Biden gives CIA chief Burns a cabinet seat

biden gives cia chief burns a cabinet seat

President Joe Biden announced Friday that he has invited CIA Director William Burns to sit on the cabinet, a mostly symbolic elevation that recognized the US spymaster’s broader role in the administration.

Biden praised Burns for providing him “clear, straightforward analysis that prioritizes the safety and security of the American people.”

“Under his leadership, the CIA is delivering a clear-eyed, long-term approach to our nation’s top national security challenges — from tackling Russia’s brutal aggression against Ukraine, to managing responsible competition with the People’s Republic of China, to addressing the opportunities and risks of emerging technology,” Biden said.

Biden’s action means Burns will serve on the cabinet side-by-side with his immediate senior, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, as well as all the department secretaries.

Before the Director of National Intelligence was established in 2005, CIA directors served on presidential cabinets.

During the 2017-2021 presidency of Donald Trump, both of his CIA chiefs, Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel, were also included in the cabinet.

A career diplomat who was ambassador to Russia, Burns, 67, took the helm at the Central Intelligence Agency in 2021.

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, he has taken a leading role in maintaining the deeply frayed relationship between Washington and Moscow.

Several weeks before the invasion, he flew to Moscow to warn officials that the United States knew of its invasion plans and warned of the West’s response.

And last month, as the United States worried about the ramifications for global security of the Wagner private military group’s short-lived rebellion against Moscow, Burns spoke at length with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Naryshkin, the SVR foreign intelligence chief.

Burns said in a statement that he was honored and that Biden’s invitation “recognizes the essential contributions to national security the Central Intelligence Agency makes every day.”

Haines meanwhile said she was “absolutely delighted” at the move.

Authored by Afp via Breitbart July 21st 2023