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Biden’s Peloton bike could pose cybersecurity risks to the White House.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. moved into the White House on Wednesday to deal with many daunting challenges: a global pandemic. A crushing recession. Racial injustice. Right-wing extremism.

But Mr. Biden’s personal exercise regimen will face a different sort of burning question: can he bring his Peloton bike with him?

The answer, say cybersecurity experts, is yes. Kind of.

A Peloton, for the uninitiated, is part of the indoor stationary bike and social network. The bikes are expensive – over $ 2,500 each – and have shelves attached, allowing riders to stream live or take on-demand lessons and communicate with each other.

When Mr Biden was holed up during the coronavirus outbreak this spring, The New York Times reported that he began each day “with a workout in an upstairs gym that contains a Peloton bike, weights and a treadmill. ” The Biden team did not respond to requests for comment, but a person close to the president-elect said Mr Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, are entering regular morning negotiations over who should ride first.

But Peloton tablets have built-in cameras and microphones that allow users to see and hear each other if they wish, and for Mr. Biden, that’s where the catch lies. The last thing the CIA wants is the Russians and Chinese watching or listening to the White House gymnasium. Last week Popular Mechanics warned of the security risk under the headline “Why Joe Biden Can’t Bring His Platoon to the White House”.

The article caused an explosion of gossip in the world of the Peloton, but in reality cybersecurity experts say that if Mr. Biden wants his bike, surely he can have it, although it may bear little resemblance to the offline version after the Secret Service and the National Security Agency are done with.

Peloton doesn’t exactly match Mr. Biden’s “ordinary guy from Scranton” political figure. But for Mr. Biden, who at 78 will be the oldest person ever sworn in as president, riding a Platoon makes good political sense, even if it clashes with working class Joe. President Trump has spent much of the campaign over the past year trying to persuade Americans that Mr. Biden is weak – an argument Mr. Biden refrained from when a Fox News clip showing him cycling on the streets of Delaware has gone viral.

“I didn’t really think of him as an energetic young man, but the fact that he rides his Peloton to exercise means to me that he has more energy than I thought,” said Jennifer Loukissas, a federal employee who straddles her. Platoon at home in Kensington, Md.

Ms Loukissas said she spent some time trying to discern the name of Mr Biden’s platoon leader. “I searched for all the Joe Scrantons I could think of,” she said, referring to Mr. Biden’s birthplace. “None of them seemed to match.”

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A “ nerve center ” for the climate at Biden’s White House

One of Ms. Aggarwal’s areas of expertise is developing a clean energy standard, which is the percentage of non-fossil fuel sources that utilities must achieve in their production and production. electricity sales. By setting a non-prescription source-by-source standard, the policy is supposed to allow businesses and utilities to determine the most efficient way to achieve goals. With the Senate now controlled by Democrats, even with an extremely slim margin, the possibility of passing such a term could be at hand.

Maggie Thomas, who has served as climate adviser in the presidential campaigns of Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, will serve as Ms McCarthy’s chief of staff.

Jahi Wise, who was policy director for the Coalition for Green Capital, a nonprofit group that works to boost clean energy investment, will be a senior advisor on climate policy and finance.

The vast White House team, which is not subject to Senate confirmation, has caused consternation among Republicans. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, who will be the senior Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, said he believes increased energy innovation and “not the appointment of countless uncontrolled czars” would be the best solution for the future. economy and the environment.

James P. Pfiffner, professor emeritus of public policy at George Mason University and expert on the presidency, noted that presidents have increasingly centralized control in the White House by creating special positions around policies of great importance , with mixed results.

A new White House climate office with at least five people is a lot, he said, and a White House “czar” like Ms. McCarthy would have his challenges.

“White House employees do not have the power to make decisions about spending or personnel,” he said. “Sure, they can be powerful, but only insofar as their political domain is of paramount importance to the president.”

Christophe Flavelle contribution to reports.

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Biden has a Peloton bike. This raises problems in the White House.

Peloton was popular before the pandemic with a wealthy subset of home-based practitioners, but with its forties it has become a phenomenon in a certain socio-economic segment. There are Peloton message boards (“Joe Biden has a Peloton,” Peloton Forum reported this week), and the company’s famous instructors have huge following on Facebook and Instagram.

But Peloton doesn’t exactly match the political personality of Mr. Biden, the “ordinary guy from Scranton.” The company was widely mocked before the pandemic for an advertisement in which an already thin young woman panicked about not meeting her husband’s bodily expectations after giving him a Peloton for Christmas. His ads featuring stationary bikes in lavish backdrops are the target of class jokes on social media.

