Trump Chooses Cabinet

By: Dory Ille, 1L
Staff Writer

Donald Trump has been the first president since 1968 to announce cabinet picks within the first 2 weeks of an election. His transition team will need to fill over 4,000 appointments in his new administration, ranging from high profile cabinet posts to small agency directors. The following are a mix of his most controversial picks:

Steve Bannon

Steve Bannon was the Executive Chair of far-right Breitbart News. | Source:

Stephen K. Bannon
Senior Counselor, Chief Strategist

Stephen Bannon assumed office on January 20, 2017. Previously, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Trump’s 2016 Campaign. Bannon is one of the earliest and most controversial picks for Trump’s cabinet. Bannon was the Executive Chair of Breitbart News, a far right news website. Gaining much negative attention, Bannon is accused of being racist and anti-Semitic. The Trump administration has stood by Bannon and refuted all such claims, largely blaming the media as unfairly characterizing Bannon. Days after the Inauguration, Bannon stated: “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this: the media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

Reince Priebus
White House Chief of Staff

Reince Priebus assumed office on January 20, 2017. Prior to joining Trump’s team, he was Republican National Committee Chairman, RNC General Counsel, and chairman of the Republican Party of Wisconsin. Priebus has had a long political career that starts well before his appointment to Chief of Staff. From the Wisconsin State Senate all the way to the White House, Priebus has slowly risen in the ranks. He received criticism for his mixed signals of blaming Trump for the chaos he created in the Republican Party, while simultaneously trying to apologize for his behavior during the primaries. However, it looks like Priebus’ efforts eventually paid off. Most recently, Priebus has been fervently defending Trump’s latest executive order, commonly referred to as “the Muslin ban.” He stated it was his responsibility to assure the American people there is a process set up to vet individuals and to “smoothly implement the order.”

Kellyanne Conway
Counselor to the President

Kellyanne Conway assumed office on January 20, 2017. She was previously the Former Senior Advisor to the Donald Trump campaign, and CEO of The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend before that. Conway is the first woman to lead a successful presidential campaign. However, she was not always on the “Trump Train.” Conway first endorsed Ted Cruz in the Republican Presidential primaries where she chaired a pro-Cruz political action committee, which frequently ran negative attack ads on Trump. However, when Ted Cruz dropped out of the primary, she was quickly offered a position as senior advisor. Although many controversies continue to swarm around Ms. Conway, one of her most recent notable remarks was during a Meet the Press interview. Conway used the now infamous phrase “alternative facts” in response to statements describing the attendance at Trump’s inauguration.

Rex Tillerson
Secretary of State

Rex Tillerson was confirmed by the Senate on February 1, 2017, 56 to 43. Tillerson was formlery the CEO of ExxonMobil, a global multi-million dollar company, and his management of that company made him an attractive pick for President Trump. On December 13, Trump said, “Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none. I can think of no one more prepared and no one more dedicated to serve as secretary of state at this critical time in our history.” Trouble began during the Senate confirmation hearings, when Tillerson’s business relationships with Russia became hotly debated. Tillerson has had ties to Russia dating back to the 1990s. In 2011, Tillerson forged a deal with a Russian oil company Rosneff, which allowed ExxonMobil access to Artic Oil deposits. This deal eventually led to Tillerson earning the Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin.


Categories: News
Tags: Dory Ille, News, POTUS