A look at President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

A look at President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet

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As we get closer to Trump's January 20, inauguration, here's who the President-elect has already chosen to be in his cabinet: 

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

Tillerson is the outgoing chairman of ExxonMobil and has been with the company for 41 years.Tillerson has a history of business ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Putin bestowed the Order of Friendship on Tillerson, while in 2011, Tillerson signed an agreement giving ExxonMobil access to the resources under the Russian arctic, in exchange for giving Russian oil company, OAO Rosneft, the opportunity to invest in ExxonMobil's operation overseas.

In 2012, Tillerson was quoted as saying fears about climate change are "overblown." Tillerson did say the burning of fossil fuels is warming the planet, but said humans would be able to adapt. 

Secretary of Defense: James N. Mattis

Mattis is a retired Marine Corps General who led troops in combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. He stepped down as commander of US Central Command in 2013. Mattis has called for a "new security architecture for the Mideast built on sound policy," saying Iran is a special case that must be dealt with. He is only three years out of active duty and his appointment would require a congressional waiver of federal law requiring a seven-year cooling off period for defense. 

Homeland Security: John F. Kelly

After a 45-year military career in the Marines, Kelly stepped down in January 2016 as the commander of the US Southern Command, which meant he was responsible for military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, including Guantanamo. Kelly is the third general sought for a high-level job in the new administration. 

CIA Director: Mike Pompeo

Pompeo is a three-term congressman from Kansas who is opposed to closing the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, a critic of the Iran nuclear deal, and a supporter of NSA bulk data collection who has called for "the traitor Edward Snowden" to be executed. Pompeo was elected to Congress as part of the Tea Party wave. 

Treasury: Steve Mnuchin

Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs banker, hedge funder and Hollywood producer. Mnuchin has said “taxes are way too complicated” and people spend “way too much time worrying about ways to get them lower”. He claimed that the proposed tax cuts would allow the US economy to achieve an annual growth rate of 3% to 4%. Independent experts have said Trump’s proposed tax changes will hugely benefit the super-rich, while having little benefit, if any, for up to 8 million of the poorest families in the US.

Mnuchin's Hollywood producing credits include Sully, American Sniper and The Legend of Tarzan. 

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

Sessions is a Senator from Alabama serving his fourth term. He is a former US attorney and State Attorney General, and the first Senator to back Donald Trump during his run for the White House. 

Sessions’ last confirmation hearing, for a federal judgeship under Ronald Reagan in 1986, was derailed when former colleagues testified that he used the N-word, called a black assistant US attorney “boy” and joked that the Ku Klux Klan was “OK until I found out they smoked pot”

Both the ACLU and the NAACP have condemned Trump's choice to appoint Sessions as Attorney General. 

Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry

Trump has chosen former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has his nominee for energy secretary. Perry was Trump's rival in the presidential race, but dropped out early in September 2015. In a 2011 Presidential debate, Perry attempted to say, that as President, he would eliminate the Department of Energy, however he forgot the name of the department. Perry once labeled Trump "a cancer on conservatism." 

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson

Carson, once Trump's rival, is a retired neurosurgeon. who at first declined the position when Trump initially offered before Thanksgiving. Carson became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children's Center at the age of 33. 

After rivaling Trump in the polls during the GOP primaries, he ultimately ended up endorsing Trump.

Education: Betsy DeVos

Betsy DeVos is a 58-year-old billionaire philanthropist who heads up the American Federation of Children, which advocates for charter school education. DeVos initially donated to Carly Fiorina and Jeb Bush during the primaries, and eventually endorsed Marco Rubio. The National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers have opposed her nomination, saying her work promoting charter schools has undercut public education. 

Secretary of Interior: Cathy McMorris Rodgers?

No. After initial meetings with McMorris-Rodgers, it was announced on Tuesday that Trump had offered the position to Montana Representative Ryan Zinke. Zinke, 55, a retired Navy SEAL, was an early supporter of Trump and met with the president-elect Monday. He's been mentioned as a possible challenger to Montana's Democratic Sen. Jon Tester in 2018.

McMorris Rodgers released the following statement on her Facebook page: 

"It was an honor to be invited to spend time with the President-elect, and I’m energized more than ever to continue leading in Congress as we think big, reimagine this government, and put people back at the center of it."


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