Biden intelligence chief pledges to keep politics out of job

Biden intelligence chief pledges to keep politics out of job
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Avril Haines, President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenIntercept bureau chief: minimum wage was not 'high priority' for Biden in COVID-19 relief South Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Obama alum Seth Harris to serve as Biden labor adviser: report MORE’s nominee to serve as director of national intelligence (DNI), will pledge to keep politics out of intelligence on Tuesday during her confirmation hearing. 

She will also say she will not be afraid to give leaders intelligence they do not want to hear, signaling an effort to de-politicize intelligence after President TrumpDonald TrumpSouth Carolina Senate adds firing squad as alternative execution method Ex-Trump aide Pierson won't run for Dallas-area House seat House Oversight panel reissues subpoena for Trump's accounting firm MORE has come under criticism for using intelligence for political reasons. 

“To be effective, the DNI must never shy away from speaking truth to power — even, especially, when doing so may be inconvenient or difficult,” Haines will say, according to excerpts of her opening statement obtained by The Hill.


“To safeguard the integrity of our Intelligence Community, the DNI must insist that, when it comes to intelligence, there is simply no place for politics — ever.”

Haines is appearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday morning for her confirmation hearing to be the first female director of national intelligence. 

“If I have the honor of being confirmed, I look forward to leading the Intelligence Community on behalf of the American people — to safeguarding their interests, advancing their security and prosperity, and to defending our democracy, our freedoms and our values,” the statement from Haines says.

Haines previously vowed to “work on behalf of the American people,” hammering in her promise to “speak truth to power” during comments to the media following her nomination last year. 

The DNI nominee on Tuesday will also zero in on China, pledging to “provide the necessary intelligence to support long-term bipartisan efforts to out-compete China” and also support “more immediate efforts to counter Beijing’s unfair, illegal, aggressive and coercive actions, as well as its human rights violations, whenever we can.”


Haines is also expected to address concerns around the ability of the DNI to address the COVID-19 pandemic and emphasize the need to address new and emerging technological challenges.

“Here at home, we must strengthen our cybersecurity, safeguard our critical infrastructure, and turn the ongoing technological revolution from a threat to an advantage by integrating new technologies to improve the capacity and superiority of our intelligence into the future,” Haines will say. 

Haines served in various national security positions in the Obama administration, including deputy CIA director and White House deputy national security adviser. She also served in the State Department legal adviser’s office during the George W. Bush administration, during which time she was detailed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden, then a senator from Delaware, was the chairman of the committee.

Haines would replace John RatcliffeJohn Lee RatcliffeFormer Trump officials eye bids for political office Grenell congratulates Buttigieg on becoming second openly gay Cabinet member Senate confirms Biden's intel chief, giving him first Cabinet official MORE, a former GOP congressman and political ally of Trump who was installed as the director of national intelligence last year. 

Haines is one of a handful of Biden nominees who are sitting for confirmation hearings on Tuesday, one day before Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Biden’s team has been pressing the Senate to move quickly on confirming his nominees, particularly those for national security positions, so that the new president has a partial team in place when he takes office.