Donald Trump chooses controversial administration list

United States President-elect Donald Trump has selected a controversial group of people to leadership positions.

ATTORNEY GENERAL: JEFF SESSIONS

  • The first US senator to endorse Trump’s presidential bid.
  • Has long taken a tough stance on illegal immigration, opposing any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

CIA DIRECTOR: MIKE POMPEO

  • Kansas congressman who serves on the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which oversees the CIA, National Security Agency and cyber security.
  • Supports the government’s sweeping collection of Americans’ communications data and wants to scrap the nuclear deal with Iran.

COMMERCE SECRETARY: WILBUR ROSS

  • Net worth estimated by Forbes at about $2.9 billion.
  • Blames the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico and the 2001 entry of China into the World Trade Organisation for causing massive US factory job losses.

DEFENCE SECRETARY: JAMES MATTIS

  • Former leader of Central Command, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East and South Asia.
  • Known by many by his nickname “Mad Dog,” was rebuked for saying in 2005: “It’s fun to shoot some people.”

EDUCATION SECRETARY: BETSY DEVOS

  • Billionaire Republican donor and an advocate for the privatisation of education.
  • Has pushed for vouchers that families can use to send their children to private schools rather than public education.

ENERGY SECRETARY: RICK PERRY

  • Former Texas governor and oil drilling advocate, sceptical about climate change.
  • Famously could not remember the name of the energy department when asked about it during a debate in his 2012 presidential run.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY ADMINISTRATOR: SCOTT PRUITT

  • An ardent opponent of President Barack Obama’s measures to stem climate change.
  • Currently Oklahoma attorney-general, Pruitt favours cutting the agency back and eliminating regulation he says is stifling oil and gas drilling.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SECRETARY: TOM PRICE

  • Congressman and orthopaedic surgeon who heads the House Budget Committee.
  • Has criticized Obamacare and has championed a plan of tax credits, expanded health savings accounts and lawsuit reforms to replace it.

HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: BEN CARSON

  • Retired neurosurgeon who dropped out of the Republican presidential nominating race in March and threw his support to Trump.
  • A popular writer and speaker in conservative circles.

INTERIOR SECRETARY: RYAN ZINKE

  • Congressman who has voted for legislation that would weaken environmental safeguards on public lands.
  • He has taken stances favouring coal, a fossil fuel that suffered during the Obama administration.

LABOR SECRETARY: ANDREW PUZDER

  • Chief executive of CKE Restaurants , which runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s fast-food chains.
  • Has argued that higher minimum wages would hurt workers by forcing restaurants to close.

NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: MICHAEL FLYNN

  • Began his Army career in 1981 and was deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • Became head of the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2012 under Barack Obama but reportedly retired a year earlier than expected and became a fierce critic of Obama’s foreign policy.

SECRETARY OF STATE: REX TILLERSON

  • Has spent his entire career at Exxon Mobil, where he rose to serve as its chairman and CEO in 2006.
  • Has close ties with Moscow and opposed US sanctions against Russia for its incursion into Crimea.

TREASURY SECRETARY: STEVEN MNUCHIN

  • Successful private equity investor, hedge fund manager and Hollywood financier who spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs until 2002.
  • Housing advocacy groups have criticised the bank he works for, OneWest Bank, for being too quick to foreclose on struggling homeowners.

AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS: NIKKI HALEY

  • Governor of South Carolina since 2011 with little experience in foreign policy.
  • Led a successful push last year to remove the Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the South Carolina state capitol after the killing of nine black churchgoers in Charleston by a white gunman.

Reuters