Trump's Cabinet: Who makes up the President-elect's team?
As President-elect Trump works through the transition period to pick his cabinet -- who are the people he has already chosen, and what can we expect from them in the new Trump administration?
Treasury Secretary: Steven Mnuchin, 53
President-elect Trump has picked former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin to head up the Treasury Department. If confirmed by the Senate, Mnuchin will become Trump’s principal economic advisor, oversee the Internal Revenue Service and assist in rewriting the tax code. Though he lacks any government experience, Mnuchin has said he will focus on rolling back parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulation package. Mnuchin began his career on Wall Street but more recently helped bankroll big budget movies like “Avatar” and the “X-Men” franchise.
Transportation Secretary: Elaine Chao, 63
President-elect Trump has picked Washington insider Elaine Chao to head up the Department of Transportation. Chao, who was born in Taiwan and moved to the U.S. when she was 8, has worked in various departments across the federal government and would bring a tremendous amount of experience to the position. As transportation secretary, she would oversee the country’s infrastructure funding and projects – which includes Trump’s proposed $1 trillion infrastructure bonanza. Chao served as secretary of labor under former President George W. Bush and was also former deputy transportation secretary. She is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price, 62
President-elect Trump will nominate Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed by the Senate, Price, an orthopedic surgeon, will likely play a central role in fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to dismantle ObamaCare. As HHS secretary, Price would also oversee Medicare and Medicaid and have authority over the FDA, CDC and the National Institutes of Health.
Commerce Secretary: Wilbur Ross, 79
President-elect Trump will nominate Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department. Ross, whose net worth is estimated to be around $2.9 billion, heads up a private equity firm that specialized in bringing companies back from bankruptcy. If he is confirmed by the Senate, he will also oversee the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Ross and Trump have known and worked with each other for decades. Ross helped Trump resurrect his casino company after it went bankrupt in the 90s.
Education Secretary: Betsy DeVos, 58
President-elect Trump has tapped billionaire Republican donor and charter school advocate Betsy DeVos to oversee the Department of Education. DeVos, the former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party, did not endorse Trump during the Republican primaries. She is a polarizing figure in the education industry because of her strong support for school choice. DeVos has never worked in public education nor has she sent her kids to public school. She has also sent mixed signals on Common Core.
United Nations Ambassador: Nikki Haley, 44
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been picked by President-elect Trump as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Haley has been a rising star in the Republican Party after she made the decision to remove the Confederate flag from the state capitol following the shooting deaths of nine people in a Charleston church. Haley initially endorsed Trump rival Marco Rubio for president. If the Senate confirms her, she will represent the country’s interests at the Security Council on a number of issues including nuclear proliferation. Though she is a popular governor, Haley has virtually no experience when it comes to foreign policy.
CIA Director: Mike Pompeo, 52
President-elect Trump wants Rep. Mike Pompeo to head up the Central Intelligence Agency. The Kansas Republican was elected to Congress in the Tea Party movement of 2010 and is considered a strong national security voice. He has been a critic of the Iran nuclear deal and has sponsored several bills raising concern about the Iranian government. Pompeo, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also spoke out against Hillary Clinton’s handling of the Benghazi attacks while she was secretary of state.
Attorney General: Jeff Sessions, 69
If he’s confirmed by his colleagues in the Senate, Sen. Jeff Sessions would be tasked with carrying out President-elect Trump’s “law and order” platform. As the country’s top law enforcement official, Sessions would have a say in how civil rights laws are enforced. The Alabama conservative has been strict on immigration enforcement – both illegal and legal. Some Democrats have sharply criticized his nomination. In 1986, Sessions was denied a federal judgeship after former colleagues testified he used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan. Sessions has denied the claims.
Defense Secretary: General James Mattis, 66
President-elect Donald Trump kicked off his post-election 'Thank You' tour by announcing that he would nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense. Mattis, known by his nickname, "Mad Dog," retired from the military in 2013 after serving as the commander of the U.S. Central Command. His appointment to run the Pentagon would require a waiver from Congress, since federal law requires military personnel to be retired for seven years before taking a civilian position in the position in the Department of Defense.
Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson, 64
President-elect Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, transition sources say. Tillerson began his career at Exxon in 1975 as an engineer, rising through the ranks and becoming president and director in 2004 and CEO two years later. As CEO, Tillerson has had business dealings in dozens of countries across the globe, including Russia, Yemen and other political hot spots. Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about Tillerson’s close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
DHS Secretary: Gen. John Kelly, 66
President-elect Trump has picked retired Marine Gen. John Kelly as his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly retired from the Marine Corps earlier this year after leading U.S. Southern Command for three years, during which he was involved in the oversight of the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the southern border. Kelly complained at his last Pentagon press conference in January that after 40 years as a Marine he had the authority to watch drug dealers heading to the border by sea, but he could not disrupt them.