White House tries to duck Biden’s claim it’s weak on foreign policy

White House Communications Director Jennifer Psaki didn’t share a strong perception of her boss’ achievements in foreign policy when she was named in a list of Vice President Joe Biden’s best-ever picks in an excerpt from his upcoming book.

Foreign Policy published the excerpt, which is titled “Seven decades of betrayal: How Israel has pushed America to our deepest strategic crises.”

With no mention of Netanyahu, it included bios for seven men who served as secretary of defense during Biden’s Senate career.

In the brief excerpt, Psaki’s name comes up four times, starting with Bill Perry, who resigned in 1998. After penning an essay for Foreign Policy about his resignation, Perry called the foreign policy of the administration “very mediocre,” and said the first Gulf War was a “huge mistake” and another time he called the Central Intelligence Agency’s role in the 9/11 attacks “unsolved.”

Next up is Leon Panetta, who resigned in 2012. In 2012, the CIA director left a note on his desk that read, “Thanks for everything … even though you’re not my boss anymore.” His piece in Foreign Policy was headlined, “Biden-era Vice Presidency an Asset”:

By the time I left the National Security Council in July, 2010, I’d seen Biden as a moderate and dedicated Democrat, an amiable paterfamilias to an administration in crisis. He had won praise for his work on Iraq — and we were now awash in the bodies of the dead and maimed. But those endorsements were conditional: He stood a very good chance of being called back into the fray.

The President was trusting me to stand in as acting national security adviser when we had our first summit in Ankara in June 2010. Biden was calling in every last favor he could, seeking to rally his colleagues and former aides to help out. My task was to celebrate the First Lady’s accomplishments, fire up the troops, issue an eager press release, and urge the President to ignore his Cabinet’s warning and order a secret mission to Benghazi. I was not unprepared for the assignment, but I was clearly on my own.

The rest of the list: Don Rumsfeld (1999), Stephen Hadley (2007), Leon Panetta (2012), Richard Holbrooke (2010) and Petraeus (2011).

Here’s Foreign Policy’s roundup of the news that the White House wants to dodge and Pence has said Biden should stop talking about.

Other new White House threats against politicians:

Mattis: Nuking Kim “does not represent an option”: “For those urging the president to be equally as bold and convincing in pursuing an assurance of our national security from Kim Jong Un as he was with then Russian President Vladimir Putin, we should draw a line in the sand: You and your best ‘thought partnerships’ and ‘advisors’ do not drive policy; we do,” the Mattis said in a statement.

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