Giuliani, Gingrich, and Steven Mnuchin.
Well, now to the governing part. President-elect Donald Trump is about to start making his picks for cabinet members and advisers. Right now, it seems loyalty is the golden ticket into the Trump administration; his potential team is a parade of campaign surrogates and a smattering of people from the private sector, reports Politico. The administration is also looking pretty old, white, and male.
New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions have been leading the effort to select the White House team, and reportedly delivered formal transition plans to Trump Tower on Tuesday. Per CNN:
On the transition team, department heads submitted lists of three names for cabinet positions, taking into account Trump’s public statements about who he would like to see in his administration … Given Trump’s limited role in transition planning, sources caution that these potential picks are not set in stone. Trump could veto some or choose to add others to the list.
Still, some of the potential picks have been reported, including some before Trump clinched the White House: Secretary of State Newt Gingrich, for one. Tennessee senator Bob Corker, the current chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and brief Trump vice-presidential contender, may also be up for the job of top diplomat (or even potentially Treasury secretary). President Bush’s controversial former United Nations ambassador John Bolton has also been considered for the job, per Politico; Bolton has said in the past that he would “consider” such a post.
General Michael Flynn will also land in a Trump administration, though more likely as national-security adviser than secretary of Defense. (Federal law requires the Pentagon chief to have seven years removed from active duty; Congress can waive that rule, however.) Alabama senator Jeff Sessions, who, again, is helping to lead Trump’s transition team, could also be in the running for secretary of Defense. Sessions is a member of the Armed Services Committee on the Senate, as well as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee.
And speaking of the judiciary, NBC reported earlier this week that former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani could likely fill the attorney-general spot. Giuliani served as the high-profile U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York more than 25 years ago. His appointment there would likely mean New Jersey governor and early endorser Chris Christie would miss out on being the top prosecutor, as has long been speculated. The Bridgegate convictions of Christie’s former allies — and his own potential state investigation into the political lane-closure scheme — makes appointing him to the Department of Justice a little tough. Yet Christie could get another spot — maybe Department of Homeland Security. The New Jersey Advance spoke to some political experts who said it was possible Christie would resign his governorship (his term ends in 2017) and take a spot in the Trump administration — though he might have to settle for one that doesn’t involve Senate approval.
Another candidate reportedly floated for DHS secretary: David Clarke, a conservative sheriff of Milwaukee County. Clarke, who is African-American, has publicly rallied against Black Lives Matter and encouraged citizens to arm themselves, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Trump is also planning to look to the business community to fill potential cabinet posts. Trump has said he would make 80-year-old magnate Carl Icahn his Treasury secretary; Icahn has previously said “no way.” Former Goldman Sachs financier and big Trump donor Steven Mnuchin is considered a front-runner for that spot.
Other private-sector people who might make their way into a Trump administration, per Politico: 74-year-old Forrest Lucas, founder of Lucas Oil, as secretary of the Interior; 78-year-old billionaire investor Wilbur Ross or Dan DiMicco, a former steel CEO, as Commerce secretary; 70-year-old oil and gas billionaire Harold Hamm as Energy secretary.
Others not to count out: Texas agriculture commissioner Sid Miller for secretary of Agriculture; he’s defended the right to deep fryers and referred to Clinton as a “cunt” in the run-up to the election. Dr. Ben Carson might be tapped to be secretary of Health and Human Services, or Education secretary — if that position exists in a Trump administration. Climate-change skeptic Myron Ebell, who is leading Trump’s EPA transition team, will probably be tapped to head that agency — and then gut it. And don’t forget sleeper Sarah Palin, who could be Interior secretary or Energy secretary, maybe. So don’t let it be said he’s only looking at male candidates.