Donald Trump Cabinet Picks List: All of the President-Elect’s Appointments

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Warren, Michigan. (Getty)

President-Elect Donald Trump is slowly making his cabinet appointments, and as the weeks roll on, we will continue learning the names of every person who will work with him in the White House.

So far, the president-elect has made a number of key appointments, a few of which have drawn criticism and others which have received a more positive reaction. In general, outside of Trump’s senior counselor, few political outsiders have joined the cabinet, which stands in contrast with the president-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp.” Instead, several of his choices include establishment figures who worked in the George W. Bush administration.

There are still many other important positions that have not yet been filled including Secretary of State, a job which Mitt Romney is reportedly being considered for.

The following is a list of everyone who has been appointed to work with Trump in the White House thus far, assembled in the order in which they were appointed. It includes members of the cabinet and advisers to the president.

Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

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Reince Priebus at the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Getty)

The first member of Trump’s cabinet to be announced was Reince Priebus, who will serve as White House Chief of Staff. This is the highest ranking employee in the White House, the person who essentially serves as the assistant to the president. The current Chief of Staff is Denis McDonough, and Priebus will replace him in January 2017.

Priebus is the current chair of the Republican National Committee, having served in that role since January 2011. He was instrumental in securing Donald Trump the Republican nomination, declaring after the Indiana primary in May that Trump was now the party’s presumptive nominee. Though Priebus did not say so directly, this statement was a clear signal to John Kasich that he should drop out of the race and leave Donald Trump to claim the nomination.

The White House Chief of Staff is appointed directly by the president, and he does not need to be confirmed by the Senate. There is no term limit for the Chief of Staff; some serve for just one or two years, while others serve for the president’s entire term.

Senior Counselor to the President: Steve Bannon

Trump campaign CEO and former executive chairman of Breitbart News Steve Bannon arrives for the Wisconsin rally. (Getty)

Trump campaign CEO and former executive chairman of Breitbart News Steve Bannon arrives for the Wisconsin rally. (Getty)

The next position that Trump filled is senior counselor to the president. This is essentially just another assistant to the commander-in-chief, and although the president often has several counselors, this person is the highest ranking among them. Donald Trump has tapped Steve Bannon to fill this role, and he will take office in January 2017.

This decision has sparked controversy, as Bannon is the former executive chairman of Breitbart News, a far-right website known for racist and anti-Semitic articles. Bannon was Trump’s chief executive officer during the presidential campaign.

The role of counselor to the president can remain vacant if the president does not choose to appoint one. When Barack Obama took office, for example, he decided not to appoint a senior counselor but to instead have three senior advisers: David Axelrod, Pete Rouse and Valerie Jarrett. Later, Pete Rouse alone was appointed senior counselor to the president, and after him, John Podesta took the job. When Podesta stepped down in in February 2015, no new senior counselor was appointed, and the position is currently vacant.

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National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

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Michael Flynn arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting with the president-elect. (Getty)

The third name to be announced was Michael Flynn, who will be Donald Trump’s national security adviser. Flynn, a retired United States Army lieutenant general, served as an adviser during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, frequently introducing the Republican candidate at rallies. From 2012 to 2014, Flynn was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, but he resigned a year ahead of schedule due to conflicts with his superiors.

Flynn has been a controversial choice due to his comments on Islam. For instance, he tweeted in February that fear of Muslims is rational, sharing an anti-Muslim YouTube video with his followers.

He also said in an August speech that Islam is a cancer, comparing it to Nazism.

“We are facing another ‘ism,’ just like we faced Nazism, and fascism, and imperialism and communism,” Flynn said, according to CNN. “This is Islamism, it is a vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people on this planet and it has to be excised.”

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Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

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Jeff Sessions speaks at a Donald Trump rally in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. (Getty)

The next cabinet appointment to be announced after Michael Flynn was Jeff Sessions, who will be Donald Trump’s attorney general. As with Priebus, Bannon and Flynn, Sessions is someone who has been loyal to Donald Trump throughout the campaign; in fact, he appeared with Trump at a rally August 2015, during a time in the campaign when Trump was looked at as a joke by most Republicans. Sessions officially endorsed Trump in February 2016.

