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

With just days left to go until the inauguration, Donald Trump has completely filled out his cabinet.

A few of the president-elect’s cabinet appointments have drawn criticism, especially the former Goldman Sachs employees whose presence stands in contrast with Trump’s proposal to “drain the swamp.” On the other hand, there have been a number of picks that have been praised by both Democrats and Republicans, especially by establishment Republicans who did not support Donald Trump during the election.

Many of the individuals on this list have already begun their cabinet hearings, although nobody has been approved at this time.

Here’s’s a look at everyone that President-elect Trump has nominated for a position in his cabinet.


Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue

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Sonny Perdue speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower on November 30, 2016. (Getty)

On January 18th, just two days ahead of the inauguration, The New York Times reported that Sonny Perdue is Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of Agriculture. The announcement has not yet been officially made by the Trump transition team.

Perdue served as the governor of Georgia from 2003 through 2011; when he was elected in 2003, he was the first Republican governor of the state in over 100 years.

Nathan Deal, the current governor of Georgia, praised the selection of Sonny Purdue.


Secretary of Veterans Affairs: David Shulkin

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David Shulkin is the current Undersecretary of Veterans Affairs. (Getty)

Donald Trump’s pick for Secretary of Veterans Affairs is David Shulkin.

Shulkin currently serves as the under secretary of health at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was nominated by President Obama in March 2015.

“I have no doubt Dr. Shulkin will be able to lead the turnaround our Department of Veterans Affairs needs. His sole mandate will be to serve our veterans and restore the level of care we owe to our brave men and women in the military,” Trump said in a statement. “Sadly our great veterans have not gotten the level of care they deserve, but Dr. Shulkin has the experience and the vision to ensure we will meet the healthcare needs of every veteran. Dr. Shulkin is an incredibly gifted doctor who is using his elite talents for medicine to care for our heroes, and Americans can have faith he will get the job done right.”

This is a particularly important position in the Trump administration, as when Trump was a candidate, he repeatedly promised to reform the Department of Veterans Affairs.


United States Trade Representative: Robert Lighthizer

Robert Lighthizer will be Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. Trade Representative.

Lighthizer was the deputy United States trade representative in the Ronald Reagan administration. The 69-year-old has a degree in law from the Georgetown University.

“Ambassador Lighthizer is going to do an outstanding job representing the United States as we fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first,” President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement. “He has extensive experience striking agreements that protect some of the most important sectors of our economy, and has repeatedly fought in the private sector to prevent bad deals from hurting Americans. He will do an amazing job helping turn around the failed trade policies which have robbed so many Americans of prosperity.”

Like Donald Trump, Robert Lighthizer has accused China of unfair trade practices.

“How does allowing China to constantly rig trade in its favor advance the core conservative goal of making markets more efficient?” Lighthizer wrote in a Washington Times op-ed in 2011. “Markets do not run better when manufacturing shifts to China largely because of the actions of its government.”


Director of the Office of Management and Budget: Mick Mulvaney

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Mick Mulvaney speaks during a news conference with a group of House members outside the U.S. Capitol on May 20, 2014. (Getty)

Donald Trump’s pick for director of the Office of Management and Budget is Mick Mulvaney, a United States Representative from South Carolina. Prior to joining the U.S. House, Mulvaney was a member of the South Carolina Senate, and prior to that, the he was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Mulvaney is known for being a fiscal hawk, and his nomination shows that Donald Trump intends to severely cut spending as president.

“We are going to do great things for the American people with Mick Mulvaney leading the Office of Management and Budget,” Trump said in a statement after nominating Mulvaney. “Right now we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, but Mick is a very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation’s finances and save our country from drowning in red ink.”


Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke

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Ryan Zinke delivers a speech on the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention. (Getty)

For Interior secretary, Donald Trump is going with Ryan Zinke, a United States Representative from Montana. He has also previously served in the Montana Senate, and he was a Navy SEAL from 1986 to 2008.

When Zinke ran for his House seat, his campaign focused in part on the issue of energy independence. He is also an advocate for public access to federal lands.

“He has built one of the strongest track records on championing regulatory relief, forest management, responsible energy development and public land issues,” Trump said in a statement. “As a former Navy SEAL, he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win. America is the most beautiful country in the world, and he is going to help keep it that way with smart management of our federal lands.”


Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry

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Rick Perry arrives to Trump Tower for a meeting with President-Elect Donald Trump. (Getty)

Donald Trump’s pick for energy secretary is Rick Perry, former governor of Texas who unsuccessfully ran for president in 2012 and 2016.

This is a surprising choice, considering when Perry ran for president in 2012, he vowed to completely eliminate the Department of Energy. This was the third department that Perry famously could not name during a Republican primary debate, which caused him to utter the “oops” heard around the world.

Before serving as governor of Texas, Perry was the state’s lieutenant governor, and prior to that, he was the agriculture commissioner.

Perry will be replacing Steven Chu, a physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1997 and who is known for his research into molecular and cellular biology.


Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

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Rex Tillerson at the 2015 Oil and Money conference in London in October 2015. (Getty)

Secretary of state is the most significant of the president’s cabinet appointments, and Trump announced this week that this job will go to ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson has no foreign policy experience, but Trump says that he likes Tillerson due to his business success and his history of making deals with foreign governments.

There is no guarantee that Tillerson will actually be confirmed by the Senate, however. Democrats and even some Republicans are voicing concern over Tillerson’s ties to Russia; in 2013, for instance, Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson with the Order of Friendship, the highest award Russia can give to a foreigner.

Assuming Democrats unanimously reject Tillerson, only three Republicans need to vote him down in the Senate in order for the nomination to not be approved.


Secretary of Labor: Andrew Puzder

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

Andrew Puzder, the chief executive of CKE Restaurants, is a controversial pick for labor secretary.

Puzder is a critic of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. He also opposes mandatory paid sick leave laws and the expansion of overtime pay eligibility, saying that these kinds of regulations will force businesses to increasingly rely on automation, as he explained in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal earlier this year.

“While the technology is becoming much cheaper, government mandates have been making labor much more expensive,” he wrote. “…Dramatic increases in labor costs have a significant effect on the restaurant industry, where profit margins are pennies on the dollar and labor makes up about a third of total expenses. As a result, restaurants are looking to reduce costs while maintaining service and food quality.”

Puzder served as an economic adviser for Mitt Romney during his 2012 presidential campaign. He was also an economic adviser during the 2016 Donald Trump campaign, and he has praised Trump’s tax plan.

In a statement, the president-elect cited Puzder’s skills at creating jobs.

“Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor,” Trump said.


Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt

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Scott Pruitt arrives at Trump Tower for a meeting on December 7th. (Getty)

Scott Pruitt will be the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an organization he has spent years of his life fighting.

Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma, has spoken out against environmental regulations, and he is part of a group of attorneys currently suing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. In addition, Pruitt believes that climate change is a debate that has not been settled.

He wrote in a National Review article in May, “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind. That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress.”

This comes days after Donald Trump met with Al Gore, making many who are passionate about fighting global warming optimistic that Trump might be changing his tune. This appointment indicates that Trump is doubling down on his belief that global warming is a hoax.

“During the campaign, Mr. Trump regularly threatened to dismantle the E.P.A. and roll back many of the gains made to reduce Americans’ exposures to industrial pollution, and with Pruitt, the president-elect would make good on those threats,” Ken Cook, head of the Environmental Working Group, told The New York Times.


Administrator of the Small Business Administration: Linda McMahon

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Linda McMahon at a U.S. Senate debate in October 2010. (Getty)

Linda McMahon, co-founder of World Wrestling Entertainment, will become head of the Small Business Administration.

Alongside her husband, Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon helped grow the WWE from a New York business into a massive corporation, and she became president and CEO of the WWE in 1997. Her only political experience is a position on the Connecticut State Board of Education, which she held for one year. McMahon also unsuccessfully ran for Senate twice as a Republican.

“Linda has a tremendous background and is widely recognized as one of the country’s top female executives advising businesses around the globe,” President-Elect Trump said in a statement. “She helped grow WWE from a modest 13-person operation to a publicly traded global enterprise with more than 800 employees in offices worldwide. Linda is going to be a phenomenal leader and champion for small businesses and unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit all across the country.”

Linda and Vince McMahon have donated at least $5 million to Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post. Trump has appeared on WWE programming multiple times over the years, once participating in a storyline where he shaves Vince McMahon’s head at WrestleMania. 


Secretary of Homeland Security: John Kelly

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Donald Trump and John Kelly meet at Trump International Golf Club on November 20, 2016. (Getty)

Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly will become the next secretary of Homeland Security.

