NEW YORK (TIP): Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton has surprised many. But now the President-elect’s Cabinet picks also have created a buzz as he is building it with his allies, old friends, and even some past rivals.
The latest to be named is General James Mattis as defense secretary (in picture above). Trump made the announcement in Ohio, December 1, at the start of a “USA Thank You Tour 2016” for his supporters. “We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense,” he told the crowd in Cincinnati.
“He’s our best. They say he’s the closest thing to General George Patton [World War Two commander] that we have.”
Trump has previously described Gen Mattis, 66, as “a true general’s general”.
Gen Mattis, who is known as “Mad Dog“, was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy, particularly on Iran.
He has referred to Iran as “the single most enduring threat to stability and peace in the Middle East“.
Gen Mattis is a former marine with battlefield experience.
He led an assault battalion during the first Gulf war in 1991 and commanded a task force into southern Afghanistan in 2001.
He also took part in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and played a key role a year later in the Battle of Fallujah.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, Attorney General – The Alabama senator became one of the first members of Congress to endorse Trump this February. He became an adviser on almost every major decision and policy proposal Trump made during the campaign. As the chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Sessions helped Trump craft a hardline immigration plan that he touted would prevent people from entering the country illegally. Sessions has opposed nearly every immigration bill that has come before the Senate the past two decades that has included a path to citizenship for immigrants in the country illegally.
Rep. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services -Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the six-term Congressmanis the fierce opponent of the Affordable Care Act. A Republican with a plan to simultaneously repeal and replace Obamacare, Obama’s signature legislative accomplishment, Price, 62, an orthopedic surgeon from the Atlanta suburbs and the chair of the House Budget Committee, began focusing his energies on dismantling Obamacare almost as soon as President Obama signed the landmark health insurance law in 2010.
Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the Department of Education -DeVos is aschool-choice activist, philanthropist and Republican mega-donor. The 58-year-old billionaire philanthropist, heads the American Federation for Children. Her group advocates for charter school education and she has been an advocate for school vouchers. Her foundation (American Federation for Children) has been mainly focused on trying to further the privatization of public education, not on strengthening it.
Gov. Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – SouthCarolina Gov.Nikki Haley became the first woman Trump appointed to his Cabinet. She quickly accepted Trump’s offer to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She initially backed Trump rivals Sen. Marco Rubio and then Sen. Ted Cruz during the GOP battle for a White House nominee. At one point she called Trump “everything a governor doesn’t want in a president.”
Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation – Trump tapped Chao, a former labor secretary, to head the Department of Transportation. Chao is the first American woman of Asian descent to be appointed to a President’s Cabinet in nation’s history. Having served from 2001-2009, she is the longest tenured Secretary of Labor since World War II, and the only member of President George W. Bush’s original cabinet to have served the entire eight years of his Administration.
Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury- Mnuchin, a banker, film producer, and political fundraiser served as the Trump campaign’s national finance chair and was largely considered the frontrunner for the job. He began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he spent 17 years and rose to become a partner. He left to start his own hedge fund and went on to become a financier of Hollywood films like “Avatar” and “American Sniper.” Throughout his career, Mnuchin showed only a limited interest in politics and remained mostly behind the scenes during Trump’s run.
Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce – The 79-year-old billionaire former banker, is known for restructuring failed companies in industries such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He also has been an outspoken critic of free trade agreements, which was a hallmark of Trump’s campaign. His relationship with Trump goes back decades. Ross helped Trump keep control of his failing Taj Mahal casino in the 1990s by persuading investors not to push out the real estate mogul.