Sessions is a senator from Alabama who has served since 1997. Before that, he was the attorney general of Alabama for two years and an attorney for the Southern District of Alabama from 1981 to 1993. Sessions’ nomination was yet another controversial one, however, as he has a history of being accused of racism. In 1986, Sessions was nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. But Sessions’ nomination was not approved after a number of racism accusations came out.

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CIA Director: Mike Pompeo

Mike Pompeo, new CIA director, Donald Trump cabinet

Mike Pompeo, who entered Congress on the Tea Party wave, has been picked to be Donald Trump’s CIA director. (Getty)

Mike Pompeo, U.S. representative from Kansas, will serve as director of the Central Intelligence Agency. This was the first of Trump’s appointees who did not have a role in his presidential campaign.

Pompeo was elected in 2011 amid the wave of Tea Party candidates entering Congress. Over the past few years, Pompeo has been quite critical of Hillary Clinton, questioning her about the Benghazi terrorist attacks and accusing her of participating in a cover-up. According to The New York Times, it was Pompeo’s criticism of Hillary Clinton’s role in the Benghazi attacks that convinced Trump Pompeo was the right choice.

Pompeo is also a critic of the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has called a disaster.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley

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Governor Nikki Haley speaks to a crowd n Greenville, South Carolina. (Getty)

Nikki Haley, the governor of South Carolina, will serve as the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations. This is the first example of Trump picking someone who was quite critical of him during the presidential campaign. In fact, during her response to the State of the Union this past year, Haley clearly made reference to Donald Trump when she said, “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices.”

Haley later described Trump as “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.” Trump responded by attacking her on Twitter.

And just last month, Haley said that she is not a fan of Donald Trump, although she did say she would be voting for him, according to The Washington Post. Haley is very popular among Republicans, but she does not have any foreign policy experience.

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Education Secretary: Betsy DeVos

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Betsy DeVos meets with Donald Trump and Mike Pence at the Trump International Golf Club on November 19th, 2016. (Getty)

Betsy DeVos will serve as Donald Trump’s secretary of education. DeVos is an education activist from Michigan who is a prominent proponent of school choice of voucher programs, which would encourage students to enroll in private schools using public money.

In fact, DeVos is the chairman of the Alliance for School Choice, an organization that promotes school voucher programs and which is the largest of its kind. This won’t be her first time in a political role, as she was Republican National Committeewoman for Michigan from 1992 through 1997 and chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000. She is married to Dick DeVos, a wealthy businessman and the son of Richard DeVos, who has a net worth of over $5 billion.

Jeb Bush, who is no fan of Donald Trump, praised the DeVos pick.

“I cannot think of a more effective and passionate change agent to press for a new education vision, one in which students, rather than adults and bureaucracies, become the priority in our nation’s classrooms,” Bush said in a statement, according to The Hill.

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Deputy National Security Adviser: K.T. McFarland

Next up is K.T. McFarland, who will be Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser. McFarland served as principal deputy assistant secretary of Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger during the Ronald Reagan administration, and up until recently she was a foreign policy analyst for Fox News.

McFarland has been critical of President Obama’s foreign policy, specifically of his approach to combating ISIS, saying that Obama is a weak leader who isn’t up to the task of defeating terrorism.

“Radical Islam, whether it’s ISIS, whether it’s Al-Queda, whether it’s Boko Haram, is the existential threat of our time,” McFarland said on Fox News. “It affects all of Western civilization the same way fascism did in World War II, the same way communism did in the Cold War. What we need now are Churchill, we need FDR, we need Reagan…but we don’t have any of that in President Obama.”

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White House Counsel: Don McGahn

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Don McGahn arrives for a meeting at Trump Tower on November 15, 2016. (Getty)

Don McGahn, a campaign finance lawyer, will serve as White House counsel during the Trump administration.