Kelly is the former commander of the United States Southern Command, and before that, he served as commanding general of the Multi-National Force. He is the highest-ranking military officer to have lost a child in the war. His son, Robert Michael Kelly, was killed in Afghanistan at the age of 29.

In the past, Kelly has taken a strong position on border security, worrying about threats posed to the United States.

“Terrorist organizations could seek to leverage those same smuggling routes to move operatives with intent to cause grave harm to our citizens or even bring weapons of mass destruction into the United States,” General Kelly told Congress, according to The New York Times.

Kelly is not a very controversial figure, and he will likely be easily confirmed by the Senate, although Trump has drawn criticism for the appointment of so many military generals to his cabinet. General Kelly is the third after General James Mattis and General Michael Flynn. Plus, General David Petraeus is under consideration for the position of secretary of state.


Ambassador to China: Terry Branstad

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Terry Branstad speaks to the press following a meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower. (Getty)

During a “Thank You” rally in Iowa this week, Donald Trump announced that the state’s governor, Terry Branstad, will become the next ambassador to China. Branstad is a friend of China and a personal friend of the nation’s president, Xi Jinping, going back decades.

A spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs called Branstad an “old friend,” according to the South China Morning Post.

This position came as something of a relief to many who were concerned about Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric and actions, such as when he recently took a phone call from the president of Taiwan, which which China does not recognize as a sovereign nation.

“Governor Branstad’s decades of experience in public service and long-time relationship with President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders make him the ideal choice to serve as America’s Ambassador to China,” Trump said in a statement. “He successfully developed close trade ties with China while serving as chief executive of the Hawkeye State. That experience will serve him well as he represents America’s interests and further develops a mutually beneficial relationship with Chinese leadership.”

With Branstad taking the role of ambassador to China, Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds will become the state’s governor.


Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson

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Ben Carson will be Donald Trump’s secretary of Housing and Urban Development. (Getty)

The appointment of retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to the position of secretary of Housing and Urban Development was a bit surprising considering that Carson has no political experience and that he recently said he would not be joining the Cabinet.

In a Facebook post from November 15th, Carson stated that he wouldn’t be having any role in the Trump administration whatsoever. A few days later, he seemed to change his mind, saying that there would soon be an announcement about his position in the Trump White House.

In a statement, President-Elect Donald Trump said that Carson is a brilliant mind and that he is passionate about strengthening communities. He also said that he has spoken with Carson at length about fixing the inner cities.

“I am honored to accept the opportunity to serve our country in the Trump administration,” Carson said in the statement. “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly by strengthening communities that are most in need. We have much work to do in enhancing every aspect of our nation and ensuring that our nation’s housing needs are met.”

Some were unhappy with the appointment of Carson due to the fact that he has no relevant experience.

“With many qualified Republicans to choose from with deep knowledge of, and commitment to, affordable housing solutions for the poorest families, and with the housing crisis reaching new heights across the country, Dr. Carson’s nomination to serve as HUD Secretary is surprising and concerning,” said President of the National Low Income Housing Colation Diane Yentel, according to The Washington Post.


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)

James Mattis, Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, 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. He is the second of three generals who Trump has announced as part of his cabinet.

A major setback is the fact that Mattis is not technically eligible for this position. 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 needs to pass legislation bypassing this requirement, which they previously did in 1950 in order to appoint General George Marshall.

However, some Democrats have already said they will oppose this waiver, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.

“While I deeply respect General Mattis’s service, I will oppose a waiver,” Gillibrand said in a statement. “Civilian control of our military is a fundamental principle of American democracy, and I will not vote for an exception to this rule.”

Mattis believes that Iran is the biggest threat to the Middle East, and he is opposed to the Iran nuclear deal. On that front, he is in agreement with the president-elect. 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.


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)

Todd Ricketts, Trump’s appointment for secretary of commerce, 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.

The Ricketts family is worth over $1 billion. Trump has been criticized for appointing so many billionaires to lead his cabinet, and Trump defended himself this week by saying that he wants people who were successful in their careers.

“One newspaper criticized me, ‘Why can’t they have people of modest means?'” Trump said during a recent rally in Des Moines, Iowa. “Because I want people that made a fortune because now they’re negotiating with you. It’s not that different than a great baseball player or a great golfer.”


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, Trump’s nominee for commerce secretary, 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.”

In a statement, Trump said Ross is a champion of American manufacturing.

“Wilbur knows that cutting taxes for working families, reducing burdensome government regulations and unleashing America’s energy resources will strengthen our economy at a time when our country needs to see significant growth,” Trump said.

