By Adam Hornbuckle
Over the past month president-elect Donald Trump has been slowly selecting who will serve in his presidential cabinet, and so far the choices have been nothing short of controversial. Trump has to fill hundreds of positions, however, the top spots are Chief of Staff, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Secretary of Defense, Chief Strategist and Attorney General; all except one have been filled.
Trump’s Chief of Staff will be Reince Priebus, who previously served as chair of the Republican National Committee. Priebus played a key role in getting Trump elected through his leadership in the Republican National Committee and clearly gained Trump’s trust in the process. As the Chief of staff, Priebus will be the president-elect’s top aide and advisor; he will play a large role in the west wing of the white house.
For National Security, advisor Trump selected retired Army Lieutenant General Mike Flynn. Flynn is a registered democrat but is perceived to have more in common with republicans when it comes to national security, given his more aggressive approach in the Middle East. Flynn has also come under sharp criticism for a statement he made in an August speech saying that Islamism is a “vicious cancer inside the body of 1.7 billion people” that has to be “excised,” according to CNN.
The most controversial of appointees to the president-elect’s cabinet thus far has been the selection of Steve Bannon for the position of Chief Strategist. Bannon has most recently served as executive chair for the conservative news agency Breitbart news. Bannon has described himself as a member of the ‘alt right.’
For the position of Attorney General, Trump has selected Jeff Sessions. Sessions has represented Alabama in the U.S senate since 1997 and before that was the Alabama state Attorney General for two years. Democratic politicians have criticized the choice of Sessions because of his failed nomination to the U.S District Court for the southern district of Alabama in 1986. Sessions was nominated for the position by Ronald Reagan and was opposed by the NAACP.
Trump chose retired Marine General James Mattis to serve as the Secretary of Defense under his administration. Mattis served in the U.S Marine corps from 1969 to 2013 and at the time of his retirement held the rank of four-star general. Mattis served in a leadership position for the Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War and Iraq War of 2003.
As for Secretary of State, the position has yet to be filled. Mitt Romney, David Petraeus and Rudy Giuliani have been two individuals presumed to be in the front running for the position.