From 1999 to 2008, McGahn was a chief counselor for the National Republican Congressional Committee. In 2004, he established a legal practice, McGahn & Associates PLLC, which represents the Freedom Partners; Freedom Partners is partially funded by the Koch Brothers.

McGahn was also commissioner of the Federal Election Commission. During his time there, he opposed regulations that would combat the influence of campaign contributions on elections, and he helped to reduce regulations on campaign spending.

Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price

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Tom Price tears a page from the national health care bill during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol March 21, 2012. (Getty)

Tom Price, Congressman from Georgia, will be Donald Trump’s secretary of Health and Human Services.

This pick represents Trump’s desire to immediately repeal and replace Obamacare, as Price has been one of the Affordable Care Act’s harshest critics ever since the law was first proposed. For years, Price has been introducing his own plan which would revolve around tax credits and on high-risk insurance pools.

Price is also for the privatization of Medicare.

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Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao

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Elaine Chao at Trump Tower on November 21. (Getty)

Elaine Chao, the secretary of labor under George W. Bush from 2001 to 2009, will be Donald Trump’s transportation secretary. She was the first Asian American woman to serve in a cabinet position.

Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, playing a key role in his re-election campaign of 2014.

Since leaving the Bush administration, Chao contributed to The Heritage Foundation and Fox News.

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Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin

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Steven Mnuchin and Heather Mnuchin speak at City Harvest: An Event Of Practical Magic in April 2014. (Getty)

Donald Trump’s Treasury secretary will be Steven Mnuchin. Mnuchin is a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, and he is worth about $40 million. He left Goldman Sachs in 2002, having since worked for OneWest. Mnuchin also founded the film studio RatPac-Dune Entertainment, which has produced movies like Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad, and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

During Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, Mnuchin served as finance chair. When the Mnuchin announcement was made, many of Trump’s own supporters expressed disappointment than someone who has worked for Goldman Sachs for two decades will have a role in his cabinet, particularly after Trump accused his political appointments of being controlled by Goldman Sachs.

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Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross

Wilbur Ross at Trump Tower for a meeting with Donald Trump. (Getty)

Wilbur Ross at Trump Tower for a meeting with Donald Trump. (Getty)

Wilbur Ross has been nominated to be Donald Trump’s commerce secretary.

Ross is an investor and banker who is the chairman of W.L. Ross & Co and who has a net worth of approximately $2.9 billion, according to Forbes. He has become known for taking over and restructuring failed businesses.

Like Donald Trump himself, Ross is a critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He also strongly supports Donald Trump’s plan to massively cut taxes for corporations.

“Trump’s plan…calls for cutting corporate taxes from 35 percent to 15 [percent],” Ross said, according to CNBC. “That’s going to help solve one of our big problems, which is our trade deficit, because it means corporations are can cut their pretax margin by 20 percent.”

Deputy Secretary of Commerce: Todd Ricketts

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Todd Ricketts meets with Donald Trump at the International Golf Club on November 19, 2016. (Getty)

Also on Trump’s financial team will be Todd Ricketts, who has been named deputy secretary of commerce.

Ricketts is a wealthy businessman who is the owner of the Chicago Cubs. He is also the CEO of the Ending Spending Super PAC, which is dedicated to “educating and engaging American taxpayers about wasteful and excessive government spending,” according to its website.

During the 2016 Republican primaries, Ricketts was a supporter of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, becoming co-chair of the candidate’s fundraising drive. He later donated $5.5 million to Our Principles PAC, an anti-Donald Trump political action committee. However, Ricketts got behind Trump when he became the nominee, in September donating $1 million to a pro-Trump PAC, according to WGNTV.

Secretary of Defense: James Mattis

US Marine Corps General James Mattis waits to testify before the Senate Armed Service Committee for his reappointment to the grade of general and to be commander of the United States Central Command or CENTCOM on July 27, 2010 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Mattis was nominated to replace General David Petraeus who formally took over command of the Afghan war after Obama sacked General Stanley McChrystal over an interview to Rolling Stone magazine.  AFP PHOTO / Tim SLOAN (Photo credit should read TIM SLOAN/AFP/Getty Images)

James Mattis waits to testify before the Senate Armed Service Committee on July 27, 2010. (Getty)

The Washington Post is reporting that James Mattis will be Donald Trump’s pick for defense secretary, although this decision has not been officially announced by the Trump campaign.

