President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet is beginning to take shape. After multiple reports of chaos and disorganization within the transition team, Trump made three key appointments to his cabinet. On Thursday, Trump picked retired Gen. Michael Flynn to be his national security advisor, the next morning, news broke the president-elect picked his attorney general and CIA director.
Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas was chosen to be the CIA director in the Trump’s cabinet. Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee and has served three terms in Congress.
Sen. Jeff Sessions from Alabama was picked to be Trump’s attorney general. Sessions is a former prosecutor, serves on the Judiciary Committee, and has been in the Senate since 1996.
The senate must confirm both appointments before Pompeo and Sessions can serve in Trump’s cabinet.
The two men have been in the public eye for many years, and their histories offer a glimpse of what to expect from them while serving in Trump’s cabinet.
In 1981, president Ronald Reagan appointed Sessions to be U.S. attorney for the southern district of Alabama. In 1986, Reagan nominated him again to be a U.S. district court judge. The second nomination was rejected after lawyers who worked with Sessions testified during the confirmation hearings that he had made several controversial comments.
As a senator, Sessions has been responsible for legislation that protects wildlife, increased payments to families of soldiers killed in battle, and helped low-income Alabamians with HIV/AIDS afford medical treatment. Sessions was the first sitting U.S. senator to support Trump’s run for the White House.
The New York Times reports that Pompeo was chosen as the CIA director in Trump’s cabinet and will play a key role in counterterrorism strategies abroad.
The three-term congressman is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was one of Hillary Clinton’s harshest critics as a prominent member of the congressional investigation into the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans.
Politico reports Trump offered the national security position in his cabinet to registered Democrat and retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The highly-decorated former Army general is also being perceived as a controversial appointment by the media.
According to NBC News, Flynn is a three-star general who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Flynn has been awarded the defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, and the Bronze Star for his service.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence committee, issued a harsh statement in response to Trump offering the role to Flynn after his anti-Islamist comments throughout Trump’s campaign.
“General Flynn has made inflammatory remarks regarding Islam, and not always distinguished between a faith practiced by millions of Americans and important allies around the world, and the perversion of that faith by the likes of ISIS and Al Qaeda. These statements only feed jihadi propaganda by reinforcing their false narrative that the West is at war with all of Islam.”
Sen. Jack Reed, the ranking Democrat on the armed services committee, praised Trump for selecting Flynn to serve in his cabinet.
“General Flynn served honorably throughout his 33-year military career,” Reed said. “I respect him and deeply admire his family’s legacy of military service. It is pretty remarkable to have two brothers rise to the rank of General like Mike and Charlie Flynn.”
Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
Despite multiple reports suggesting otherwise, Trump continues to suggest that he and his transition team are having no problems with picking key cabinet members. Mitt Romney, who was one of Trump’s biggest critics during the campaign, will be meeting with Trump over the weekend to discuss the secretary of state position. There are hundreds of positions still to fill, but the fact that Trump’s considering Romney proves that he’s willing to put aside disagreements made in the past and look for qualified members to join his cabinet.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]