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Here's A Full Breakdown Of Who Donald Trump Has Selected For His Cabinet

Now that he's president, Donald Trump is in the process of selecting his cabinet, or the people who will help him run the country.

Here are the people Trump has selected for his cabinet and other key positions so far, with information on whether they've been confirmed by the Senate.

This list will continue to be updated.

Attorney General

Jeff Sessions

REUTERS

Who:

Senator Jeff Sessions

Background:

Trump has selected Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be his attorney general.

Sessions is a hardliner on immigration and doesn't support criminal justice reform. He's also a climate change skeptic, is staunchly against abortion and opposes same-sex marriage.

In 1986, Sessions was nominated for a federal judgeship by President Ronald Reagan.

His nomination was ultimately rejected after former colleagues testified that Sessions used the n-word, and also once joked he thought the KKK was “OK, until he learned they smoked marijuana.”

Screenshot of a tweet about Jeff Sessions.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Jeff Sessions.

Twitter

Sessions has also made controversial remarks about civil rights groups.

Screenshot of a tweet about Donald Trump.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet from the NAACP.

Twitter

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Homeland Security Secretary

Trump and John Kelly

REUTERS

Who:

John F. Kelly

Background:

Trump has selected John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general and border security hawk, to be his secretary of homeland security.

Kelly, who is widely respected, served in the Marine Corps for over 40 years and his son was killed in combat in Afghanistan.

But he generated controversy in the past over opposing President Obama's plans to close Guantanamo Bay detention center, as well as the Pentagon's decision to open all combat roles to women.

Some are concerned Kelly will not commit to protecting human rights.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Treasury Secretary

Steven Mnuchin

REUTERS

Who:

Steven Mnuchin

Background:

Trump has selected Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker with strong roots in Hollywood, to be his treasury secretary.

He worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years.

Mnuchin's past activities stand in contrast with Trump's campaign rhetoric, which explains why some Trump supporters feel betrayed by this nomination.

Mnuchin, who served as Trump's campaign finance chairman, has no government experience.

Does this position require Senate confirmation:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Defense Secretary

Donald Trump and General Mattis

REUTERS

Who:

James “Mad Dog” Mattis

Background:

Trump has selected retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis to be his defense secretary.

Mattis led a Marine division to Baghdad in 2003 and led the United States Central Command from 2010 to 2013.

He's been a harsh critic of the Obama administration, particularly when it comes to the Iran nuclear deal (he's not a fan of Iran whatsoever).

Mattis is widely respected, but has been known to say things that generate controversy.

In 2005, for example, he said “It's fun to shoot some people” while speaking about the war in Afghanistan.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Health and Human Services Secretary

Congressman Tom Price

REUTERS

Who:

Congressman Tom Price

Background: 

Trump has selected Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon and six-term Republican congressman from Georgia, to be his secretary of health and human services.

Price wants to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).

He's the author of the Empowering Patients First Act, a comprehensive proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Price is also an opponent of abortion and has supported legislation to bar federal funds to Planned Parenthood.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes


Transportation Secretary

Elaine Chao and her husband Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

REUTERS

Who:

Elaine L. Chao

Background:

Trump has selected Elaine Chao, who has a fair amount of experience in Washington, to be Transportation Secretary.

Chao, who served as the Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush, is also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

She also served in the Department of Transportation as a maritime administrator, and subsequently as deputy secretary under President George H.W. Bush.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Environmental Protection Agency Administrator

Scott Pruitt

REUTERS

Who:

Scott Pruitt

Background:

Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma's attorney general, to head the EPA.

Pruitt is a climate change denier and a strong ally of the fossil fuel industry.

Screenshot of a tweet from Bernie Sanders.

Twitter

He believes the debate over climate change is “far from settled.”

Pruitt is currently suing the EPA over the Clean Power Plan, an Obama administration policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions from power plants, which makes him an interesting choice for this position.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Labor Secretary (Update: Andrew Puzder withdrew nomination, R. Alexander Acosta nominated)

Andrew Puzder

REUTERS

Who:

Andrew F. Puzder

Background:

Trump has selected fast food CEO Andrew F. Puzder to be Secretary of Labor.

Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's.

He's staunchly against raising the minimum wage and very critical of Obamacare, claiming it's adversely impacted the job market.

But he's also a proponent of low-skilled immigration, given he's a CEO in an industry dominated by low-skilled workers who are often immigrants, and sometimes even undocumented immigrants.

With that said, Puzder's views arguably stand in contrast to Trump's rhetoric and policy proposals on immigration.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Puzder withdrew his nomination. Subsequently, Trump nominated R. Alexander Acosta.

R. Alexander Acosta speaking with the press.

REUTERS

Who: 

R. Alexander Acosta

Background:

After Puzder withdrew his nomination amid controversy, Trump nominated Acosta, the dean of Florida International University's law school and former assistant attorney general.

If confirmed, Acosta would be the first Hispanic in Donald Trump's cabinet.

Acosta was a member of the the National Labor Relations Board under President George W. Bush from 2002 to 2003.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Not yet.


