President Joe Biden warned senior administration officials Wednesday that they'd better respect one another and work together for the good of the country — or else.
"If you're ever working with me and I hear you treat another colleague with disrespect, talk down to someone, I promise I will fire you on the spot," Biden said during a virtual call on which he administered the oath of office to hundreds of officials.
"On the spot, no ifs, ands or buts. Everybody, everybody is entitled to be treated with decency and dignity."
Biden asked for his staff's help to soothe a divided country that had been through difficult months due to the pandemic and a hotly contested election.
"We have to restore the soul of this country," Biden told the appointees per The Hill. "And I'm counting on all of you to be part of that, and it's not hyperbole.
"You work for the people. I work for the people. You’re going to work like the devil. We all do. We all work long hours."
Biden's chief of staff Ron Klain last week told The Hill that 500-600 appointees would begin work on the administration’s first day in office.
The new president thanked his new staffers for their work and their families for the long hours they'll be without their loved ones.
With infighting and turf battles rumored throughout the previous administration of former President Donald Trump, Biden’s words seemed to try and avoid such things on his watch.
"The only thing I expect with absolute certainty is honesty and decency, the way you treat one another, the way you treat the people you deal with," he said.
After swearing in the senior officials, Biden said, "As my mom would say, God love y'all. We got a lot of work to do. Thank you for being willing to join."
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in earlier Wednesday.
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