists to him in large positions in the Defense Department, after the dismissal of Secretary Mark Esper, which could facilitate the use of US forces to confront potential domestic protests.
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