The company, which did not respond to a request for comment, was also accused of speaking too much to whites. In an opinion piece for NBC News in May, the writer David Kaufman, who is Black, said Peloton needed to “rethink the race,” adding, “My most lonely hours are like the hours I spend each week on my Peloton.”

Peloton enthusiasts are not discouraged and convinced that Mr. Biden would never part with his bike.

“No one who signed up to Peloton would move and take their Platoon with him,” said Larry Appel, a retired executive in Greensboro, NC.

To make cycling friendly in the White House, the tablet’s camera and microphone should be removed, said Richard H. Ledgett Jr., former deputy director of the National Security Agency. He would advise Mr Biden to pick a nondescript username and change it every month, and keep the bike away from anywhere where there might be sensitive conversations.

“If he’s the kind of guy who pedals and talks to people, that could be problematic,” said Ledgett, who admits to being “a Peloton user myself.”

Being a president is stressful, and most of the past few years have had exercise routines. Bill Clinton jogged. George W. Bush ran until his knees gave way, then turned to other forms of exercise, including mountain biking at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. Mr. Obama played basketball. Mr. Trump sticks to golf.

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They are preparing the White House for a new president. They have 5 hours.

WASHINGTON – The time has finally come for President Trump to find a permanent space in Mar-a-Lago for his $ 50,000 golf simulator, not to mention the 60-inch TV he proudly displayed above the table from the dining room, The Brioni suits and the matching Louis Vuitton luggage of the First Lady she carried around the world.

At 12:01 p.m. Wednesday, hours after Mr. Trump himself plans to leave Washington, all of the First Family’s belongings will have followed him to the White House, en route to his new home in Palm Beach, Florida. And at the end of the day Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his wife, Jill, arrive in a thoroughly cleaned accommodation where their bags will be unpacked, their furniture tidy and their favorite foods stored in the refrigerator.

It’s the awkward pas de deux taken every four or eight years when one family moves in and another moves out, a business done by the staff of the 90-person White House residence in about five hours. A complicated and highly choreographed process takes place on a tight schedule that often requires tidying up anything that hasn’t been packed – some outgoing presidents are more prepared to leave the executive mansion than others.

This year, those involved in the process said, moving day also involves additional cleaning and security measures due to the coronavirus.

“Staff sleep on cots, in stairwells,” said Anita McBride, who served as First Lady Laura Bush’s chief of staff, notably during the 2009 handover to the Obamas. No matter how prepared they are, she says, “it’s always chaotic.”

Biden moving vans are not allowed to begin unloading until the new president is sworn in, even though some of the family’s belongings have been in a storage facility in Maryland since the weekend. Then the residence is supposed to be transformed into something that looks like their home by the time they arrive later in the afternoon.

It’s all part of a White House ritual that Mr. Trump didn’t completely disrupt. But like everything else in politics and life, this year will be more difficult than most.

The Bidens were never invited to meet with residence staff, nor to survey the second floor of the White House, which has 16 bedrooms and six bathrooms and will now be their home. Michelle Obama, on the other hand, had been to the White House twice at the invitation of Mrs. Bush before her husband’s inauguration in 2009.

“Madam. Trump should have invited Dr. Biden over for traditional coffee,” said Capricia Marshall, who served as White House social secretary in the Clinton administration and oversaw that president’s departure in 2001, referring to Melania Trump, the first lady. “Usually she would come prepared with questions, she would meet and talk with the chef, full time residence staff and would have the opportunity for them to break the ice. It’s a courtesy, but logistically it is incredibly useful, it has not happened.

Ms Trump, according to CNN, has been packing her bags for weeks, eager to leave the White House with her 14-year-old son Barron and get on with their lives. She had no communication with Dr. Biden.

Biden’s transition team has, however, been in contact with Timothy Harleth, the chief bailiff who was hired by Ms. Trump in 2017 after her role as room manager at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, to coordinate the move.

Mr. Harleth’s appointment was quite unusual: the Chief Bailiff was generally an apolitical civil servant, often with military training, who did not work with administrations. Because of Mr. Harleth’s connection to the Trump organization, some had speculated that he would go with the outgoing president.

Although he has not discussed his future with Dr Biden, Mr Harleth is expected to stay for the time being, administration officials say, to deal with staff issues, plan the family dinner menus and manage the budget of the residence. He made it clear that he was very keen on staying permanently and did not want to be seen as a Trump loyalist, although he also hired other staff from Trump properties. (He told people, for example, that he had never met the Trumps before his interview to work in the White House.)

