President-elect Trump's proposed Cabinet
Washington, DC, January 9, 2017
A run down of my thoughts on President-elect Trump's choices for the cabinet and other high-ranking posts.
Steve Bannon, Chief Strategist
“We’ve been asked to give President-elect Trump the ‘benefit of the doubt,’ but I think this dispels any hope that he would finally distance himself from people who promote hateful, racist scapegoating.
“Steve Bannon has a history of peddling conspiracy theories from the far-right fringe as he slanders Jews, Muslims, immigrants, women, LGBT Americans and others while promoting white nationalism. His presence will absolutely defile the White House and, like many Mainers, I’m absolutely horrified that he will play a critical role on the President’s new team.
“A majority of voters did not want Donald Trump to be President, and many are rightfully scared about what his presidency will mean for their rights and lives. If President-elect Trump and my Republican colleagues are serious about dispelling fears and unifying the country, Bannon’s appointment should be rescinded.”
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
“The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development oversees many programs that are critical to Maine communities and families. To name just a few, Community Development Block Grants help fund infrastructure improvements in our downtowns, affordable housing programs and rental assistance ensure that people in need have a roof over their heads, and Federal Housing Authority mortgage guarantees make the dream of home ownership possible for thousands of Maine families. I worry for the future of these important programs if Dr. Ben Carson is confirmed as Secretary.
“As any employer knows, you should base hiring decisions on someone’s relevant experience and skill set. By his own admission, Dr. Carson has neither. He expressed just last month that he has no experience in government and has never run this scale of operation. Maine and the country deserve better. HUD is simply too important to have someone so uniquely unqualified at the helm.”
General Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor
"Further, although I commend the military service of Michael Flynn, it’s clear that he has extremist views on the immigration of Muslims, religious intolerance, and will put America's national security at risk. The fact that he has possible ties to Russian President Putin is one of many reasons to be concerned.
Steve Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary and Rep. Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services
Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy
“As Maine is already dealing with the effects of climate change, it’s crucial that our country move away from fossil fuels while promoting energy efficiency and developing sources of clean, renewable power. The Department of Energy has a key role in these efforts. Over the last eight years, the agency’s investments have been vital in advancing exciting projects in Maine, from the University of Maine’s development of an offshore wind turbine to Ocean Renewable Power Company’s tidal generators. With his fondness for fossil fuels, denials of climate change, and past proposals to disband the Department of Energy outright, I think Governor Perry will take our energy policy and economy in the wrong direction.”
Scott Pruitt, Head of EPA
Andrew Puzder, Secretary of Labor
Senator Jeff Sessions, Attorney General
“Senator Jeff Sessions has a clear right-wing conservative vision of the judiciary that will include a crack down on women’s rights, unreasonable views on immigration, policies against any gun reforms, and will reverse the progress we have made over the past eight years in improving our civil rights laws. It is beyond belief that Trump would suggest a man for Attorney General who has had a checkered past on racial issues, and has tacitly supported racial fringe organizations.
Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State
“In itself, Rex Tillerson’s lack of experience in foreign policy and diplomatic relations raises serious questions that should be examined closely. But what’s most concerning right now is his close connection to Russia. With all that we are discovering about Russia’s work to sway the outcome of our election, it’s deeply troubling to see a possible Secretary of State who not only has ongoing business interests in Russia but a personal closeness to Vladimir Putin. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to look at all of these questions very closely.”