Donald Trump’s Cabinet-In-Waiting: Here Is What We Know So Far

Donald Trump’s Cabinet-In-Waiting: Here Is What We Know So Far

President-elect Donald J. Trump is wasting no time selecting his administration and many of the people chosen are those who stood by him and supported him during his campaign.

Trump will have about 4,000 government positions to fill as he prepares to enter the White House, some of the most important posts in the US government.

Cabinet positions require Senate confirmation, but other key posts are completely up to the discretion of the President.

Presidential Appointments with Senate Confirmation (PAS): The 1,212 senior leader positions, which must be approved by the Senate, include Cabinet secretaries and their deputies, the heads of most independent agencies and ambassadors.

Presidential Appointments without Senate Confirmation (PA): These 353 positions, which mostly consists of the White House staff, do not need Senate approval.

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Non-career Senior Executive Service: Trump needs 680 employees for this category. These appointees will work to ensure political leaders carry out civil service throughout the federal government.

Schedule C Appointments: From schedulers and assistants to policy experts, there are 1,403 openings available for these confidential roles.



Here are the picks announced so far:

Via Politico:

Attorney general

President-elect Trump has tapped Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general.

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Trump has chosen Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo for the job.

White House national security adviser

Trump has picked Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn for national security adviser.

Deputy national security adviser

Trump has selected K.T. McFarland, a Fox News analyst who served as an official in the Reagan White House, to be his deputy national security adviser.

White House counsel

Trump tapped Donald McGahn, a partner at the firm Jones Day who served as the Trump campaign’s general counsel, for the job. McGahn is a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission.

Chief of staff

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will be Trump’s chief of staff.

Chief strategist

Former Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon, who was Trump’s campaign CEO, will be Trump’s chief White House strategist.

Ambassador to the United Nations

Trump has tapped South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be his ambassador to the United Nations.

Education secretary

Trump announced that he will nominate Betsy DeVos, a prominent advocate for school choice and charter schools, as education secretary.

Transportation secretary

Trump has picked former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao to serve as secretary of transportation. Chao served as deputy secretary of transportation under President George H.W. Bush and is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Treasury secretary

Steven Mnuchin, a 17-year-veteran of Goldman Sachs, is Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary.

Health and Human Services secretary

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), the chairman of the House Budget Committee and an early Trump backer, was chosen to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Commerce secretary

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, a Trump economic adviser, is Trump’s pick for commerce secretary.

Deputy commerce secretary

Trump tapped Todd Ricketts, the co-owner of the Chicago Cubs and a member of the powerful conservative Ricketts family, to be deputy secretary of commerce.

Secretary of defense

Trump picked retired Marine General James Mattis as his defense secretary.

Housing and Urban Development secretary

Trump tapped retired neurosurgeon and former GOP primary rival Ben Carson to serve as HUD secretary.

The following is a list of likely contenders and will be frequently updated as new information becomes available.

Secretary of state

Trump’s transition team has said Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and former CIA Director David Petraeus are the top four contenders for the post.

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson and retired Navy Admiral James G. Stavridis are also under consideration.

Interior secretary

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin is emerging as the leading candidate for the job.

Other possible candidates include: Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; Larry Nichols, the chairman emeritus of oil and gas company Devon Energy; former Republican Rep. Richard Pombo, who chaired the House Natural Resources Committee from 2003 to 2007; Alaska millionaire investor Robert Gillam; former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer; Mead Treadwell, the former lieutenant governor of Alaska; and Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm.

Agriculture secretary

There are several names being considered by Trump aides for agriculture secretary, according to multiple sources familiar with the transition. The president elect has a deep bench to pull from with nearly 70 leaders on agricultural advisory committee.

Other names include a sitting governor, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and three former governors: Dave Heineman (Nebraska), Sonny Perdue (Georgia) and Rick Perry (Texas). Also in the conversation are Charles Herbster, a Republican donor and agribusiness leader who chairs Trump’s agricultural advisory committee, and Mike McCloskey, a dairy executive in Indiana.

