Time: 12:37 p.m. CEST
The President-elect Donald Trump announced three key members of the national security team for the upcoming administration. Trump revealed that he would nominate Alabama Senator Jeff Session as attorney general, Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director and he would appoint retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn as national security adviser.
After the announcements, CNN commented that, “all three men take an uncompromising approach to national security and differ sharply from the Obama administration’s doctrine.” As CNN.com further explains, “Session is most known for his tough stance on immigration, and backed the Republican presidential nominee’s proposal early in the campaign to block all Muslims from entering the United States,” “a position Trump has since walked back,” CNN, explains. Session participated in the Gang of Eight immigration reform, which passed the Senate, but did not pass the House.
CNN.com points out that “as attorney general, Sessions would be ultimately in charge of the prosecutorial decisions made on investigations like the one Comey oversaw on Clinton — and could clash with the bureau director, who is serving a 10-year term. Trump has pledged to have a special prosecutor investigate Clinton, though he has hedged on whether he will pursue that since being elected.”
The National Public Radio further says that, Session is a former longtime U.S. attorney in Alabama who went on to serve as the top Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation operations. “But earlier in his career, that same committee denied him a position as a lifetime-tenured federal judge after lawyers testified he had used racially insensitive language. Sessions apologized for saying he thought the KKK was OK “until I found out they smoked pot,” describing the episode as a joke,” says NPR.
CBSNews.com explains, “Sessions is an immigration hard-liner, not in step with mainstream Republicans. In the past year, he has supported mass deportations for immigrants in the country illegally, suggested that the administration quickly deport unaccompanied children and families.”
The New York Times points out that transition officials would meet over the weekend and would discuss possible other members of Trump cabinet. Among them, “are former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney,” and “Michelle Rhee, a Democrat who is the former chancellor of schools in the District of Columbia. The Times says, “But there was no evidence in Friday’s selections that Mr. Trump, who has hinted that he might pursue a more centrist agenda once he sits in the Oval Office, is inclined to moderate his approach on key questions of national security and civil rights.”
Reuters commented Mike Pompeo, 52, a third-term congressman from Kansas, was a surprise pick to lead the Central Intelligence Agency. “He was on the House of Representatives intelligence and energy and commerce committees, as well as the committee investigating the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya,” Reuters writes. He “has echoed Trump’s criticism of the Iran nuclear deal.” In a tweet on Thursday, Pompeo wrote: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism,” Reuters says.
CNN.com writes that retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, “has a reputation for a fiery temperament and has courted controversy with his strident positions on Islam and terrorism, as well as his penchant for sending out conspiracies tweets. He is a former defense intelligence chief and retired lieutenant general.