Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump's Cabinet: What It Could Look Like

Image: Trump's Cabinet: What It Could Look Like

No sooner had networks projected Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the United States than speculation began about who would be in his Cabinet.
But already informed sources in Trump's circle say they have been talking about potential Cabinet and other senior administration officials for months.
Typically, Republican presidents draw heavily from the ranks of former Republican presidential administrations. Insiders tell me this won't be the case for President Trump.

"Unless you strongly backed Donald, he will be looking for fresh, outside-the-box thinkers," the source said. "He picked his campaign staff that way. He thinks that's the best way to go"
Trump also loves to be around people "he's comfortable with."

Trump made that clear when he made his VP pick. Ohio Gov. John Kasich was the establishment favorite.
"But Donald thought he was a little weird, so that ended," a close Trump friend tells me.
Trump does not want "yes" men either. Donald likes people who disagree with him. For example, Rudy Giuliani is no one's yes man, but Trump listens to him and respects him.
In official Washington, speculation on Wednesday morning was focused on top level positions at the Cabinet and beyond.
Here's some of the people being discussed:
  • Secretary of State: Newt Gingrich tops the list. The former House speaker was one of Trump's earliest supporters and staunchest defenders in the media. He's a GOP heavyweight and can articulate Trump's global vision to allies. Second choice: former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. A staunch conservative, he was a critic of Iraq war strategy, something Trump likes.
  • Secretary of Treasury: Steve Mnuchin has already been promised the job. A former Goldman Sachs executive and head of Trump campaign fundraising, Mnuchin will offer Wall Street credibility to Trump's team. Backup choices: Billionaire investor Wilber Ross, Trump's most notable Wall Street backer. Doubtful Ross will give up his global business empire, but he would be widely hailed. Steve Forbes is also in the mix, respected by Trump's team for his Jack Kemp-style tax policies.
  • Secretary of Defense: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), has the job if he wants it. Others say he may take National Security adviser or CIA chief, which could be elevated to Cabinet rank, as Reagan did with Bill Casey.
  • Attorney General: Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor, considered the politician closest to Trump, has the job if he wants it. Some Trump insiders say Giuliani would rather play Trump's eminence grise.
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the first senator to back Trump and his point man on immigration and border security in the Senate.
  • Secretary of Education: Ben Carson is one of the people in Trump's closest circles. While having a medical background, there has been talk that Carson would serve better at Education. Like Trump, Carson is a strong advocate of charter schools and vouchers. the Trump team believes it made significant inroads with African-American voters on this issue, and it wants to continue that effort.
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources: Betsey McCaughey, former lieutenant governor of New York, and healthcare expert, has been one of Trump's fiercest and earliest supporters.
  • Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers: Larry Kudlow, longtime supply sider and Reagan budget deputy director, was Trump's lead adviser on tax policy and his strongest financial media defender. Already talk of making the job Cabinet rank if Larry wants it. Kudlow is also talked about as Janet Yellen's replacement at the Fed if her position opens.
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Rick Perry, former Texas governor and commissioner of agriculture; a one-time Trump critic, he loyally stumped for Trump after his own presidential bid ended.
  • Secretary of Commerce: One named being mentioned is the embattled New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. An early Trump endorser, he could be Trump's point man on jobs, trade, and the economy.
  • White House Chief of Staff: Trump's son-in-law and confidante Jared Kushner is at the very top of the list. The job does not require Senate confirmation, and the position puts one of Trump's most trusted advisers next to the president. Kushner served as de facto campaign manager and, as a Democrat, will have good ties with Senate and House Democrats in helping to push legislation through Congress.
  • White House Counsel: Joseph Schmitz is the former inspector general of the Defense Department and former Ed Meese aide at Justice. Highly respected, he was an early Trump foreign policy adviser.
  • RNC Chair: Not a government appointee but the president's top political appointee as head of the party could be Roger Stone. A wildcard choice, the former Nixon and Reagan strategist is considered the architect of Trump's political rise.
  • White House Press Secretary: Laura Ingraham, the famed conservative talk show host. Conservative, she was in Trump's corner from the beginning.
US Ambassador to the UN: Ric Grenell, long-time deputy to John Bolton at the United Nations, he has been a fixture on Fox News as a foreign-policy expert. He served as Trump campaign surrogate in key debates.

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