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Joe Biden makes first address to intelligence community as president
Six months into his term, US President Joe Biden addressed the intelligence community for the first time as the new Commander-in-Chief. Biden’s remarks come as a stark contrast to how the community was under his predecessor.
Biden visited the Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week and thanked members of the intelligence community for their work. Biden’s visit and remarks to the community show a stark contrast to his predecessor Donald Trump, who has often attacked the intelligence community when their opinions and findings differ from his own. In his remarks, Biden also pledged never to politicize the work that they do while assuring that his administration would return the relationship between the White House and the intelligence community to normal.
“And I want to be absolutely clear that my administration is getting us back to the basics. To the basics, I promise you. You will never see a time, while I’m President of the United States when my administration in any way tries to affect or alter your judgements about what you think the situation we face is. I’ll never politicize the work you do. You have my word on that. It’s too important for our country,” said Biden, in a transcript of his remarks released by the White House.
Even as the Biden administration looks to keep politics away from the intelligence community, the agencies are faced with tackling one of the most politically charged issues of this time, which is the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. The intelligence community has also been a constant political target by right-leaning figures aside from Trump. One of which was Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, who accused the NSA of conducting surveillance on him without providing any proof.
In other news, Biden has yet to make an official move towards one of his campaign promises involving student debt. Several Democratic lawmakers have been urging Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in student debt. Among them was Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who co-wrote an op-ed in USA Today urging Biden to make the move.
Schumer’s call for Biden to cancel student debt follows a letter published last week, co-signed by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Reps. Ayanna Pressley and Joe Courtney, calling for Biden to extend the pause on student loan payments until next spring.