Bruce Rastetter, a major Republican donor in Iowa, and Kip Tom, a farmer who ran for Congress in Indiana this year but was defeated in the primary, are also among those being considered.

Other top Republican insiders expect that Chuck Connor, president and CEO of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, Don Villwock, president of the Indiana Farm Bureau and Ted McKinney, the current director of the Indiana Department of Agriculture in the Pence Administration, are also likely to be in the running for the post.

Labor secretary

Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), is under consideration for labor secretary and he recently met with Trump.

A possible private sector pick is Andrew Puzder, chief executive of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito and Red Burrito.

Attorney Peter Kirsanow could also be a candidate for labor secretary, according to a source connected to the transition team. Kirsanow serves on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and was a member of the National Labor Relations Board from 2006 to 2008. He met with President-elect Trump on Sunday.

Energy secretary

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm has long been seen as a leading candidate for energy secretary. Hamm, a billionaire oil magnate from Oklahoma, has said he plans to stay at his company but he’s been a friend of Trump’s for years, and has been the leading influence on Trump’s energy policy during the campaign. And while Rep. Kevin Cramer, a Trump energy adviser, has doused cold water on taking the energy secretary job recently, Hamm has said Trump should pick the North Dakotan. Meanwhile, Cramer, who recently scored a spot on the Republican Steering Committee, says he wants to be Trump’s go-to man in Congress for energy issues.

Former longtime Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made at least one visit to Trump Tower in recent weeks and is thought to be maneuvering himself for a national security-related post, including the Energy Department. Perry made scathing attacks on Trump last year but is seen among conservatives as someone who would upend DOE’s status quo. Three sources close to Trump transition have also told POLITICO that conservative Sen. Joe Manchin is under consideration for energy secretary, which would bring a prominent Democrat into his Cabinet. The West Virginian said he’d be open to it.

Larry Nichols, the chairman emeritus of oil and gas company Devon Energy, is also a possible contender. Karen Harbert, who leads the Chamber of Commerce’s energy institute and worked at the Energy Department during the George W. Bush administration, also thought to be in the mix.

Another name floating near the top of the mill is retiring Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis.

Veterans Affairs secretary

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is a candidate for the job. He recently met with Trump to talk about the position. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is also under consideration for the job.

Pete Hegseth, a veterans advocate and Fox News contributor, is another potential candidate.

House Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Jeff Miller, who’s retiring from the House and was an early Trump backer, is also a potential candidate.

Homeland Security secretary

House Homeland Security Chairman Mike McCaul has said he’s interested in becoming homeland security secretary. “I’ve expressed my interest, and I think the process is taking place,” McCaul told POLITICO recently.

Other leading contenders include: retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly; Frances Townsend, a George W. Bush administration homeland security official; and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Kris Kobach, a Trump immigration adviser who is the Kansas secretary of state, is interested in the top homeland security post, according to a source tied to the transition team. Kobach met with Trump recently.

Another potential pick: Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee’s transportation security panel.

A long-shot candidate: David Clarke, the conservative Sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wis. Clarke has cultivated a devoted following on the right, and he spoke at the Republican National Convention in Ohio, declaring, “Blue lives matter.” Christie is also seen as a possible DHS secretary.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator

Kathleen Hartnett White, the former head of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt are seen as the top candidates to lead the EPA.

Other possibilities: retiring Wyoming Rep. Cynthia Lummis; Jeff Holmstead, a former Bush EPA official; and Leslie Rutledge, the attorney general of Arkansas and a lead challenger of EPA regulations in the state.

Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Eric Ueland, a veteran Republican Capitol Hill aide and top staffer on the Senate Budget Committee who is working on Trump’s transition team, is seen as a possible candidate to lead the OMB.

Former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn is also seen as a potential OMB chief, as is Paul Winfree, director of economic policy research at the conservative Heritage Foundation.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. President Gary Cohn is another contender for the job.


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