Joe Biden has picked Samantha Power, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under Obama, to head the U.S. Agency for International Development, while also elevating the position to be part of the National Security Council (NSC).
“As USAID Administrator, Ambassador Power will be a powerful force for lifting up the vulnerable, ushering in a new era of human progress and development, and advancing American interests globally,” Biden said.
Power’s tenure in the Obama administration was controversial. She was one of several high-ranking officials in the administration who used her position to unmask the names of hundreds of Americans in secret intel reports during the 2016 presidential election, including that of incoming National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn. Power may also have committed perjury regarding Flynn’s unmasking.
Power made at least seven requests between November 30, 2016, and January 11, 2017, two of them on the same day, to unmask Flynn on the reports, though she testified under oath that she had “no recollection” of ever making those unmasking requests.
In 2017, Fox News reported that Samantha Power “was ‘unmasking’ at such a rapid pace in the final months of the Obama administration that she averaged more than one request for every working day in 2016 – and even sought information in the days leading up to President Trump’s inauguration.”
Joe Biden, former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director for National Intelligence James Clapper, and Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough we’re also on the list of officials who made unmasking requests. Like Power, Biden also previously denied having any knowledge of the investigation or the Flynn unmasking.
Like Obama before him, Joe Biden seems to have no problem surrounding himself with controversial figures, as long as they are loyalists. Susan Rice was promoted by Obama to be his national security adviser even after she lied repeatedly to the American people on behalf of the administration following the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.