Trump’s Cabinet Picks: Disagreements Being Aired
Trump’s cabinet picks are disagreeing with some of his signature policy positions under the scrutiny of Senate confirmation hearings. Rex Tillerson, nominated for Secretary of State, Gen. John Kelly, nominated for the Department of Homeland Security, and Sen. Jeff Sessions nominated for the US Justice Department disagreed with rejecting the Muslim ban, waterboarding, and dangers with Russia.
Trump’s Cabinet Picks Seem to Speak Their Mind
Trump’s cabinet picks seem to be speaking their own mind, not President-elect Donald Trump’s. An example comes from Rex Tillerson. He told the confirmation hearings that he supported a massive Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that Trump has denounced. He also warned about the dangers of Russia and said he’d support providing arms to Ukraine. Tillerson said, “I do not oppose” the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Trump has promised he will rip up the Asia-Pacific pact. He also said he would have supported providing defensive arms to Ukraine and he spoke to the potential usefulness of sanctioning Russians. This is at odds with statements Trump has made.
Kelly told the group that he would absolutely abide by US laws prohibiting the use of waterboarding and other forms of torture. Trump has made it clear he wants to bring back waterboarding and “worse” forms of torture in the fight against terrorism. He agreed that the Geneva Conventions should continue to serve as a guide for the US. Kelly also said, “A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job. It has to be a layered defense.” He stressed the need to build partnerships with Latin American countries to combat drug and human trafficking. Building a wall on the US-Mexico border has been one of Trump’s central campaign promises.
Sessions also disagreed with Trump’s idea of returning to waterboarding. He rejected Trump’s call for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. He told the group, “Congress has taken an action now that makes it absolutely improper and illegal to use waterboarding or any other form of torture in the United States by our military and by all our other departments and agencies.” In an attempt to minimize his conflict with Trump on the proposed Muslim ban, Sessions said, “the focus should be on individuals coming from countries that have histories of terrorism.” Trump has never formally withdrawn the idea of a Muslim ban. Sessions said, ‘I have no belief and do not support the idea that Muslims as a religious group should be denied admission to the United States.”
The hearings continue – so does the waiting.