Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star Army general, was confirmed by the Senate in a near-unanimous 93-2 vote shortly after President Biden took office, making him the first Black defense secretary in U.S. history.
Today, the president seemed to forget Austin’s name while announcing the nomination of two female generals to lead US military combatant commands, as well as where we works, calling the Pentagon chief “the guy who runs that outfit over there.”
“And I want to thank the sec — the, the, ah former general. I keep calling him general, but my, my — the guy who runs that outfit over there,” Biden said in a video clip that has now gone viral.
Biden added, “I want to make sure we thank the secretary for all he’s done to try to implement what we just talked about. And for recommending these two women for promotion.”
Vice President Harris can be seen behind Biden in the video as well and she nods at him as he turns around and they then exit together.
Pres. Biden appears to forget the name of the Pentagon and the name of the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin:— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 8, 2021
“I want to thank the — former general…the guy who runs that outfit over there. I want to make sure we thank the Secretary.”pic.twitter.com/Re6a4H4Nfr
It was pointed out, that earlier at the event, Biden mentioned the Defense Department leader by his name, “Secretary Austin,” while appearing to read from a teleprompter.
From the New York Post:
Biden, 78, has previously struggled with the names of his cabinet secretary selections. In December, he mispronounced the name of his nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, before correcting himself with a different mispronunciation.
Biden on Monday nominated Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost to lead the US Transportation Command and Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson to lead the US Southern Command. Their nominations must be confirmed by the Senate.
Biden announced their selections in celebration of International Women’s Day.
They would be the second and third women to hold such high posts, following retired Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson, who headed US Northern Command from 2016-2018.
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