These Are Donald Trump’s Cabinet Appointments And Nominations
by Mary Ann Georgantopoulos
Donald Trump has appointed Republican megadonor Betsy DeVos as his education secretary.
“I am honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again,” she tweeted Wednesday. “The status quo in ed is not acceptable.”
DeVos, once a supporter of the the Common Core, now opposes it, two people close to DeVos told BuzzFeed News on Monday.
But hardline Common Core opponents, including conservative websites and activist parent organizations, have already denounced DeVos, who sits on the board of several organizations that support the Common Core.
South Carolina governor Nikki Haley is Trump’s choice to be the next US ambassador to the United Nations.
“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” Trump said in a statement.
If confirmed by the Senate, Haley’s appointment would be her first in a federal role.
Haley was “honored” to have received the nomination, she said. “Our country faces enormous challenges here at home and internationally,” she continued in a statement.
Former presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson has signaled he will serve as Trump’s secretary of housing and urban development.
“An announcement is forthcoming about my role in helping to make America great again,” Carson wrote on Twitter on Wednesday morning, linking to a separate Facebook post in which he discussed his desire to make “our inner cities great for everyone.”
On Tuesday, Trump wrote on Twitter that he was “seriously considering” Carson, his former Republican primary rival, for the position, adding, “I’ve gotten to know him well — he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!”
President-elect Donald Trump on Friday nominated US Senator from Alabama Jeff Sessions to the attorney general post in his cabinet.
Trump met with Sessions, a Republican, at Trump Tower in New York City on Thursday, and was pleased with his past experience, according to a statement from his transition team.
Trump said that Sessions is “greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”
In 1986, when he was a US attorney, Sessions ran for a federal judge position but was ultimately rejected after employees and other colleagues alleged that he had made racist statements about civil rights groups.
Sessions nomination will need to be confirmed by the Senate.
On Friday Trump nominated US Representative Mike Pompeo as the director of the CIA.
Pompeo is one of the most vocal critics of the Obama administration’s deal with Iran that eased oil and financial sanctions on the country in exchange for dismantling large portions of its nuclear program.
Pompeo, a three-term Kansas representative, also served on the House Select Benghazi Committee and criticized Hillary Clinton’s actions as secretary of state during the 2012 attack in Libya that killed four Americans.
“I am honored to have been given this opportunity to serve and to work alongside President-elect Donald J. Trump to keep America safe,” Pompeo said in a statement on Friday.
On Thursday Trump appointed retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to the role of National Security Adviser.
“I am pleased that Lieutenant General Michael Flynn will be by my side as we work to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, navigate geopolitical challenges and keep Americans safe at home and abroad,” Trump said in a statement.
Flynn, who had advised Trump through his campaign and was once considered a potential running mate, served as the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the service that specializes in providing intelligence to the military until he was forced out in 2014 after reported leadership clashes.
Flynn was an early supporter of Trump during the campaign and heavily criticized Clinton for her use of a private email server.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to accept the position as National Security Advisor to serve both our country and our nation’s next President, Donald J. Trump,” Flynn said in a statement.
McFarland at her home during her senate race in 2006.
Trump tapped KT McFarland, a Fox News commentator who served in the White House under President Ronald Reagan, for the position of deputy national security adviser Friday. She will work alongside Gen. Flynn.
McFarland has frequently criticized President Obama’s stance on terrorism, and, like Flynn, has called on him to acknowledge the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
After a senior adviser to Trump’s transition team confirmed the pick to Bloomberg Friday, Flynn tweeted that he was “So proud and honored to have KT McFarland as part of our National Security team. She will help us #MAGA”.
In a statement, Trump praised McFarland’s tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe.”
McFarland was deputy assistant secretary of defense for public affairs under Reagan, and worked as a national security analyst for decades following her time in the White House. In 2006 she ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican Senate nominee in New York.
McGhan in June.
Trump also announced Friday that he has picked attorney Donald McGhan to serve as White House counsel. McGhan has been a legal advisor on Trump’s campaign and transition team.
McGhan is a successful corporate lawyer and the former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. He has longstanding — though not entirely pleasant — familial ties with the Trump family, Politico reported. His uncle was Trump’s lawyers in the 1990s, until Trump fired and sued him.
“Don has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character, and a deep understanding of constitutional law,” said Trump in a statement Friday. “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.”
McGhan’s primary role in the beginning of Trump’s presidency will be sorting out the complex ties between Trump’s businesses and investments with the decisions he must make as president, as well as possibly setting up a “blind trust” to manage Trump’s domestic and foreign holdings and assets.
“I am honored to continue advising President-elect Trump in the Trump-Pence Administration,” McGahn said in the same statement. “President-elect Trump is a bold leader committed to draining the swamp in Washington and restoring economic prosperity and security. I look forward to serving the American public in this role.”
Trump appointed Stephen Bannon, the controversial executive chairman of far right website Breitbart News, as chief White House strategist and counselor.
Bannon first served as Trump campaign’s CEO and his appointment as chief strategist has drawn criticism from political strategists and anti-discrimination groups.
The Anti-Defamation League said, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’”
Trump selected Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus to be his White House chief of staff. Priebus and Steve Bannon were the first two people to join the Trump administration.
“Steve [Bannon] and Reince are highly qualified leaders who worked well together on our campaign and led us to a historic victory. Now I will have them both with me in the White House as we work to make America great again,” Trump said in a statement.
“It is truly an honor to join President-elect Trump in the White House as his Chief of Staff,” Priebus said in a statement. “I am very grateful to the President-elect for this opportunity to serve him and this nation as we work to create an economy that works for everyone, secure our borders, repeal and replace Obamacare, and destroy radical Islamic terrorism. He will be a great President for all Americans.”
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About the writer: Mary Ann Georgantopoulos is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.