US & Canada

Trump adds Fox News' KT McFarland to national security team

KT McFarland and Donald McGahn Image copyright AP
Image caption The nominations of KT McFarland and Donald NcGahn were announced by Mr Trump's transition team

US President-elect Donald Trump has filled two senior administration posts as he continues to build his team.

KT McFarland, a former government official who has most recently worked as Fox News analyst, is to serve as deputy national security adviser.

Campaign lawyer Donald McGahn will be White House counsel.

The latest appointments come as a request for a recount of the votes is due to be filed in Wisconsin where Mr Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump confirmed the nominations in a statement from his transition team on Friday.

He praised Ms McFarland's "tremendous experience and innate talent'' which he said would "complement the fantastic team we are assembling".

Ms McFarland, who has worked in the administrations of former presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan, will assist retired Lt Gen Michael Flynn, who has been appointed national security adviser.

Hardliners

Of Mr McGhan, a lawyer who worked on his campaign, Mr Trump said he had "a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law".

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jeff Sessions, left, is an enthusiastic backer of Mr Trump's plan to build a wall along the Mexican border

Gen Flynn has drawn concern over his strident views on Islam.

The nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was rejected from becoming a federal judge in 1986 because of alleged racist remarks.

Mike Pompeo, named as CIA director, is a hardline Republican Congressman.

Stephen Bannon, chairman of the controversial right-wing website Breitbart News, is to be Mr Trump's chief strategist.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, a strong critic of Mr Trump on during the campaign, was nominated as US ambassador to the UN, becoming is the first non-white female appointed to the new top team.

Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), will be his chief of staff.

Foreign influence?

The recount in Wisconsin is due to be filed by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. Friday is the deadline for the request.

Voting-rights lawyers who urged candidates to request recounts, John Bonifaz and J Alex Halderman, say the result needs to be closely analysed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Green Party's Jill Stein is leading the campaign for recounts

The also called for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania's deadline is Monday, and Michigan's is Wednesday.

A Clinton victory in Wisconsin alone would not overturn Mr Trump's lead - the state provides only 10 votes in the crucial electoral college that gave him victory.

But wins in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania would have clinched the presidency for the Democrat.

The fact that the results in the three states was different from what polls predicted was "probably not" down to hacking, Mr Halderman said. Concerns over possible Russian interference had been expressed in the run-up to the vote.

"The only way to know whether a cyber-attack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidenceā€Š," he wrote.

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