President-Elect Donald Trump’s Transition Woes

Issues surrounding Donald Trump and his transition team – infighting within the team – contenders for key cabinet portfolios.

President-Elect Donald Trump’s Transition Woes

Infighting has been reported within the Donald Trump transition team, which finds itself in a state of disorganization, especially after the sudden departure of Former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers.

The debate, rather a “knife-fight” according to an insider, is about shuffling within the team, key cabinet positions and questions over the role of his three children and son-in-law in his plans.

According to NBC News which quoted a source as saying Rogers was the victim of a “Stalinesque purge” of people close to Christie. “Two sources close to the situation described an atmosphere of sniping and backbiting as Trump loyalists position themselves for key jobs,” the network reported.

MIke Pence In, Chris Christie as head of Donald Trump's Transition Team
MIke Pence In, Chris Christie Out as head of Donald Trump’s Transition Team

Trump has, however, downplayed the situation by tweeting late Tuesday night, “Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!”

As reported by Reuters following is the list of the key cabinet positions to be filled and the probable contenders:

Secretary of State:

Bob Corker, Tennessee senator and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush

Newt Gingrich, Republican former U.S. House Speaker

Zalmay Khalilzad, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq

Rudy Giuliani, Republican former mayor of New York City

Treasury Secretary:

Steven Mnuchin, former Goldman Sachs executive and Trump’s campaign finance chairman

Jeb Hensarling, Texas Republican congressman and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee

Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officer

Tom Barrack, founder, and chairman of Colony Capital Inc

Defense Secretary:

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency

Stephen Hadley, former national security adviser under President George W. Bush

Jon Kyl, former Republican senator from Arizona

Jeff Sessions, Republican senator from Alabama and early Trump supporter, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Kelly Ayotte, outgoing Republican senator from New Hampshire and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee

Duncan Hunter, Republican congressman from California and early Trump supporter, member of House Armed Services Committee

Jim Talent, former Republican senator from Missouri who was on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Attorney General:

Rudy Giuliani

Jeff Sessions, senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who takes a hard line on immigration

Chris Christie, Republican New Jersey governor

Pam Bondi, Republican Florida Attorney General

Trey Gowdy, Republican congressman from South Carolina who headed the House committee that investigated the 2012 attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya

Health and Human Services Secretary:

Ben Carson, former neurosurgeon, and 2016 Republican presidential candidate
Newt Gingrich

Rich Bagger, former pharmaceutical executive and former top aide to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Bobby Jindal, former Louisiana governor

Homeland Security Secretary:

Michael McCaul, U.S. Republican congressman from Texas and chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee

David Clarke, Milwaukee county sheriff, and vocal Trump supporter

Joe Arpaio, outgoing Maricopa County, Arizona, sheriff who campaigned for Trump.

Head of the Environmental Protection Agency:

Myron Ebell, a climate change skeptic at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute who is overseeing environmental policy on Trump’s transition team

Robert Grady, venture capitalist, partner in private equity firm Gryphon Investors

Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas attorney general

Carol Comer, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management

Energy Secretary:

Harold Hamm, Oklahoma oil and gas mogul, CEO of Continental Resources Inc

Larry Nichols, co-founder of Devon Energy Corp

James Connaughton, CEO of Nautilus Data Technologies and a former environmental adviser to President George W. Bush

U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, of North Dakota

Robert Grady

Interior Secretary:

Sarah Palin, Republican former Alaska governor who ran for vice president in 2008Jan

Brewer, former Arizona governor

Jan Brewer, former Arizona governor

Forrest Lucas, founder of oil products company Lucas Oil

Harold Hamm

Robert Grady

Commerce Secretary:

Linda McMahon, former world Wrestling Entertainment executive and two-time Senate candidate

CIA Director:

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn

Mike Rogers, Republican former representative from Michigan who chaired the House Intelligence Committee

Pete Hoekstra, Republican former representative from Michigan

National Security Adviser:

Lieutenant General Michael Flynn

Stephen Hadley

UN Ambassador Adviser:

Kelly Ayotte

Richard Grenell, former spokesman for the United States at the United Nations
Peter King, Republican representative from New York

U.S. Trade Representative:

Dan DiMicco, former chief executive of steel producer Nucor Corp

Veterans Affairs Secretary:

Jeff Miller, retiring congressman from Florida and chairman of the Veterans Affairs committee

Having made some about turns in his campaign pledges, Trump is intent on implementing some of them, for example, he plans to go ahead with building the Mexican border wall with some fencing in certain parts of the border, limiting abortion rights, closer ties with Russia, no ban on guns for citizens, pulling out of the climate treaty with Paris, abandoning Obama’s “Clean Power Plan”, banning immigration of people from “some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world”, amendment of Obamacare, trade war with China.

While there are apprehensions galore over his presidency in different sectors of the business populace, there are some who feel that such apprehensions are uncalled for. Most have adopted a wait and watch policy and are gearing up for the possible changes before U.S. political landscape.

The fact of the matter remains that Donald Trump is President – elect of the U.S. and the majority of Americans have given him that mandate.

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