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President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr named Ron Klain, a veteran Democratic operative and a decades-long confidant, to be his White House chief of staff Wednesday evening, the first step towards putting in place his administration’s senior leadership.
Klain, a lawyer with deep experience on Capitol Hill, with advising President Barack Obama and in corporate board rooms, served as Biden’s chief of staff when he was vice-president and has been seen for months as the likeliest choice to manage his team in the White House. Known for steady nerves, he also has a fierce wit, which he has frequently unleashed on President Trump on Twitter.
He was particularly critical of Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, having served as the “Ebola czar” under Obama during an outbreak of the deadly disease in his second term.ADVERTISING
A video of Klain lecturing Trump about the pandemic was widely seen during the campaign.
“His deep, varied experience and capacity to work with people all across the political spectrum is precisely what I need in a White House chief of staff as we confront this moment of crisis and bring our country together again,” Biden said.
The choice of Klain, 59, who first went to work for Biden in the late 1980s when Biden was a senator from Delaware and Klain was a recent graduate of Harvard Law School, signals that Biden intends to rely on a tight circle of insiders who have been by his side for years.