Susan Rice is burning sage in her West Wing office, once occupied by anti-immigrant hardliner Stephen Miller, used to cleanse a space of negativity

Susan Rice
Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice speaks during the daily briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, DC on January 26, 2021.

  • Susan Rice has redecorated the West Wing office formerly occupied by Stephen Miller.
  • In the room where Miller formulated Trump’s anti-immigration policies, she’s put up Haitian art and used scented sage. 
  • The Biden administration has reversed many of the Trump administration’s migration policies. 
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

Susan Rice, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, occupies the same West Wing office recently used by Stephen Miller, the Trump administration’s anti-immigration hardliner, The New York Times reported Saturday. 

As a prominent Black Democrat often vilified by conservatives, she’s aware of the “symbolism” of occupying the space where Miller formulated policies, including the widely reviled child separation policy, and has taken a few steps to redecorate. 

In the room, a painting from Haiti’s Caribbean nation now hangs, and the room is scented with sage candles. 

Burning sage has been used in indigenous people’s rituals for centuries to cleanse a person or space of negativity and promote healing and wisdom.

Apparently confirming the report, Rice, on Saturday evening, tweeted a picture of the office’s new decorations. 

Miller was among Trump’s most influential advisors. He was the architect of Trump’s hardline anti-immigration strategy, including the child separation policy, the Muslim ban, and the redirection of military money to finance the wall along the southern border that remained unfinished when Trump left office. 

Under the child separation policy, thousands of children were separated from their undocumented migrant parents and held in squalid detention facilities on the US-Mexican border.

He survived calls from Democrats for his resignation after emails were obtained by the Southern Poverty Law Center showing him promoting white nationalist conspiracy theories and citing notorious white nationalist websites. 

Rice, a domestic policy advisor, is taking a key role in President Biden’s reversal of Trump-era migration policies.

On February 3, Rice said that the administration would form a special task force to reunite the 3,000 children still displaced due to the child separation policy with their parents or family. 

Rice served as Barack Obama’s national security advisor and attracted criticism from conservatives over the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, where a US diplomat was killed. 

In February, the administration was criticized for reopening one of the Trump administration’s detention facilities for children to house unaccompanied minors entering the country. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

Biden has reportedly tapped Obama-era security chief Susan Rice for a top domestic job, as some Democrats are resentful that his old allies are scooping up top jobs

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L), US Vice President Joseph R. Biden (C) and National Security Adviser Susan Rice listen while US President Barack Obama speaks at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall August 28, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama and others spoke to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the US civil rights era March on Washington where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream Speech". AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
From left to right: Former US Secretary of State John Kerry, President-elect Joe Biden, and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice in Washington, DC, in 2013. Kerry and Rice have both been tapped for top jobs in the Biden administration.

  • President-elect Joe Biden has chosen Susan Rice to head the White House’s Domestic Policy Council.
  • Rice, who was national security advisor to former President Barack Obama, has a longstanding relationship with Biden — as do many of Biden’s recent appointments.
  • Biden goes way back with his nominated secretary of state Anthony Blinken, agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, and chief of staff Ron Klain.
  • The trend has not gone down well among Biden campaign staffers and other Democratic Party figures.  “People are pissed,” one Biden advisor recently told Politico, with another calling it “f—ed up.”
  • Representative-elect Mondaire Jones said: “One risk of Joe Biden nominating or otherwise appointing only people with whom he has close relationships is he may miss the moment.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President-elect Joe Biden has chosen former National Security Advisor Susan Rice to fill a top domestic policy job, with a growing body of Democratic Party figures frustrated with the president-elect’s appointment of old allies.

Biden’s transition team announced that the president-elect had tapped Rice, who served under former President Barack Obama, to head the White House’s Domestic Policy Council on Thursday. Rice has almost exclusively served in foreign-facing, rather than domestic, roles.

She is the latest in a string of officials appointed to top jobs who have longstanding personal relationships to Biden. They include:

  • Anthony Blinken, Biden’s nominated secretary of state, who was an aide to Biden and worked with him at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee 30 years ago, The New York Times reported.
  • Tom Vilsack, nominated to be Biden’s agriculture secretary, “was an early supporter of Biden’s first campaign for president in 1988” and “endorsed Biden a year before the 2020 election and campaigned tirelessly for him in Iowa,” according to the Associated Press.
  • Retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, the nominated defense secretary, sat next to Biden’s late son Beau Biden in Catholic mass services while serving in Iraq, The Times said, adding: “Austin and the elder Biden would go on to spend hours together in White House Situation Room … developing a level of personal comfort with each other.”
  • Jake Sullivan, tapped to be national security advisor, was Biden’s national security advisor when he was vice president, The Washington Post said.
  • Ron Klain, who is to be Biden’s chief of staff, has a “decadeslong association with Biden,” according to the AP. Klain served on Biden’s staff in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • John Kerry, Biden’s nominated climate envoy, “is an old Senate buddy,” The Times said.

The trend is not going down well among some Democratic Party figures.

It has been reported that staffers on Biden’s campaign are less than pleased that Obama administration officials are scooping up White House jobs.

“People are pissed,” one Biden advisor told Politico, with another saying it was “f—ed up.”

Mondaire Jones, the representative-elect for New York’s 17th congressional district, told The Times: “One risk of Joe Biden nominating or otherwise appointing only people with whom he has close relationships is he may miss the moment.”

Varshini Prakash, executive director of the Sunrise Movement, told The Washington Post that new, diverse candidates were being overlooked in favor of insiders.

“It is shameful that strong, qualified women of color are allegedly being pushed out of the running for roles they are qualified to fill in order to make room for men with corporate connections,” he said.

Read the original article on Business Insider