US Election 2016

Trump's presidential cabinet takes shape

Trump's possible cabinet
Image caption US President-elect Donald Trump's top team has begun to take shape

US-President-elect Donald Trump's team is taking shape as he prepares to move into the White House.

The Republican is widely expected to recruit from a select cadre of loyalists as he assembles his cabinet-in-waiting.

Two posts have already been hired, with a series of executive branch appointments to follow in the coming weeks.

As well as his top team, the president-elect has about 4,000 government positions to fill.

Mr Trump has hired a host of lobbyists and corporate consultants to help him navigate the Washington DC "swamp" that he pledged to drain.

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Media captionIs this Trump's White House cabinet?

Reince Priebus - chief of staff

Mr Priebus, 44, has been chosen as Mr Trump's White House gatekeeper.

As chairman of the Republican National Committee, he was a bridge between the Republican nominee and a party establishment that was embarrassed by its own presidential standard-bearer.

But he has never held elected office and brings no policy experience to the White House in a role serving as a liaison to cabinet agencies.

Mr Priebus is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in steering the new administration's legislative agenda.

Image copyright Reuters

Stephen Bannon - chief strategist

Though not a cabinet appointment, Mr Bannon could wield immense influence behind the scenes as one of Mr Trump's key advisers.

The Breitbart News executive will be the president's senior counsellor, though he will work as "equal partners" with Mr Priebus, creating twin power bases in the West Wing.

A number of critics have denounced Mr Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker, as a supporter of white supremacy.

The firebrand conservative helped transform Breitbart into the leading mouthpiece of the party's fringe, anti-establishment wing.


Newt Gingrich - secretary of state

The combative conservative, an early Trump supporter who made it on to the shortlist of running mates, has been tipped as America's top diplomat.

As Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1994, Mr Gingrich masterminded the Republican wave election that won control of the chamber from Democrats.

The 73-year-old former Georgia legislator quit the speakership because of ethics violations.

Mr Gingrich, who recently accused Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly of being "fascinated" by sex, made a failed run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011.

Image copyright AP

Rudy Giuliani - attorney general

One of Mr Trump's most ardent surrogates, Mr Giuliani is being mentioned for the post of America's top prosecutor.

As New York Mayor during 9/11, he became the face of the city's resilience amid the rubble of the World Trade Center.

He also introduced NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, which critics said was a form of racial profiling.

Mr Trump, who ran as the law-and-order candidate, has championed the tactic.

Mr Giuliani, a former New York prosecutor, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Image copyright AP

Chris Christie - commerce secretary

After his own Republican presidential campaign foundered this year, the New Jersey governor promptly endorsed Mr Trump.

Mr Christie, 54, currently overseeing Mr Trump's White House transition, has been mentioned for various posts in the administration, including commerce secretary.

But he has been tainted by a scandal over the closure of a major bridge linking New Jersey and New York City, allegedly to punish a local mayor.

Since presidential cabinet appointments must go before the Senate, confirmation could be problematic while this cloud hangs over him.

Image copyright Reuters

Jeff Sessions - defence secretary

The US senator from Alabama is being touted as a possible Pentagon chief.

At his victory bash in New York, Mr Trump said of Mr Sessions, "he is highly respected in Washington because he is as smart as you get".

The 69-year-old was a supporter of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which Mr Trump recently called "a terrible and stupid thing".

Mr Sessions sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Budget Committee.

Image copyright AFP

Michael Flynn - national security adviser

Mr Flynn, a retired three-star US Army lieutenant general, helped Mr Trump connect with veterans despite the candidate's lack of military service.

He claims he was forced out of his role as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-14 because of his views on radical Islam.

During the campaign, he pilloried the Obama administration's approach to the threat posed by the Islamic State group.

Image copyright AFP

Steven Mnuchin - Treasury secretary

Mr Trump himself floated the idea of naming his finance chairman for the post of Treasury Secretary.

But it's unclear whether Mr Trump's supporters would welcome the idea of handing the levers of national tax policy to a consummate Wall Street insider.

Mr Mnuchin amassed a fortune during his 17 years at Goldman Sachs, before founding a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

However, a Trump aide has also confirmed they have asked JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon to be US Treasury Secretary; it's not clear how he responded.

Image copyright AFP

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