Cabi­net au­di­tions over, ap­point­ments soon

The Myanmar Times - - World -

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump wrapped up a busy week­end of meet­ings with cabi­net hope­fuls at his golf club re­treat out­side New York, hint­ing new ap­point­ments should come soon.

The Repub­li­can bil­lion­aire­turned-world-leader sig­nalled he is se­ri­ously con­sid­er­ing re­tired Marine Corps gen­eral James “Mad Dog” Mat­tis to be his Pen­tagon chief, heap­ing praise on him.

When asked be­fore din­ner on Novem­ber 20 at his Trump Na­tional Golf Club in New Jersey if he would soon re­veal new nom­i­na­tions, Mr Trump told re­porters. “Pretty true,” con­firm­ing he had “made a cou­ple of deals”.

But Mr Trump made the drive back to Man­hat­tan af­ter two days in Bed­min­ster, and no new picks were re­vealed.

Be­yond Mr Mat­tis, the top names on the guest list were Repub­li­can New Jersey Gover­nor Chris Christie, who was re­cently ousted as the leader of Mr Trump’s tran­si­tion team, for­mer New York mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani and im­mi­gra­tion hard­liner Kris Kobach.

The pres­i­dent-elect was clearly seek­ing to sound out peo­ple from a wide range of back­grounds, from party stal­warts to busi­ness moguls and for­mer rivals.

Some of Mr Trump’s choices for other key posts so far – at­tor­ney gen­eral, na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and chief White House strate­gist –have come un­der fire from Democrats and other crit­ics.

But he has also moved to mend fences with mod­er­ate Repub­li­cans as he goes about build­ing a new ad­min­is­tra­tion be­fore his Jan­uary 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion.

On Novem­ber 19, he in­ter­viewed one-time foe Mitt Rom­ney – the 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who called him a “fraud” dur­ing the re­cent cam­paign – for the sec­re­tary of state po­si­tion re­port­edly cov­eted by Mr Gi­u­liani.

Mr Trump, 70, was wowed by Mr Mat­tis, who led the US Cen­tral Com­mand from 2010 to 2013, over­see­ing the US with­drawal from Iraq and a surge in Afghanistan.

Mr Trump called the 66-year-old “the real deal”.

Mr Christie, who threw his sup­port to Mr Trump af­ter his own bid for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion fiz­zled, ap­peared back in favour.

The cam­paign said the pair had a “pro­duc­tive dis­cus­sion” on law en­force­ment and do­mes­tic se­cu­rity.

Oth­ers who met Mr Trump in­cluded Wil­bur Ross, un­der con­sid­er­a­tion for com­merce sec­re­tary, global in­vestor David McCormick, real es­tate in­vestor Jonathan Gray and Bob John­son, the founder of Black En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion.

Mr Trump’s picks so far in­clude ul­tra-con­ser­va­tive Se­na­tor Jeff Ses­sions as at­tor­ney gen­eral, hawk­ish con­gress­man Mike Pom­peo as CIA di­rec­tor and re­tired lieu­tenant gen­eral Michael Flynn as his na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser. –

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