It’s been two and a half weeks since the election of Donald Trump, and we’ve gotten a steady stream of news regarding who has accepted a job in his administration as well as those who are speculated to. Below is a run-down of what (or, rather, who) we know and the rumors surrounding the remaining jobs.
- Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus – The head of the Republican National Committee and the biggest in-party booster of Donald Trump, Priebus managed to pull an entire party infrastructure along to support the unconventional nominee to a historic win. As Chief of Staff, Priebus will be the key director of the Trump Administration.
- Chief Strategist: Steve Bannon – The CEO of Breitbart.com, Bannon orchestrated the outpouring of support from the site in the form of favorable stories and hit pieces on Trump’s opponents. He came into the campaign late, along with Kellyanne Conway, and is considered by the media to be one of the chief architects of Trump’s victory. The job of “chief strategist” isn’t a conventional Cabinet post, but similar jobs have been held by folks like Valerie Jarrett and Karl Rove.
- Attorney General: Jeff Sessions – An early supporter out of the Senate, Sessions has long been an immigration hawk, and crafted the immigration policies Trump touted on the campaign trail. However, it’s Sessions’ past as a U.S. Attorney and Attorney General of Alabama, and the successes he’s had in those roles, that has landed him the position of Attorney General under Donald Trump.
- Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos – Trump has tapped an avid school choice advocate and chairperson of the American Federation for Children to lead the U.S. Department of Education. DeVos comes from old money, but has used that money to fight for education reform. Her support of charter schools and voucher programs are likely reasons she was chosen for the spot.
- Director of the CIA: Mike Pompeo – Pompeo is an House Intelligence Committee member who has been incredibly hawkish on matters of global terrorism and the state of the U.S. intelligence community.
- National Security Adviser: Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn – With the increasing threat of Islamist activity both globally and on U.S. soil, Trump has selected Flynn, who is a known hardliner on the issue. Flynn was also an avid supporter of Donald Trump throughout the campaign.
- Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley seemed like a random pick, but she is a conservative favorite, and is a calm and collected speaker on key national issues. Trump referred to Haley as a “proven deal-maker,” a quality that surely appeals to him, as he made similar statements about himself on the campaign trail.
Along with the confirmed picks, we also have a lot of speculation for the remaining key Cabinet posts.
- Secretary of State – Former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is speculated to be in the lead for the job. Two other names that have been tossed around are Rudy Guiliani and John Bolton. The job is a critical one, coming off the heels of two really bad predecessors in Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. Re-establishing the United States as a major player in world affairs (and one that is to be feared and respected) is Donald Trump’s goal, and each of the three candidates has their positives.
- Secretary of the Treasury – With a country still in dire financial trouble, Trump will be looking for someone experienced enough to handle the national coffers and try to bring us back into financial solvency. Steven Mnuchin is the leading candidate, as someone who has worked for decades in private sector financial firms like Goldman Sachs. House Financial Services Chairman Jeb Hensarling and JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Jamie Dimon are also said to be in the running.
- Secretary of Defense – Retired Marine General James Mattis appears to be the frontrunner here, despite questions as to whether or not he could legally get the job under U.S. law (one must be out of the military for seven years before they can have a position like this, and no means of waiving that rule seem to exist). Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton and George W. Bush’s National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley are also possibilities.
- Secretary of the Interior – Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin is said to be the leading candidate for this job. However, others are being looked at as well. Venture capitalist Robert Grady, co-founder of Lucas Oil Forrest Lucas, and former Lt. Governor of Alaska Mead Treadwell are among the names mentioned.
- Secretary of Agriculture – The man who, days after the election, referred to Hillary Clinton as a c***, Texas Secretary of Agriculture Sid Miller, is supposedly the frontrunner here. However, former presidential candidate and former Texas Governor Rick Perry is also said to be in the running.
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – Trump is reportedly close to tapping Ben Carson for this role.
- Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) – Georgia Representative Tom Price of Georgia is the favorite in this race, but former Louisiana Governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal is also in the running, and had worked for HHS under the Bush Administration.
Other jobs to be filled include Commerce Secretary, Labor Secretary, and Energy Secretary. Several names are being tossed around in these roles. We’ll look out for any news and keep you posted as we hear more.