As announced this Friday, Donald Trump has named Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo as CIA Director, and former military intel chief Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser.
All three men have vocally criticized Obama’s handling of international relations and terrorism. Pompeo and Sessions will require Senate approval before assuming office. Flynn, a registered Democrat, must obtain a waiver from Congress because he has not been retired from the Army for seven years – a requirement for the position he has been offered.
President-elect Donald Trump is somewhat of a novice in the realm of foreign policy, and his early decisions are sure to be monitored both at home and overseas. As National Security Adviser, Flynn will operate “by my side as we work to defeat radical Islamic terrorism, navigate geopolitical challenges to keep Americans safe at home and abroad,” said Trump.
In the Army, Flynn built a reputation as a straight talker and intelligence professional. Flynn believes the fight against ISIS requires a more aggressive military and hopes to renegotiate the JCPOA. Flynn has criticized Islam as a “political ideology” that masquerades as a “religion.” Like the President-elect, Flynn desires a closer and more amiable relationship with Russia.
Jeff Sessions was the first Senator to endorse Trump, and has been an ardent supporter ever since. Sessions shares Trump’s stern views on illegal immigration and has been lauded by the billionaire as a “world-class legal mind.”
Sessions is a controversial choice due to numerous accusations of racism. He is a hard-liner on immigration and has served in the Senate since 1997.
Former Trump rival Ted Cruz was pleased by Trump’s decision, praising Sessions’ “extraordinary career in government and law enforcement” and calling the choice “great news for all of us who revere the Constitution and the rule of law.”
Sessions is “humbled” by the nomination and says that he “can think of no greater honor than to lead them [the Department of Justice].”
“I enthusiastically embrace President-elect Trump’s vision for ‘one America’ and his commitment to equal justice under law. I look forward to fulfilling my duties with an unwavering dedication to fairness and impartiality,” said Sessions.
Mike Pompeo is known for his conservative viewpoints and his strong criticism of the JCPOA. The Tea Party favorite is a member of the House Select Committee on Intelligence and has been an avid supporter of the Patriot Act.
Pompeo believes former NSA contractor Edward Snowden should face the death penalty and has stated that Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in terrorism if they do not “cite the Quran as evidence that the murder of innocents is not permitted.”
Other leading national security posts are up for grabs, and candidates for Secretary of State are believed to include:
• Former UN ambassador John Bolton
• Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani
• Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
• South Carolina Governor and past Trump enemy Nikki Haley
Filled positions include Chief of Staff (given to Reince Priebus) and Chief Strategist (given to Breitbart News’ Executive Chairman Steve Bannon).
Trump plans to meet with retired General James Mattis, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and others this weekend at his golf club in New Jersey. He met with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe on Thursday – Trump’s first meeting with one of the many world leaders eager to meet America’s new president.
The President-elect has also scheduled meetings with some of his fiercest Republican critics, a move that has eased some of the worries about Trump’s rocky transition into the White House. “Establishment Republicans viewed the more recent developments with relief on Thursday – a signal that Trump may be giving more serious thought to addressing the deep fissures in his party,” reports CNN.