At this point, the concerns are more pressing. Biden’s advisers were so worried about the deep cleaning of the complex to protect its new residents from the coronavirus that some even advised the president-elect not to move in on January 20 and stay at Blair House, the nearby guesthouse where he and his family should stay Tuesday night instead.

“All early family spaces are cleaned and sanitized at all times, including Jan. 20,” said Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, who declined to provide further details, citing security concerns and confidentiality.

The Bidens plan to move into the White House on January 20, but they will move in with the bare minimum: there are no plans to immediately bring in an interior designer or start customizing the space.

The Biden transition ›

Answers to your questions on the opening day:

Joseph R. Biden Jr. will become President of the United States at noon on January 20 in a scaled-down dedication ceremony. While the key elements will remain traditional, many events will be scaled down and “redesigned” to better tailor the celebration to a nation battling the coronavirus. Mr. Biden will be sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. on the Western Front of the Capitol sometime before noon. The new president is then expected to deliver his inaugural address and conduct a review of military troops, as tradition dictates. But instead of a traditional parade before cheering onlookers along Pennsylvania Avenue as the new president, vice president and their families make their way to the White House more than a mile away, there will be an official escort with representatives from each branch of the military for one. a block.

President Trump announced on Friday that he would not attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration. Mr Biden called the move “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on. Yet it is a major break with the tradition for a president to skip the ceremonial heart of the country’s democracy: the peaceful transfer of power.

George W. Bush, has confirmed that he will travel to Washington for the day of the inauguration, with Laura Bush, the former first lady. Barack Obama and Bill Clinton are also expected to attend, along with former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton. This year tickets are not available to members of the public. Planners are urging people to stay home and participate in virtual inaugural events to prevent large crowds who could easily spread the coronavirus. The events will be broadcast live by the inaugural presidential committee and the New York Times.

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution requires that the term of office of each elected president and vice-president begin at noon on January 20 of the year following the election. Each president has taken an oath and he cannot assume his duties without doing so. Symbolically, it marks the peaceful transfer of power from the current president to the next. Inauguration day will be all the more important this year as Mr Biden ascends to the presidency at a time when political division has threatened the country’s democratic institutions and his predecessor has made extreme efforts to stay in power.

“It’s a mad rush,” said Betty Monkman, White House curator for more than three decades who helped oversee the transition from Bill Clinton to George W. Bush in 2001. “Sometimes beds have to be brought along , the living rooms are converted into bedrooms. ”

Curators from the White House Historical Association will have compiled briefing notebooks and photographs of items from its collection that can be borrowed, along with blueprints showing room layouts for the Bidens to review, said Mrs. Monkman. The Carters, for example, moved into the White House with very little of their own furniture, relying mostly on pieces from the permanent collection.

The task of the residence staff can be made even more difficult as the inauguration day festivities themselves will be reduced and possibly shorter.

Typically, the hectic working day begins around 10:30 a.m., after the President and First Lady have left for the Capitol to participate in the inaugural events. This year there is no parade or lunch at the Capitol, which means residency preparation time can be cut short as well.

The move is always more stressful if a president leaves the White House after a term. “The advantage of the Clintons was that they knew before the inauguration that they were leaving,” Ms. Marshall said. “There was never a question. They really took this last year to plan, to explain what and how they were going to move.

For Mr. Trump, who has spent the transition disputing the election results, preparing to leave the White House has not been a major concern.

The departure of the outgoing president is usually a tradition that includes bittersweet moments between presidents and the staff who have served them. As he cleaned his closet during some of his final hours at the White House, Mr. Clinton sat down with his personal butlers and valets and helped them choose which Presidential ties they wanted to retain. Former White House photographer Pete Souza on Monday shared a photo of President Barack Obama kissing the woman who delivered his mail to him every day as he bid farewell.

It’s unclear if or when Mr. Trump plans to say goodbye to staff he’s never been particularly close to, as he plans to leave for Palm Beach early Wednesday morning.

His early departure, however, can be a gift for his staff, who will have a little more time to begin the hectic preparations.

“The good news is there is a process, there is a checklist,” McBride said. “The staff know what to do. And the Bidens know the building, they know the people. They were there a lot.

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In the farewell video, Melania Trump, who like her husband bristled by White House standards, defends her legacy.