Trump and Ross have known each other for decades, as Ross helped Trump revive his casino business after he went bankrupt in the 1990s, according to NPR.


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 nominee is Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year veteran of Goldman Sachs who is worth about $40 million.

Mnuchin 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 that someone who has worked for Goldman Sachs for two decades will have a role in his cabinet, particularly after Trump accused his political opponents of being controlled by Goldman Sachs.

Mnuchin will need to be confirmed by the Senate, and he is one of the few Trump picks who could face some opposition from Republicans.


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.

This is one of the picks from Trump that has been almost universally praised among Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President Joe Biden recently cited her on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert as one of Trump’s best cabinet appointments. However, the Chao pick is another one that contradicts Trump’s plan to “drain the swamp.”

“Secretary Chao’s extensive record of strong leadership and her expertise are invaluable assets in our mission to rebuild our infrastructure in a fiscally responsible manner,” Trump said in a statement.


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)

Donald Trump picking Georgia Congressman Tom Price as secretary of Health and Human Services represents his 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.

“Congressional Democrats and the Obama administration blatantly ignored the voices of the American people and rammed through a hyperpartisan piece of legislation that will have a disastrous effect on our nation’s health care system,” Price said back in 2010, according to The New York Times.

Price for years has been introducing his own plan, which would revolve around tax credits and on high-risk insurance pools. He is also for the the privatization of Medicare.

Democrats responded quite negatively to Price’s appointment, especially New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

“Congressman Price has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood,” Schumer said, according to CNN.


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.

“He will play a critical role in our administration, and I am grateful that he is willing to serve our country at such a high-level capacity,” Trump said in a statement.


Deputy National Security Adviser: K.T. McFarland

K.T. McFarland, who will be Donald Trump’s deputy national security adviser, previously 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.”

Donald Trump has made similar but much more extreme statements, repeatedly saying that Barack Obama is responsible for ISIS to the point that he should be named its founder.

“In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” Trump said during the campaign, The New York Times reports. “He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS.”


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, education activist from Michigan and proponent of school choice, is Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education.

In particular, DeVos supports 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 DeVos’ 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.


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)

The appointment of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to the role of ambassador to the United Nations is the first example of Trump picking someone who was quite critical of him during the presidential campaign.

In fact, during Haley’s response to the State of the Union earlier this year, she 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 attacked 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.


CIA Director: Mike Pompeo

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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, he 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 that Pompeo was the right choice.

Pompeo is also a critic of the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump has called a disaster. Despite Pompeo’s role in the Benghazi investigation, some Democrats recognized that he was a fine choice and is qualified for the position of CIA director.

“While we have had our share of strong differences — principally on the politicization of the tragedy in Benghazi — I know that he is someone who is willing to listen and engage, both key qualities in a C.I.A. director,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff told The New York Times.


Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

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

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions has been selected as Donald Trump’s attorney general after being quite loyal to Trump throughout the presidential campaign. In fact, Sessions 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 has served as a senator from Alabama 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.

This is perhaps Trump’s most controversial pick considering that Sessions 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 he was not approved after a number of accusations of racism came out.

Sessions backed Trump early on in part due to Trump’s hardline stance on immigration. Not only is he for cracking down on illegal immigration, but he’s also for cracking down on legal immigration.

“Legal immigration is the primary source of low-wage immigration into the United States,” Sessions wrote in The Washington Post in 2015. “…What we need now is immigration moderation: slowing the pace of new arrivals so that wages can rise, welfare rolls can shrink and the forces of assimilation can knit us all more closely together.”


National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

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

Michael Flynn, a retired United States Army lieutenant general, will be Donald Trump’s national security adviser, and he is yet another controversial choice.

This is primarily 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.”

Flynn served as an adviser during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, frequently introducing the Republican candidate at rallies. From 2012 to 2014, he was the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, but he resigned a year ahead of schedule due to conflicts with his superiors.


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)

One of the first roles that Trump filled was 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.


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.


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]
  • Veterans Affairs Secretary [Jeff Miller]

Read more about Donald Trump and Melania in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

34 Comments

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34 Comments

Nadya Wall-Rossi

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

Anonymous

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 !!

Anonymous

I see she’s mentioned at possible Press Secretary. I think she deserves more but she would be well suited for that job.

Justice for America (@SnubbaInWA)

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!

Yogesh M Gupta

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

Chris

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.

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