Donald Trump ran his winning presidential campaign with the help of a tight-knit circle of close advisers. He won’t have that luxury once he takes control of the federal government. Trump will need to expand his circle – choosing over a dozen Cabinet secretaries and filling out his team. Here’s an early look at what the new Trump Cabinet might look like.
Secretary of State: John Bolton
The former U.N. Ambassador will beat out former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Tennessee Senator Bob Corker for the position. Gingrich won’t want the job and Corker is less qualified. Bolton served under George W. Bush. Trump told radio host Hugh Hewitt, “Bolton is very good at defending me in some of my views, and is very, very strong.”
Secretary of Defense: Michael Flynn
The retired Lt. Gen. has been an important figure in giving Trump military advice and legitimacy throughout the campaign. His only hold-up is a law that stipulates a seven-year pause between an officer’s retirement and taking the defense secretary position. If Congress does not grant a waver, Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions would be the next choice.
Attorney General: Rudy Giuliani
The former New York City mayor can name his job, as he proved to be Trump’s most effective advocate during the presidential campaign. Giuliani has served as U.S. associate attorney general and U.S. attorney. Another possibility would be Gov. Chris Christie, but his troubles in New Jersey might preclude any highly visible appointment to the new Administration.
Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s finance chairman and former Goldman Sachs banker, might be Trump’s first choice. Other possibilities might be Carl Icahn, chair of Icahn Enterprises, and former Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus
The chairman of the Republican National Committee presided over the 2014 midterm takeover of the Senate and did an incredible job of promoting Trump in 2016 without losing the support of mainstream Republicans. As an insider, Priebus is the perfect choice.
Secretary of Heath and Human Services: Dr. Ben Carson
As a loyal Trump surrogate, Carson has earned his confidence. His background as a top neurosurgeon will make him easy to win Senate confirmation.
Secretary of the Interior: Sarah Palin
No one supported Trump more quickly or fully than former Alaska Governor and 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. She wants a Cabinet position; this one fits her well.
Secretary of Commerce: Rick Perry
The longest serving governor in Texas history is strong in areas of finance and commerce. His record in Texas is beyond reproach. As a loyal Trump supporter since abandoning his own presidential ambitions, he is perfectly positioned to land a major position in the Trump Administration.
Press Secretary: Kellyanne Conway
No one played a more important role in the election than Kellyanne Conway. With Trump’s first two campaign managers, Trump flailed. Conway is a seasoned pollster and spokesperson, quick on her feet. She has proven her superior skills in handling the press and making the best case for her candidate. Conway should be Trump’s first and only choice.
Other Key Personnel
If Newt Gingrich wants a position, he will have it. Trump should find a place for former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who prosecuted the case against Clinton daily on Fox News. In an effort to reach out to Democrats, expect Trump to offer a position to centrist Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Finally, Jeff Sessions can have any position he wants, as he was the first U.S. Senator to endorse Donald Trump.