The United States will not be sending any of its top officials — either President or Mrs. Obama or Vice President or Dr. Biden — to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, as part of its delegation to the games.
A former federal official, Janet Napolitano, will instead be leading the U.S. delegation, the White House announced Tuesday. In addition to the Obamas and Bidens not attending the Olympics, no current cabinet members will be a part of the country’s delegation either.
The highest ranking officials in the delegation will be Rob Nabors, the assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for policy, attending the opening ceremony, and William J. Burns, the deputy secretary of the State Department, leading the delegation at the closing ceremony.
The news came with less than two months until the opening ceremony is slated to take place on Feb. 7, 2014, and signaled the continued U.S. disagreement with Russia’s anti-LGBT laws and other human rights concerns.