Biden facing growing pressure over secretary of defense pick



WASHINGTON: President-elect Joe Biden is facing escalating pressure from competing factions within his own party as he finalizes his choice for secretary of defense. Black leaders have encouraged the incoming president to select an African American to diversify what has so far been a largely white prospective Cabinet, while others are pushing him to appoint a woman to lead the Department of Defense for the first time. At the same time, a growing collection of progressive groups is opposing the leading female contender, Michèle Flournoy, citing concerns about her record and private-sector associations. A coalition of at least seven progressive groups warned Biden to avoid Flournoy in an open...

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