Trump taps a general again for Cabinet
US President-elect Donald Trump has selected retired Marine Corps general John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security.
He also chose Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose policies have helped fossil fuel companies, to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
Separately, Trump named the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Linda McMahon, 68, to head the Small Business Administration. Trump has taken part in WWE events in the past and has close ties to the McMahons. He also is a member of the WWE Hall of Fame.
Trump also picked up the Time magazine “Person of the Year” distinction, it was announced Wednesday.
Trump’s long presidential campaign was in large part defined by searing rhetoric and his steadfast promises to build an impenetrable wall on the border with Mexico and crack down on immigrants living in the United States illegally. But he struck a softer tone in the interview published in Time for the annual feature.
“We’re going to work something out that’s going to make people happy and proud,” Trump said. “They got brought here at a very young age; they’ve worked here, they’ve gone to school here. Some were good students. Some have wonderful jobs. And they’re in never-never land because they don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel presented Trump a letter on Wednesday from 14 big-city mayors urging him to keep the program intact.
“They were working hard toward the American dream,” Emmanuel told reporters in the lobby of Trump’s skyscraper. “It’s no fault of their own their parents came here. They are something we should hold up and embrace.”
Trump moved toward making another addition to the collection of generals in his Cabinet, settling on Kelly, 66, to head Homeland Security, according to people close to the transition.
Trump has already picked retired Marine Corps general James Mattis for secretary of defense and retired Army lieutenant general Michael Flynn as national security adviser.
Kelly, who joined the Marines Corps in 1970, retired this year after a final command that included oversight of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
He has a reputation as a border hawk after a time in the Southern Command, which is based in South Florida and regularly works with Homeland Security on missions to identify and dismantle immigrant smuggling networks.
Trump also picked Pruitt, a longtime critic of the EPA, to head the agency, according to a person close to Pruitt who was not authorized to speak publicly about the choice before it was announced.
The move came just after Trump met with former vicepresident Al Gore, who is an environmental activist, and said he had “an open mind” about honoring the Paris climate accords.