Mattis is a retired general of the United States Marine Corps who served for over four decades, from 1969 until 2013. Most recently, President Obama appointed Mattis to replace General David Petraeus in August 2010.

Federal law states that a defense secretary can not have served active duty in the past seven years, which would make James Mattis ineligible for the position. In order to nominate him, Congress would need to pass legislation bypassing this requirement, which they previously did in 1950 in order to appoint General George Marshall.

Mattis believes that Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East, and he is opposed to the Iran nuclear deal as Donald Trump is. However, although Trump has promised to scrap this deal entirely, Mattis has said that he doesn’t think there is a way to do so now.

“We are just going to have to recognize that we have an imperfect arms control agreement…that what we achieved is a nuclear pause, not a nuclear halt,” Mattis said in April 2016, according to The Washington Examiner.

Not Yet Announced

The following positions have not yet been filled by the Trump administration. In brackets will be names that have been rumored.

  • Secretary of State [Bob Corker, John Bolton, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney]
  • Interior Secretary [Lucas Oil, Sarah Palin, Robert Grady, Jan Brewer]
  • Agriculture Secretary [Sid Miller, Sam Brownback, Dave Heineman]
  • Labor Secretary [Victoria Lipnic]
  • Energy Secretary [Harold Hamm, Robert Grady, Rick Perry]
  • Homeland Security Secretary [David Clarke, Michael McCaul]
  • Veterans Affairs Secretary [Jeff Miller]
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator [Myron Ebell, Jeffrey Holmstead, Joe Aiello]

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  1. Where does Kellyanne fit in? She’s got to be at least an adviser, but I would think she would have a real title attached to her. He owes her !!

      • She really does deserve more, she was a key player in a Trump win. However, I feel people should be put into positions where they can use their experience and talents….and KellyAnne truly shines for a top public relations position. Not only is she cool and collective under pressure, but honest and forthcoming as well. People love and trust her and what she says. She also has a great talent for advising Trump, whether he wants to hear it or not–and especially when he needs to hear the truth— what Americans are saying, feeling and thinking. KellyAnne is like Americas voice to Trumps ear and she hears us right every time!

    • Kellyanne will become senior political advisor, role similar to Valerie Jarett under Obama. Press secy wil be a demotion for her.

      • I would bring in Ann Coulter as press secretary. She would be really good at it and it would be a place where Trump could stick it to the opposition in a spot where it doesn’t really have the sort of significance that they could make hay over.

  2. disappointed to learn that Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not being considered for Homeland Security. Send Sarah Palin home to Wasilla.

  3. This article is unfair – you should feel obligated as a quality journalist to investigate both sides of the equation about a person, particularly when charges of the nature above area being made.

    In fact, as pro-Israel writer (and orthodox Jew) Joel B. Pollak wrote, Mr. Bannon is “an American patriot who defends Israel & has deep empathy for the Jewish people.”

  4. Whenever the leftists see a conservative (Bannon) who is a real threat to their agenda they will label him/her a racist. And any “news” outlet who promotes it as the truth without facts to support it shows its true colors. This is exactly why Trump won the election. We’re fed up with the lies that are meant to intimidate us.

  5. Ben Carson has pulled out of the running. So this is Trump’s ALL WHITE cabinet. So much for ending divisiveness. Giving new meaning to the White House!

  6. I would like to see KellyAnne in a top press relations position for Trump. Ben Carson in a lead position working with the health care/repeal of Obama care…he could offer great personal insight in that area and is a smart, fair person. I really would have liked to see Trey Gowdy as attorney general….but that is filled. Why not Gowdy or Mike Huckabee for Sec of State? Love both!

    I do NOT support Mitt Romney for any position at all. Dump him Trump!

  7. I’m going to read each and every one of these picks.. .I just hope to God no one has anything to do with that Pizzagate stuff.. no funny business……. you know what I mean?