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President Joe Biden speaks before signing the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act on Thursday, June 17, 2021. Photo: Oliver Contreras/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

At least five children of President Biden's top aides got jobs in the administration, per The Washington Post.

Why it matters: Ethics and diversity experts say Biden has not deviated far enough away from the practices of President Trump, who they say engaged in nepotism and cronyism, per the Post.

Flashback: Biden on the campaign trail promised that no member of his family would be involved in government, departing from President Trump, who hired his daughter and son-in-law to work as unpaid senior advisers.

  • As of now, none of Biden's direct family members serve in the administration.

Driving the news: Among those hired who have personal ties to the administration include two sons and a daughter of Biden's counselor and longtime aide, Steve Ricchetti, as Axios previously reported.

  • It also includes the daughter of a deputy White House chief of staff and the daughter of the director of presidential personnel, per the Post.
  • Other relatives of top Biden aides who have been hired include the wife of White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain and the sister of White House press secretary Jen Psaki, per the Washington Post.

There is no evidence that Biden’s aides have influenced the hiring of their children or other relatives, per the Washington Post.

  • Federal law generally prohibits government officials from hiring close relatives or encouraging their hiring.

What they're saying: The Biden administration has maintained that every new hire has been qualified for the role.

  • “The president has instituted the highest ethical standards of anyone to ever hold this office,” deputy White House press secretary Andrew Bates told the Washington Post. “And he’s proud to have staffed the most diverse administration in American history with well-qualified public servants who reflect his values.”

Go deeper: Ricchettis spread across administration

Go deeper

Senate GOP pushes DOJ to roll back Trump oversight rule

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Republicans want the Justice Department to roll back Trump-era restrictions on congressional oversight criticized at the time as an attempt to insulate the Trump administration from Democratic investigators, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While some Republicans spoke out against the DOJ guidance at the time, it was mostly Democrats who attacked it as a constitutionally dubious effort to scuttle congressional oversight. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the GOP is making similar arguments with Biden in the White House.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.