Secretary of Veterans Affairs

David Shulkin talking into a microphone and holding his hand out.

REUTERS

Who:

David J. Shulkin

Background:

Dr. David J. Shulkin was unanimously confirmed to serve as secretary of veteran affairs.

He's the first nonveteran to serve in this position, but served as under secretary of health for the Department of Veterans Affairs from 2015 to 2017.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.

Small Business Administration

Linda McMahon

REUTERS

Who:

Linda McMahon

Background:

Trump has selected Linda McMahon, co-founder of the pro-wrestling enterprise World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), to head the Small Business Administration.

McMahon, a Republican from Connecticut, has never held elected office. She ran for US Senate twice (in 2010 and 2012), but failed in both attempts.

Although McMahon was deeply critical of Trump's remarks toward women, she donated a significant amount of money to his campaign.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Commerce Secretary

Wilbur Ross

REUTERS

Who:

Wilbur Ross

Background:

Trump has selected Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor, for Secretary of Commerce. He's estimated to be worth around $2.5 billion.

Ross is an old friend of Trump's and helped the president-elect save his casino company after it went bankrupt in the 1990s.

Like Trump, Ross is critical of trade agreements and has complained China has taken too many jobs from America.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Education Secretary

Betsy DeVos

REUTERS

Who: 

Betsy DeVos

Background:

Trump has selected Betsy DeVos, a billionaire education activist, to be Education Secretary.

DeVos is a strong supporter of school choice, and selecting her signifies school vouchers will be a big part of the Trump administration's approach to education.

School vouchers allow parents to use taxpayer money to send their kids to private schools.

Supporting school choice also means DeVos is a proponent of charter schools, which are publicly funded but privately run.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

Ben Carson

REUTERS

Who: 

Ben Carson

Background:

Trump has selected Ben Carson, the famed neurosurgeon and failed presidential candidate, to be Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Carson has never held elected office and has no specific qualifications or experience in the areas this department focuses on.

Some have defended Carson's appointment by claiming he's qualified because he lived in public housing. But this isn't true because he never lived in public housing.

Screenshot of a tweet about Ben Carson.

Twitter

In mid-November, Carson told Trump he didn't want a position in his administration because “he has no government experience” and wouldn't want to do anything “that could cripple the presidency.”

Evidently, Carson changed his mind because he accepted Trump's nomination in early December.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Secretary of State

Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin.

REUTERS

Who:

Rex Tillerson

Background:

Trump has selected Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.

Tillerson has no government experience, but has significant international experience through his career in the oil industry.

He also happens to have a very close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and some find his nomination controversial.

Screenshot of a tweet about Trump's secretary of state pick.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Rex Tillerson.

Twitter

During his campaign, Trump signified a strong desire to improve US-Russia relations. In selecting Tillerson, it seems Trump was very serious.

But this decision clearly does not sit well with some people, given America's historically contentious relationship with Russia and Putin's dubious reputation.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Energy Secretary

Rick Perry

REUTERS

Who:

Rick Perry

Background:

Donald Trump has selected Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and failed presidential candidate, to be the secretary of energy.

This is interesting, given Perry attempted to list the Department of Energy as one of the agencies he intended to eliminate during a televised debate in 2011, but he couldn't remember its name. At the time, Perry said, “Oops.”

Perry was also very critical of Donald Trump during the election cycle, but the president-elect is apparently willing to look past this.

The Department of Energy's primary role is overseeing the nation's arsenal of nuclear weapons. Perry has no experience in this arena.

Comparatively, the two men who served as President Obama's energy secretaries were physicists, one of whom received the Nobel Prize.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Not yet.


Interior Secretary

Ryan Zinke.

REUTERS

Who:

Ryan Zinke

Background:

Trump has selected Ryan Zinke, a Montana congressman and former Navy SEAL who served in Iraq, to be interior secretary.

Zinke is a climate change skeptic.

In 2014, Zinke said climate change is “not a hoax,” but also claimed it's “not a settled science.”

Zinke has frequently opposed environmental policies, such as the EPA's Clean Water Rule and Clean Power Plan.

Given all this, many are concerned about his nomination due to the fact the interior secretary is responsible for overseeing the country's federal land and resources.

Some think Zinke might open up public lands to drilling and mining and also believe he poses a threat to America's national parks.

The League of Conservation Voters, a pro-environmental advocacy group, gave Zinke a lifetime score of 3 percent.

In short, he hasn't proven to be a friend of the environment during his political career.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Director of the Office of Management and Budget

Mick Mulvaney frowning.

REUTERS

Who:

Mick Mulvaney

Background:

Mulvaney, a staunch conservative who served as a congressman for South Carolina's 5th congressional district from 2011 until his confirmation as OMB Director, is a huge proponent of spending cuts.

He's in favor of repealing Obamacare and investing in infrastructure.

His nomination drew ire from Republicans and Democrats alike.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Agriculture Secretary

Sonny Perdue smiling with his hand on his heart.

REUTERS

Who:

Sonny Perdue

Background:

Trump selected Sonny Perdue to be secretary of agriculture.

