Obama picks foreign policy aide as chief of staff
January 25, 2012
WASHINGTON – President Obama has chosen longtime trusted adviser and national security expert Denis McDonough as his fifth chief of staff.
A White House official said Obama will announce McDonough’s appointment Friday in the East Room. McDonough, 43, will take over the key West Wing role from Jack Lew, Obama’s nominee for Treasury secretary.
McDonough has advised Obama on foreign policy for nearly a decade and most recently served as the president’s deputy national security adviser. He is highly regarded by White House staffers.
McDonough’s place in Obama’s inner circle was illustrated during the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May 2011. He is among those whose images are captured in a White House photograph seated in the situation room with Obama and other senior officials watching the raid unfold.
The White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity in order to speak before the president’s announcement, said McDonough has played a key role in all of Obama’s major national security decisions in recent years, including the end of the war in Iraq, winding down the war in Afghanistan, responses to natural disasters in Haiti and Japan and repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay service members.
Earlier, McDonough worked as a foreign policy specialist in Congress, including as a senior foreign policy adviser to former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., before moving to Obama’s Senate office.
Statement from Leftist Think Tank, the Center for American Progress:
STATEMENT: Neera Tanden on President Obama’s Naming Denis McDonough as Chief of Staff
January 25, 2013
Washington, D.C. — In response to President Barack Obama’s decision to name former CAP Senior Fellow Denis McDonough as chief of staff to the White House, Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
The president’s selection of Denis McDonough as White House chief of staff is great news for the country. As a former colleague at CAP, Denis is a shrewd thinker, smart policy innovator, and cares deeply that America reach its promise for all its citizens. Denis has been a leader in national security and foreign policy, and a tireless advocate for progressive values here and abroad. We wish him the best as he takes on this important endeavor leading the White House in President Obama’s second term.
Did Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough Rewrite the CIA Talking Points
November 19, 2012 By Daniel Greenfield
I’ve said before that the hunt for the talking points is a mousetrap that distracts from the larger question of why Obama and his staff chose to misrepresent the video when their knowledge of the events were not limited by any set of talking points. The CIA talking points offer someone like Rice plausible deniability, even though there’s nothing plausible about it, since there was widely distributed evidence that an Al Qaeda linked militia had carried out a planned attack.
Still we are now closer to knowing just who altered the CIA talking points. Or rather we’ve narrowed it down, according to Congressman Mike Rogers, the House Intel Chair, to the National Security Council Deputies Committee.
“The intelligence community had it right, and they had it right early. What happened was it worked its way up through the system of the so-called talking points, which everyone refers to, and then it went up to what’s called a deputy’s committee…It went to the so-called deputy’s committee, that’s populated by appointees from the administration. That’s where the narrative changed.
The National Security Council Deputies Committee consists of;
Denis McDonough, the Deputy National Security Advisor and a former senior fellow at the far left Center for American Progress
James N. Miller, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and a former Senior Vice President and Director of Studies at the Center for a New American Security, also on the left.
Wendy R. Sherman, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and a top Democratic activist and Clinton ally.
And finally Michael Morell, Petraeus’ Deputy Director at the CIA and his replacement. Unlike the other three, Morrell is not notably affiliated with the left.
Of the three political appointees, Denis McDonough met with Muslim Brotherhood groups linked to Hamas and took the lead in blaming the video.
A top White House official has blasted as “truly abhorrent” the anti-Islam film which appears to have triggered an outpouring of violence against U.S. diplomatic posts in Egypt and Libya.
Speaking to an international religious freedom conference in Washington Wednesday, Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough endorsed efforts to create “a world where the dignity of all people—and all faiths—is respected.”
According to his prepared remarks released by the White House, he then added: “This work takes on added urgency given the truly abhorrent video that has offended so many people–Muslims, and non-Muslims alike—in our country and around the world.”