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The Latest: Biden Nominee Says Intel Won't Be Politicized

Associated Press

Last Updated: January 19, 2021, 22:54 IST

The Latest: Biden Nominee Says Intel Won't Be Politicized

The Latest on Senate confirmation hearings for Presidentelect Joe Bidens nominees for his administration (all times local):

WASHINGTON: The Latest on Senate confirmation hearings for President-elect Joe Bidens nominees for his administration (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens nominee to run the Department of Homeland Security says the incoming administration hasnt decided what it will do with the already completed sections of border wall built under President Donald Trump.

Previous administrations, both Democrat and Republicans, have built barriers and walls along the southwest border. But Trump made it a signature project to expand the wall and built about 450 miles of new section.

Alejandro Mayorkas was asked about it Tuesday at his Senate confirmation hearing. He said that Biden has committed to halting Trumps wall project but that he would have to study the costs and benefits of tearing down already built sections.

He noted that when he served as DHS deputy secretary he was told by Border Patrol officials that what was needed is a combination of barriers, additional agents and technology and equipment. What I heard is we need a diverse approach to border security, he said.



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11:05 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens pick for national intelligence director says that the intelligence community under her watch would have a support role in assessing the threat coming from domestic extremists like the ones who stormed the U.S. Capitol this month.

Avril Haines said at her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that the primary responsibility for U.S.-based threats belongs to the FBI and the Department Homeland Security. But she says she expects that intelligence agencies would be involved in those discussions, particularly if there are connections between Americans and foreign-based extremist groups.

Haines called the events of Jan. 6 truly disturbing and said it was eerie coming to the Senate and seeing the National Guard deployed around Washington.


10:45 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens pick for national intelligence director says that perhaps no greater priority on the job right now is building the trust and confidence necessary to protect the American people.

Avril Haines is vowing at her Senate intelligence committee confirmation hearing Tuesday to speak truth to power even when that truth is inconvenient or difficult.

The comments signaled a course correction to the four years of the Trump administration, when President Donald Trump repeatedly attacked intelligence community assessments that he disagreed with particularly about Russia.

Haines also says the American people deserve a government worthy of their trust and that she will work to promote transparency in the intelligence community.

10:40 a.m.

The Democratic vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee is telling President-elect Joe Bidens pick for national intelligence director that the intelligence community will have to recover from the experience of Donald Trumps leadership.

Sen. Mark Warner says that during the four years of the Trump administration, intelligence community officials willing to speak the truth were vilified, reassigned, fired or retaliated against.

Warner told Avril Haines at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday that she will be expected to keep politics out of national security decision making. He says he expects to hear a strong statement of support for the professionalism of the intelligence community.


10:30 a.m.

One of President Donald Trumps national intelligence directors is introducing President-elect Joe Bidens nominee for the job at her confirmation hearing.

Dan Coats, a former Republican senator who held the post under Trump, is speaking Tuesday at Avril Haines confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence community.

His appearance is designed to show that Haines, who served in the Obama administration, has bipartisan support. He says Haines is committed to bringing nonpoliticized truth to power and restoring trust in confidence in the intelligence community.

He calls Haines an exceptional choice.


10 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens nominee to lead the Department of Homeland Security will address the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol at the start of his Senate confirmation hearing.

Alejandro Mayorkas says in prepared remarks released ahead of the Tuesday hearing that the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot was horrifying and authorities still have much to learn about what happened that day and what led to the insurrection.

Mayorkas says that as secretary of Homeland Security he would do everything he can to ensure that the tragic loss of life, the assault on law enforcement, the desecration of the building that stands as one of the three pillars of our democracy and the terror felt by you, your colleagues, staff, and everyone present, will not happen again.

If confirmed, the former federal prosecutor and senior Homeland Security official under President Barack Obama would be the first Latino and first immigrant to lead the department. He would lead one of the largest agencies in government to enforce the nations immigration laws and run the immigration services agency as well as the components such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the civilian cybersecurity agency.


6:30 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens nominee to be Americas top diplomat says hes ready to confront challenges posed by China, Iran, North Korea and Russia.

Secretary of State-designate Antony Blinken also says hes committed to rebuilding the State Department after four years of atrophy under the Trump administration.

Blinken is set to appear Tuesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

In testimony prepared for his appearance, Blinken says he sees a world of rising nationalism and receding democracy. He also says that mounting threats from authoritarian states are reshaping all aspects of human life, particularly in cyberspace.

Blinken says American global leadership still matters and without it rivals will either step in to fill the vacuum or there will be chaos. He says neither choice is palatable.

Blinken also promises to bring Congress in as a full foreign-policy partner, a subtle jab at President Donald Trumps administration and its secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, who routinely ignored or bypassed lawmakers in policy-making.


6 a.m.

President-elect Joe Bidens pick for national intelligence director is planning to tell Senate lawmakers that intelligence and national security issues will not be politicized under her watch.

Avril Haines faces a confirmation hearing Tuesday before the Senate intelligence committee.

Haines will also tell lawmakers that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence must not shy away from speaking truth to power even if inconvenient or difficult. Thats according to excerpts of her prepared remarks released ahead of the hearing.

Haines served in the Obama administration as deputy director of the CIA and deputy national security adviser.

If confirmed, Haines would be tasked with restoring stability to an intelligence community that has been repeatedly denigrated by President Donald Trump. She would also be the first woman to hold the position.

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first published:January 19, 2021, 16:33 IST
last updated:January 19, 2021, 22:54 IST