Former Sanders press secretary: Biden appointments 'undermine the idea' of a more progressive administration

Briahna Joy Gray, the former press secretary for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSocially-distanced 'action figure' photo of G7 leaders goes viral Progressives want to tighten screws beyond Manchin and Sinema Overnight Energy: Biden seeks to reassert US climate leadership | President to 'repeal or replace' Trump decision removing protections for Tongass | Administration proposes its first offshore wind lease sale MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, said Wednesday that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenEx-Biden adviser says Birx told him she hoped election turned out 'a certain way' Cheney rips Arizona election audit: 'It is an effort to subvert democracy' News leaders deal with the post-Trump era MORE’s picks to fill top White House positions “undermine the idea” that progressives “would be able to pressure him to move in a leftward direction” on the climate. 

“There was a lot of discussion prior to the election about how leftists, progressives, anyone who had supported other candidates in the Democratic primary needed to fall in line and vote for Joe Biden because we were going to be able to push him left,” Gray said on Hill.TV’s “Rising.” 

“And fundamentally, he was someone who believed in science, who understood what the stakes were before us, who had a basic understanding of decency and what the American people needed, who knew that we only had 10 years to avoid the most cataclysmic effects of climate change,” she continued. 

“And now, what do we see? A slate of appointments that kind of flies in the face of any kind of substantive understanding of those ideas, and which really undermine the idea that we would be able to pressure him to move in a leftward direction,” Gray argued. 

Gray specifically criticized the reported planned appointment of Rep. Cedric RichmondCedric RichmondTrey Gowdy sets goal of avoiding ideological echo chamber with Fox News show The Hill's 12:30 Report: Biden faces pressure amid infrastructure negotiations Buttigieg acknowledges 'daylight' between White House, GOP on infrastructure MORE (D-La.), who has had ties to donors in the oil and gas industries, to a senior adviser role. 

“Overwhelming majorities of Americans support climate reform and a Green New Deal, and this is someone who has said explicitly that he does not support a Green New Deal,” Gray said. 

Watch Gray’s interview above.