President-elect Donald Trump announced three of his picks for his top staff today: Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser, and Mike Pompeo as CIA director,
The choices have generated applause and criticism, but regardless of opinions Trump’s team will be part of a significant change in government policy from the previous 8 years of President Barack Obama’s administration.
Jeff Sessions: 20 years in the Senate and well liked (on both sides of the isle), experienced conservative lawmaker, tough on immigration, law-and-order oriented. Sessions was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump.
ACLU, NAAC, the largest LGBT organization, and other groups have criticized the choice of Sessions as potentially inflammatory at a time when they would prefer more racial sensitivity.
Those for and against Sessions as a pick expect Sessions will focus on disability cases, religious freedoms, and less on racial discrimination and police discrimination.
Michael Flynn: Retired Lieutenant General in the Army, top U.S. intelligence officer in Afghanistan, became Defense Intelligence Agency head but fired in 2014, made strong statements against Obama’s stance on Islamic radical violence after being fired and about Clinton during the election.
Criticisms include Flynn’s controversial comments about Islam, his temperament, and what some claim is a somewhat friendly relationship with Russia.
Mike Pompeo: Kansas congressman, West Point and Harvard Law graduate, opponent of Iran nuclear deal, bold statements against Islamic radicalization.
Criticisms include that Pompeo could be too partizan for the non-partizan role.
Image: PBS NewsHour