Melania Trump defended her legacy as first lady in a video released Monday, called on Americans to “lead by example” in taking care of others, and verified the name of her platform Be Best, which over time. years has never become an understandable political effort.

“Take every opportunity to show respect for another person,” Ms. Trump said in the video, which called the farewell. “In all circumstances, I ask every American to be an ambassador for Be Best. Focus on what unites us, rise above what divides us, always choosing love over hate, peace over violence and others above yourself.

Ms Trump’s last message as first lady was like many who came before her: it was completely at odds with the behavior of her husband, President Trump, who was impeached last week for the second time for his role in inciting a violent riot at the Capitol on January 6.

“As I bid farewell to my role as First Lady, I sincerely hope that every American will do their part to teach our children what it means to be the best,” Ms. Trump said.

Over the past few days, Ms. Trump has posted several farewell messages detailing her work in the White House and asking Americans to be kind to each other. Last week, as the nation turned away from the aftermath of the Capitol Riot, Ms Trump used her platform to lament that gossip was being spread about her – most likely a nod to a former assistant , Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, who recently posted an Unflattering Saying. -all about their relationship.

Ultimately, Ms. Trump’s most lasting contributions could possibly be the cosmetic changes she oversaw, updates meant to make life in the White House more functional for the First Family and its visitors compared to. to the public.

In a message posted to the White House website on Monday, Ms. Trump said that during her time in the White House, she ordered an elevator restoration, wallpaper repair in the family dining room and – amid the pandemic – the renovation of the White House rose garden.

The goal, Ms. Trump said, was “to balance the needs of the present with the continuity of the overall architectural tradition of the White House.”

Although she has shown a respect for the historic nature of her home over the past four years, Ms. Trump has paid little attention to traditions that did not interest her.

She currently has no chief of staff, no social secretary or press officer. Junior White House assistants wrote his farewell messages. And she has not contacted incoming first lady Jill Biden on transition issues. This is not expected to change until the opening day.

It is customary for incoming and outgoing first ladies to meet for a tour of the White House, but on Monday, a person familiar with the thinking of Dr Biden said that since Mr Trump still had not conceded President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr It wouldn’t make sense for the two to meet.

This person added that Dr Biden knew his way anyway.

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Biden and Harris will introduce members of their White House science team this afternoon.

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Saturday morning announced further appointments for his State Department and plans to introduce new leaders of the White House science team in Wilmington, Delaware in the aftermath. -midday.

The Biden-Harris transition team has announced several appointments, including that of Brian P. McKeon, who has worked with Mr. Biden for more than 25 years, as assistant secretary of state for management and resources. Bonnie Jenkins, a veteran arms control expert, has been appointed Under-Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Affairs; Ms. Jenkins is also the founder of a Women of Color National Security Group.

Uzra Zeya, who has held several positions in the State Department, has been appointed Undersecretary for Emergency Preparedness, Democracy and Human Rights. Mr. Biden also formally announced the appointments of Wendy Sherman as Assistant Secretary of State and Victoria Nuland as Under Secretary for Political Affairs; his plans to appoint Ms Sherman and Ms Nuland have already been reported.

On Saturday afternoon, Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will publicly introduce the members of the White House science team. They are:

  • Dr Eric Lander, Candidate for Director of the Office for Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Designated Presidential Science Advisor

  • Dr Alondra Nelson, OSTP Deputy Director for Science and Society

  • Dr Frances H. Arnold, Co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

  • Dr Maria Zuber, co-chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology

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The photos capture the notes of Trump’s ally leaving the White House on Friday.

President Trump, isolated and watching his White House countdown, spent part of it on Friday with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, who brought some notes with him.

In photographs taken by Jabin Botsford, a photographer for the Washington Post, Mr Lindell held notes in his hand as he stood outside the west wing lobby door mid-afternoon on Friday. The notes included a mention of Sidney Powell, the lawyer and conspiracy theorist Mr. Trump at one point wanted to offer a job in the White House.

They were only partially visible, but there was also a suggestion to invoke the Insurgency Law, whereby a president can deploy active military troops in the streets, and “martial law if necessary”. One line seemed to suggest moving Kash Patel, currently Defense Department chief of staff and Trump loyalist, as “acting CIA,” which seemed to indicate the top position.