Perdue, a Republican and the former governor of Georgia, has a strong agricultural background.

He grew up on a farm and earned a doctorate in veterinary medicine.

In 2007, he gained national attention when he called for a vigil to pray for rain as Georgia suffered from a terrible drought.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Not yet.


UN Ambassador

Nikki Haley with her hands in the air.

REUTERS

Who:

Nikki Haley

Background:

Trump has selected South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to be the US ambassador to the UN.

Haley, who was very critical of Trump during his campaign, was the first woman and first person of color the president-elect picked to be in his cabinet.

But she has no experience in foreign affairs.

Screenshot of a tweet about Nikki Haley.

Twitter

Screenshot of a tweet about Nikki Haley.

Twitter.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


Central Intelligence Agency

Mike Pompeo

REUTERS

Who:

Congressman Mike Pompeo

Background:

Trump has selected Mike Pompeo, a Kansas congressman and former Army officer, to head the CIA.

Pompeo is a member of the House Intelligence Committee.

He was a particularly vocal critic of Hillary Clinton during the congressional investigation regarding the 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

Privacy advocates are reportedly concerned about Pompeo's nomination, given he's a strong advocate of expanding US surveillance both at home and abroad.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

Yes.

Confirmed?:

Yes.


National Security Adviser (Update: Michael Flynn resigned)

Michael Flynn

REUTERS

Who: 

Michael Flynn

Background:

Trump has selected Michael Flynn, the retired Army lieutenant general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, to be his national security adviser.

Flynn is one of Trump's most controversial picks, particularly in relation to comments he's made on Islam.

The retired army general is also taking flak over the fact his son has promoted the Pizzagate conspiracy, which alleges Democrats ran a child sex ring out of a restaurant in Washington, DC.

Screenshot of a tweet about Pizzagate.

Twitter

Flynn has also been criticized for sharing fake news stories and conspiracy theories on social media.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.

But Flynn resigned during the first month of Trump's presidency amid controversy involving his communications with Russia.


Chief Strategist

Bannon CEO of Republican presidential nominee Trump's campaign is pictured during a round table with the Republican Leadership Initiative at Trump Tower in the Manhattan borough of New York

REUTERS

Who:

Stephen K. Bannon

Background:

Trump has selected Stephen K. Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News and Trump's campaign CEO, to be his chief strategist.

Bannon is arguably Trump's most controversial pick.

He's been accused of antisemitism and racism in the past, and once referred to Breitbart as “the platform for the al-right.”

The alt-right is a white supremacist movement.

Many have condemned Trump for picking Bannon for this role.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.


White House Chief of Staff

reince priebus smiling a little

REUTERS

Who:

Reince Priebus

Background: 

Trump has selected Reince Preibus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, to be White House chief of staff.

Preibus was very loyal to Trump throughout his campaign, even after a number of controversies.

Trump supporters appear to approve of this move.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.


Press Secretary

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer in the White House press briefing room.

REUTERS

Who:

Sean Spicer

Background:

Spicer was the communications director and chief strategist for the Republican National Committee prior to becoming White House press secretary.

His first month as press secretary was very rocky, and he already has a very contentious relationship with the media.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.


White House Counsel

Donald McGahn leaving a building.

REUTERS

Who:

Donald F. McGahn II

Background:

McGahn is an experienced campaign finance lawyer and former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission.

Before becoming White House counsel he worked at Jones Day law firm and as general counsel for the Trump campaign.

In his first month as White House counsel, he definitely had his hands full, and will likely continue to with Trump as president.

He reportedly played a key role in Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch for the Supreme Court.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.


Counselor

Kellyanne Conway during an interview.

Twitter

Who:

Kellyanne Conway

Background:

Conway served as Trump's campaign manager and spokeswoman.

She's one of the most controversial figures in the Trump administration and, like Sean Spicer, has a contentious relationship with the media.

Are We Living In A Post-Fact America?

Conway's assertion the Trump administration has “alternative facts” drew particular ire from the media and continues to be a controversial statement.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.


Senior Adviser to the President

Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner arrive at inauguration ceremonies swearing in Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States on the West front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2017.

REUTERS

Who: 

Jared Kushner

Background:

Jared Kushner is Trump's son-in-law. He's married to Ivanka trump.

His role in the White House is definitely controversial, and some have accused Trump of nepotism.

The Department of Justice, however, concluded Kushner's appointment did not violate anti-nepotism laws.

Kushner will advise Trump on everything from the Middle East and Israel to trade policy.

Does this position require Senate confirmation?:

No.

Citations: Vox, CNN, Wall Street Journal, NPR, ThinkProgress, NBC News, The Washington Post, Politifact, National Review, New York Times, CityLab, The Atlantic, Huffington Post, The Intercept, ABC News, Politico, LA Times

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John Haltiwanger

Editor

John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.
John Haltiwanger is the Senior Politics Writer at Elite Daily. He was born and raised in DC. John earned an MSc in International Relations from the Univ. Of Glasgow and a BA in History from St. Mary's College of MD. He loves life, and burritos.

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