Politics

Watch Live: President Joe Biden makes remarks during visit to State Department

Washington — President Joe Biden is visiting the State Department on Thursday where he will deliver his inaugural foreign policy speech as president and address staff at the agency.

The president and Vice President Kamala Harris are poised to make the short trip to the State Department’s headquarters in Foggy Bottom just after 1 p.m. and will speak with department staff and meet with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who took the reins of the State Department last week, before delivering remarks.


How to watch President Joe Biden speak at the State Department today

  • What: President Joe Biden delivers foreign policy remarks at the Department of State
  • Date: Thursday, February 4, 2021
  • Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Location: The State Department
  • Online stream: Live on CBSN in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device

Mr. Biden was set to visit the State Department earlier this week, but the trip was moved due to a winter storm that blanketed the Washington, D.C., area with snow. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that Mr. Biden’s visit is “largely focused on his desire to thank the men and women who are us — who are Foreign Service officers, civil servants, who are the heart and soul of that institution and, frankly, our government.”

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“Many of them have had a challenging couple of years,” she said.

Psaki said the president will “talk broadly” about foreign policy, but cautioned his remarks “will not be a laydown of his vision for every issue and every foreign policy issue.”

Mr. Biden has vowed to repair alliances that frayed under the Trump administration and has repeatedly declared “America is back” as a leader on the world stage. In calls with foreign leaders after the election, the president said he reassured U.S. allies that “we’re going to be back in the game.”

The State Department is emerging from a period in which the institution and at least one of its top diplomats, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, were attacked by former President Donald Trump.

A January 2020 report from the State Department’s inspector general found the agency’s “staffing gaps, frequent turnover, poor leadership, and inexperienced and undertrained staff frequently contribute to the Department’s other management challenges.” 

“Workforce management issues are pervasive, affecting programs and operations domestically and overseas and across functional areas and geographic regions,” the internal watchdog found.

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