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Biden said to be considered for secretary of state if Clinton wins

Leigh Ann Caldwell

Vice President Joe Biden is under consideration for secretary of state if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, a trusted source confirmed to NBC News Thursday night.

Politico first reported that Biden is "at the top of a short list" of the Clinton's transition team's list for the post.

Biden, a senator for 36 years who has served as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before becoming vice president, has hammered Donald Trump over his cozy statements about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The White House calls Biden on its website "a leading architect of the U.S. strategic vision of a Europe whole, free and at peace." Biden in an August trip to Latvia assured that nation and the Baltic states of Estonia and Lithuania that the U.S. is committed to defend NATO countries against any Russian aggression.

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Clinton has stressed that she is still focused on the campaign even while a transition process is under way.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton rallies with longtime friend and colleague Vice President Joe Biden.
Melina Mara | The Washington Post | Getty Images

It was not clear if Biden had been told of the consideration.

In January President Barack Obama announced that Biden would spend the rest of his term leading a cancer "moonshot."

A source in Biden's circle underscored how important the cancer initiative is to Biden, whose son died of brain cancer in 2015. If Clinton were to win the presidency and she were to tap Biden for secretary of State, Biden would likely want to make sure the cancer initiative remains intact, the source said.

Biden this week while campaigning for Clinton in Pittsburgh blasted Trump's comments about U.S. capabilities as irresponsible. "This is deadly earnest," Biden said.

"When he says to the world listening that 'I know the intelligence agencies don't know what they're talking about,' what does that say about us? That plays directly into the hands of Putin, who is using the propaganda at home to suggest that we're weak, we've fallen, we are not together, we don't know what we're doing," Biden said.