Trump nom­i­nates two women to cab­i­net

> Ha­ley tapped for UN en­voy, DeVos for ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WASH­ING­TON: Don­ald Trump be­gan to broaden the base of his fu­ture cab­i­net yes­ter­day, nom­i­nat­ing two con­ser­va­tive women in­clud­ing a critic, af­ter his ear­lier picks re­warded cam­paign loy­al­ists.

Trump’s nom­i­na­tion of South Carolina’s 44-year-old gov­er­nor, Nikki Ha­ley, as US am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions will be seen as a sign he is ready to for­give some foes to raise a big­ger tent.

But his choice of wealthy ac­tivist Betsy DeVos, a cham­pion of al­ter­na­tives to lo­cal gov­ern­ment schools, as ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary was an­other vic­tory for so­cial con­ser­va­tives.

Trump’s one-time pres­i­den­tial ri­val, re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Car­son, ap­peared to be next in line for the nod – re­port­edly as hous­ing sec­re­tary – af­ter he posted on so­cial me­dia that an an­nounce­ment was im­mi­nent.

Trump’s choice of Ha­ley for the UN was an­nounced amid re­ports that Trump is con­sid­er­ing an­other vo­cal critic – for­mer Mas­sachusetts gov­er­nor Mitt Rom­ney – for the key post of sec­re­tary of state.

And it fol­lowed a cor­dial chat be­tween Trump and The New York Times, a news­pa­per he con­sid­ers hos­tile, in which he soft­ened his stance on cli­mate change, tor­ture and pros­e­cut­ing his de­feated ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton.

The 70-year-old prop­erty ty­coon also told the Times that he is “se­ri­ously, se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing” ap­point­ing widely re­spected re­tired Ma­rine gen­eral James Mat­tis as his de­fence sec­re­tary.

The UN am­bas­sador post is of cab­i­net rank and if Ha­ley – a staunch con­ser­va­tive with no for­eign pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ence – is con­firmed by the Se­nate she will be­come a pow­er­ful fig­ure in world diplo­macy, de­spite pre­vi­ously clash­ing with Trump.

As one of two women tapped so far for Trump’s cab­i­net, the daugh­ter of In­dian im­mi­grants also in­jects a mea­sure of di­ver­sity in a group that un­til now con­sisted solely of men.

Last year, af­ter a white su­prem­a­cist mur­dered nine black church­go­ers in South Carolina, Ha­ley sup­ported a de­ci­sion by leg­is­la­tors to re­move the Con­fed­er­ate flag from the state house.

The de­ci­sion drew protests from racist groups. This year, while cam­paign­ing for Trump’s pri­mary ri­val Marco Ru­bio, Ha­ley called Trump out for his fail­ure to re­pu­di­ate the Ku Klux Klan.

“I will not stop un­til we fight a man that chooses not to dis­avow the KKK. That is not a part of our party,” she de­clared.

Trump, true to form, re­sponded with one of his trade­mark Twit­ter in­sults, declar­ing: “The peo­ple of South Carolina are em­bar­rassed by Nikki Ha­ley!”

Trump’s choice of Steve Ban­non, head of the right-wing news plat­form Bre­it­bart, as his chief strate­gist de­lighted white su­prem­a­cists.

But on Tues­day, af­ter a video emerged of fans of the so-called alt-right mak­ing straight-armed salutes and chant­ing “Hail Trump,” the pres­i­dent-elect dis­avowed the move­ment. – AFP

Ha­ley DeVos

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