Familiar faces: Biden picks Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar & finds job for ex-CIA deputy Avril Haines


Joe Biden will name former Secretary of State John Kerry as his climate czar and former CIA Deputy Director Avril Haines as his director of national intelligence. The move signals a return to the policies of the Obama years.

In a statement on Monday, Biden announced the return of the two Obama-era officials to government. Kerry, who oversaw the crafting of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal, will now “fight climate change full time,” in a position that will see him sitting on the National Security Council.

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As well as negotiating the Iran deal, which President Donald Trump called a “disaster,” and the “worst deal ever,” Kerry advocated for military action against Syrian leader Bashar Assad, and reportedly “pestered” then-President Barack Obama to increase the flow of weapons to the so-called “moderate rebels” in the war-torn country.

Biden also announced that Avril Haines will be nominated to serve as director of national intelligence. Haines served as deputy director of the CIA from 2013 to 2015, and deputy national security advisor to Obama from 2015 until 2017. While in Langley, Haines spared CIA personnel from punishment for hacking Senate computers during the compilation of the now-infamous ‘torture report’, and once in the White House helped craft Obama’s controversial drone warfare policy, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians in at least four Middle-Eastern countries.

The appointments appear to confirm the widely-held belief that Biden will resume where Obama left off four years ago, especially on the foreign policy front. Haines advised Obama’s policy of confrontation with North Korea, a policy that Biden has publicly promised to resurrect. 

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement on Ukraine at the briefing room of the State Department April 24, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images/AFP)
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