In particular, it was suggested that the transitional group leaked that Grisham had rejected the Cabinet’s position under the leadership of the Home Office, saying the leaks had an embarrassing effect on the governor.
Representative Ben Ray Lujan, a new Mexican member, said Grijalva for the first time, but a chorus of CHC members followed the damage done to Lujan Grisham’s reputation and other women interested in the positions. In Biden’s office.
“You can’t be a rider with these things. Their reputation is on the line, and when something shows up like, ‘We offered him something and he didn’t take it,’ it casts a bad light on him and other candidates,” Grijalva said.
Grijalva said members were also disappointed that this had hurt MP Deb Haaland, a New Mexican Democrat who had expressed interest in Interior’s leading work.
“Most of us interpreted it as a slap in both faces,” Grijalva said. He added that Klain “shared concerns and sometimes members’ anger.”
“He said it was unfortunate and that we didn’t have to do things that way,” Grijalva said of Klain.
One source in the call with members and the Biden transition team described it as “diplomatic but tense.” According to the source, Klain was very respectful and told the group that they were right but that he could not check what leaks had appeared from the transition team.
Biden’s transition team declined to comment on the meeting to CNN.
The chairman of the board, Joaquin Castro of Texas, said in a statement that the meeting was “fruitful and positive.” He said a number of topics were discussed, “including equitable economic recovery, prioritizing immigration reforms and disproportionate damage to COVID-19 for Latin communities.”
“Members reiterated the importance of representing Latino and Latina in the incoming Biden-Harris administration, particularly in the Cabinet,” he said in a statement. “We look forward to working with President-elect Biden to gather the most diverse administrations in American history and build better.”
CNN will contact Lujan Grisham’s office for a comment.
Texas spokeswoman Veronica Escobar told CNN that she had raised at the meeting that there should still be a single Latin for the cabinet, and said Lujan Grisham’s information about his refusal to serve as interior minister seemed an attempt. to discredit a very skilled woman.
“Like someone who read the articles … it read like someone was trying to send a message that they were shot and walked away,” the member said. “I don’t even know it’s true. It’s sad. He’s the perfect professional. A man we’re so proud of. A man who’s going to have a qualification soon.”
Grisham had previously held three seats in Congress and was chairman of the Spanish board. He was on Biden’s shortlist to be his partner and is currently co-chair of Biden’s transition team.
This week, 32 members of Congress, including Castro, wrote a letter to the Biden transition team lobbying for the appointment of Lujan Grisham as HHS secretary. In addition to his congressional and governance experience, Lujan Grisham would have a role with health actors after serving as New Mexico’s health secretary from 2003 to 2007.
Biden is under increasing pressure to appoint black and Latin candidates to the remaining high-level cabinet.
So far, the UN President-elect has appointed UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, a black woman, and Homeland Security candidate, Alejandro Mayorkas, a Cuban American man, who would be the first Latino to serve in this position if he confirms this. the Senate and Neera Tanden, the first colored woman and the first South Asian person to be appointed to lead the Office of Administration and Budget. Cecilia Rouse is the first colorful woman to be appointed chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, and Biden said last week that she would elevate that role to cabinet level.
CNN employee Sarah Mucha contributed to the report.