Thursday, November 17, 2016

Trump’s nominees may face roadblocks

Senators in both parties say President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks could be in for a rocky confirmation process next year.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton have been flagged as problematic picks because of their hawkish policy views and, in the case of Giuliani, outside business dealings.

Both have been mentioned as possible nominees to head the State Department.

They face staunch opposition from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who says other Republican lawmakers have expressed concern.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R), who backed Trump in the primary, is a possibility to head the Interior Department. Some lawmakers question whether she would be up to speed on policy and note she has a penchant for going off script — something that Cabinet members are urged not to do. 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), who Trump said earlier this year would make a great attorney general, has the “Bridgegate” scandal hanging over his head. Two former associates of the governor were convicted earlier this month of fraud, conspiracy and a civil rights violation after closing lanes on the George Washington Bridge in 2013 in an act of political retribution.

Trump replaced Christie as head of his transition team with Vice President-elect Mike Pence, however, and it appears unlikely the New Jersey governor will receive a Cabinet post. 

Giuliani and Bolton face immediate problems because of their vocal support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“I’ll do whatever I can to stop either, either Giuliani or Bolton, because I don’t think that they support the president-elect’s foreign policy views,” Paul told reporters Wednesday.

Paul noted that Giuliani was an outspoken proponent of former President George W. Bush’s Iraq policy and backed his aggressive foreign policy stances.

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