White House press officers were taken aback by the photos as they circulated on Twitter, and said they had no idea what had happened. Mr. Lindell did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Mr. Lindell was one of the few supporters of Mr. Trump of US business companies to stay with him after the riot by Trump supporters at the Capitol complex on January 6, which left five people dead and included chants calling for the death of Vice President Mike Pence. Mr Lindell appeared on Newsmax, the conservative cable network, on the day of the riot and pushed on the now-denied claim that “antifa” protesters posed as Trump supporters in order to cause damage.

And even after President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory was certified, Mr. Lindell continued to insist that Mr. Trump be put in for a second term next week.

No movement was made to fire Gina Haspel, the director of the CIA, on Friday or for Mr. Patel to arrive at the CIA headquarters to take over, according to people familiar with the matter. And Washington has already become a militarized fortress before Mr. Biden’s inauguration, in order to quell threats of further violence planned for the day of the ceremony.

But Mr Lindell’s ability to walk into the Oval Office and meet with Mr Trump has highlighted the type of conspiracy theorists who always appeal to Mr Trump, as long as they say what he wants to hear. It is not known if Mr. Lindell wrote the notes or if he was conveying someone else’s thoughts.

Mr. Trump has at times viewed Ms. Powell as too conspiratorial, as she has touted lies about a global plot to rig the 2020 election. At other times, he has welcomed her contribution.

Right-wing journalists resumed their demands for declassification and disclosure of documents related to the 2016 election, including material created by Republicans in the House Intelligence Committee, where Mr Patel previously worked.

Ms Haspel objected to the publication of these documents. However, Mr. Trump and John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, have the power to declassify the documents, and the White House would not need to force Ms. Haspel to release the documents.

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Pelosi withholds arraignment article as house construction case

Their case was as simple as it was extraordinary and, in a strange constitutional twist, they wondered how to present it when prosecutors and the jury were witnesses and victims of the offense.

Equally complicated was how an essay could work.

When the Senate last met as an impeachment court in February 2020, it was chaired by Chief Justice John G. Roberts of the Supreme Court. But the Constitution only states that the chief justice must oversee the proceedings when a current president is tried, questioning who would run the chamber this time around.

The task could eventually be left to the Speaker of the Senate, who after Wednesday will be Vice-President-elect Kamala Harris. Or, if Ms. Harris doesn’t want to be embroiled in the proceedings during her early days in office, she could eventually cede responsibility to the Senate Speaker pro tempore, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont.

But other constitutional scholars have argued that because the charge was laid while Mr. Trump was still President, Chief Justice Roberts should once again preside.

The issue was shrouded in broader uncertainty about the Senate’s jurisdiction over Mr. Trump once he left office. While former government officials have been tried for uneasy crimes, no former president has done so. Some Tories have pointed to the lack of precedent and the Constitution’s silence on the issue to argue that the Senate has no right to try Mr. Trump after Wednesday.

This seems to be the minority view. The Senate tried President Ulysses S. Grant’s Secretary of War in the 1870s after he resigned. Many legal scholars believe that this is sufficient precedent to do so with Mr. Trump, and in any case, they argue that it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will challenge the Senate ruling if a majority of the body were in. favor of hearing the case.

The chief justice declined to comment on Friday through a spokesperson for the Supreme Court.

Senators and their staff were also trying to determine how they could alter the physical layout of the Senate Chamber and attendance requirements in order to conduct the trial safely during the pandemic. In the past, impeachment rules required that all 100 senators sit at their desks inside the chamber whenever the trial is in session, and members of the prosecution and defense teams crowd together. around curved tables installed in the Senate well. But to do so now with an airborne virus ravaging the country – and the halls of Congress – would be dangerous.

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Video: House debates Trump’s historic second indictment

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives considered articles of impeachment against President Trump, accusing him of “inciting insurgency” after the Jan.6 attacks on Capitol Hill. By Maya Blackstone and Taylor Turner.

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House debates new article on Trump impeachment

Meanwhile, a side note: Lawmakers opened their copies of The Washington Post this morning to find an op-ed by Michael Luttig, the former appeals court judge, saying the Senate could not try Trump if he did not. ‘is more president, as seems to be the prospect here. (Mike Pence’s team consulted with Luttig to decide he couldn’t reject the state-certified electoral college results, the NYT reported Tuesday.)

Pence has reached his limit with Trump.  It was not pretty.

But this hit me and others as a bizarre oped because his argument was really that Congress cannot remove a former public servant. It’s the House that impeaches, as it is preparing to do right now, and it’s clear that Trump is still the president. (The Senate twice tried former officials after they were no longer in office, in 1797 and 1876.)