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Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., told me on "Axios on HBO" that President Biden will be candid, frank — and tough — during this week's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

  • "The president will make clear to the Russians that they cannot harbor cyber terrorists and criminals in their country and not be held accountable for it," she added. "And they need to take the responsibility for dealing with this issue."

Between the lines: When I asked the ambassador about the risks of Biden's grand trip, she said: "Look, nothing can go wrong on this trip."

  • I interjected: That's a jinx if I've ever heard one!
  • "It's not a jinx," she replied. "He's being embraced and he's being welcomed. ... So I'm confident that nothing can go wrong on this visit."

On the "Do not come" message Vice President Harris gave to would-be migrants during last week's Latin America swing, Thomas-Greenfield said the vice president was offering "people hope where they live."

  • "Our immigration program is one that works," the ambassador added. "But if you have people trying to cross the border illegally, it can't work for them."

The big picture: Thomas-Greenfield, a career foreign service officer who rose to Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs before becoming part of Biden's cabinet, has been drawing attention to the famine in the Tigray region of Ethiopia — the worst on earth in a decade.

And she's making conflict-driven hunger a top issue.

  • "I have been very assertive, particularly in New York and particularly in demanding that my colleagues at the Security Council address this issue in an opening meeting," she said.
  • "My view is sovereignty does not come into play when you have foreign troops in your country, when your people are crossing borders into other countries, and we're watching on national TV your people starve to death," she continued. "I will say here as I've said in the Security Council: Don't African lives matter? "

Thomas-Greenfield called her work at the U.N. "a treadmill, every single day."

  • "I do four or five meetings with various countries on a daily basis," she said. "I'm working down the list. And hopefully by September, I will have met everyone."

Go deeper: In the video clip below, the ambassador describes her worldwide adventures with "gumbo diplomacy."

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Go deeper

First photos

President Biden and Vice President Harris discuss notes from a meeting in March about COVID-19. Official White House Photo: Adam Schultz

President Biden and Vice President Harris have their own "Pete Souzas," and they're also working to create a visual archive of the new administration.

Why it matters: Photographers Adam Schultz, Lawrence Jackson and their colleagues have a number of social media sites that give a look at the president and vice president when the news media isn't present.

Sep 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Biden tapping Lee Wolosky to handle Afghan resettlement

Lee Wolosky, right, testifies before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., in 2016. Photo: Xinhua/Yin Bogu via Getty Images

President Biden is tapping former ambassador Lee Wolosky, who led President Obama’s efforts to shut down Guantanamo Bay, to coordinate the administration’s legal efforts to resettle Afghan evacuees, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: By bringing in a seasoned attorney with experience in the public and private sector, Biden is trying to ensure that his administration’s unprecedented resettlement program stands on solid legal footing.

7 mins ago - World

In reversal, Pentagon now says drone strike killed 10 Afghan civilians

Caskets for the dead are carried towards the gravesite as relatives and friends attend a mass funeral for members of a family that is said to have been killed in a U.S. drone airstrike, in Kabul on Aug. 30. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A U.S. drone strike launched on Aug. 29 killed 10 civilians in Afghanistan, including seven children, rather than the Islamic State extremists the Biden administration claimed it targeted, the Pentagon said Friday.

Why it matters: U.S. Central Command said at the time that officials "know" the drone strike "disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Kabul's airport, and that they were "confident we successfully hit the target."