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Biden switches to economic recruiting

Fauci warns of a push “on top of” the one we’re already in, as Biden’s foreign policy team faces an ethics test. It’s Monday, and here’s your political advice sheet. register here to get On Politics delivered to your inbox every day of the week.

Trump on the South Lawn of the White House with his grandchildren yesterday.


Biden’s newly unveiled foreign policy team represents an attempt to restore a pre-Trump world order, after four years of an administration that flouted ethics protocols while undermining US allegiances abroad.

But like our journalists Eric Lipton and Kenneth P. Vogel written in a new survey, he also presents the new president with a first test on his part on the front of ethics and transparency.

A number of his picks for senior government positions have served in two large private companies, a consultancy firm and an investment fund, creating the potential for a revolving door between public and private labor, and setting the table for demands that new officials reveal identities. former clients.

The founders of the consulting firm, WestExec Advisors, include Antony Blinken, Biden’s pick for secretary of state, and Michèle Flournoy, who is considered one of the top contenders to be his defense secretary. A number of other officials who are expected to be part of the Biden administration have worked for WestExec, including Psaki and Avril Haines, whom Biden named as his choice for director of national intelligence.

People familiar with the matter told Eric and Ken that WestExec’s customers included Shield AI, a company that makes surveillance drones and recently signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Air Force.

Blinken and Flournoy have also served as advisers to Pine Island Capital Partners, which invests hundreds of millions of dollars in military and aerospace companies, among other targets in the defense industry.

Flournoy has also earned over $ 400,000 over the past two years as a member of the board of directors of Booz Allen Hamilton, which has billions of dollars in federal contracts, including a deal signed in 2018 for services cybersecurity with six federal agencies. Flournoy has been particularly criticized by progressives for her ties to the defense industry.

Another person believed to be under consideration for the post of Secretary of Defense, retired General Lloyd Austin, has also worked with Pine Island.

Republicans are already indicating they plan to focus on WestExec during confirmation hearings for Blinken and other nominees.

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