Trump Un­veils First Women For Cab­i­net

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US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has ap­pointed the first two women to his in­com­ing ad­min­is­tra­tion. South Carolina Gover­nor Nikki Ha­ley was nom­i­nated as US en­voy to the United Na­tions and Betsy DeVos as ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary. Both are for­mer crit­ics of Mr Trump, with Mrs Ha­ley once say­ing she was “not a fan”, and Mrs DeVos brand­ing the Man­hat­tan ty­coon an “in­ter­loper”. Mr Trump’s pres­i­den­tial pri­mary ri­val Ben Carson also hinted he would soon be named for a post. “An an­nounce­ment is forth­com­ing about my role in help­ing to make Amer­ica great again,” Mr Carson wrote on Face­book. Mr Trump tweeted on Tues­day that he was “se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing” Mr Carson for the US De­part­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment. The ap­point­ments of Mrs Ha­ley and Mrs DeVos will need to be ap­proved by the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Sen­ate. Mr Trump called Mrs Ha­ley “a proven deal­maker, and we look to be mak­ing plenty of deals”.

“She will be a great leader rep­re­sent­ing us on the world stage,” he added. Mrs Ha­ley said she was “moved” to ac­cept the as­sign­ment and would stay on as South Carolina gover­nor, pend­ing her con­gres­sional con­fir­ma­tion. Dur­ing the Repub­li­can pri­maries, she sup­ported Florida Se­na­tor Marco Ru­bio and then Texas Se­na­tor Ted Cruz. Mrs Ha­ley also strongly at­tacked Mr Trump’s pro­posal to ban Mus­lim im­mi­grants, de­scrib­ing it as “un-Amer­i­can”. In re­sponse, Mr Trump had called her “very weak on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion” and said peo­ple in South Carolina were “em­bar­rassed” by her.

Mrs Ha­ley, 44, is the first mi­nor­ity and fe­male gover­nor of South Carolina. Born Nim­rata “Nikki” Rand­hawa to In­dian par­ents, she was raised in a Sikh house­hold and now iden­ti­fies as a Chris­tian. Mrs Ha­ley was praised by mem­bers of both par­ties in 2015 when she or­dered the Con­fed­er­ate battle flag to be re­moved from the grounds of the state capi­tol. Mrs DeVos said she was honoured to ac­cept her ap­point­ment

But the bil­lion­aire Repub­li­can donor from Michi­gan once de­scribed Mr Trump as an “in­ter­loper” who “does not rep­re­sent the Repub­li­can Party”. Mrs DeVos also con­trib­uted to Mr Trump’s ri­vals - Carly Fio­r­ina, Marco Ru­bio and Jeb Bush - dur­ing the elec­tion race. She pre­vi­ously sup­ported the Com­mon Core ed­u­ca­tion stan­dards that Mr Trump and many con­ser­va­tives have pil­lo­ried. Mr Trump, how­ever, said Mrs DeVos would be “a bril­liant and pas­sion­ate ed­u­ca­tion advocate”. Her hus­band is heir to the Amway for­tune, with a wealth es­ti­mated by Forbes at $5.1bil­lion (F$10.7bn). So far Mr Trump has ap­pointed Jeff Ses­sions for At­tor­ney Gen­eral, Mike Pom­peo for CIA di­rec­tor, Reince Priebus for Chief of Staff for his top team. More an­nounce­ments are ex­pected af­ter the up­com­ing Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day week­end.

Nikki Ha­ley, left, and Betsy DeVos will need Sen­ate ap­proval.

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