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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 SandersBiden pushing to cancel Keystone XL pipeline as soon as he takes office: reports Biden tax-hike proposals face bumpy road ahead Senate Democrats leery of nixing filibuster MORE's (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, said Wednesday that President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenWoman accused of trying to sell Pelosi laptop to Russians arrested Trump gets lowest job approval rating in final days as president Trump moves to lift coronavirus travel restrictions on Europe, Brazil 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 RichmondAn attack on America that's divided Congress — and a nation Pelosi to seat Iowa Republican as Democratic challenger contests election results Louisiana Rep.-elect Luke Letlow dies of COVID-19 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.