Trump's controversial cabinet

As well as nominating Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, Donald Trump has appointed other prominent businessmen, former generals, ultra-conservatives and climate sceptics to his cabinet, all of whom have little experience in politics. Commentators see his selected team as confirmation of their worst fears about his presidency.

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Contributors (RO) /

A team full of billionaires loyal to the system

Trump cast himself as a critic of the elites in the election campaign but his cabinet can hardly be described as anti-system, political analyst Valentin Naumescu observes on Contributors:

“It looks like the Trump administration will consist of extremely powerful people, most of them enormously rich, top performers with highly successful careers. The key fact here is that all these people got rich within the system (as did Trump himself). In other words in the very same 'corrupt system' - headed by Wall Street - which many of Trump's voters believed he would destroy once he took over as president. … On the contrary, the Trump administration's cabinet of billionaires and retired generals will consolidate the system, much to the dismay of Trump's middle-class voters and the already prominent 'white working class' which tipped the scales in Trump's favour in a few key states.”

Sme (SK) /

A worrying cabinet of curiosities

Donald Trump may well have problems getting Rex Tillerson approved as secretary of state by the Senate, Sme believes:

“Tillerson is like a red flag for the Republicans because of his ties with Vladimir Putin. The hawks in the party see Russia as America's arch-enemy. The fact that Tillerson has been awarded the Russian Order of Friendship and Exxon has promised the Russians an energy partnership is likely to provoke a tumultuous debate in the Senate. ... Many are complaining that Trump is putting together a cabinet of curiosities consisting of billionaires, army generals, authors of conspiracy theories and climate sceptics. Tillerson believes in climate change and wants to stop it. And yes, he is widely considered a man of personal and professional integrity. But it's also true that we'll only know how Trump's team works once it gets down to the job. And bearing in mind what's at stake, that's a worrying prospect.”

Etelä-Suomen-Sanomat (FI) /

Trump only hears what he wants to hear

Trump's choice of governing team confirms the view that he is resistant to good advice, Etelä-Suomen Sanomat believes:

“On the basis of his campaign statements Trump is seen as currying favour with Russia and Putin. In Finland that awakens fears that the major powers could return to the old policy of zones of influence. This distrust won't be eased by the fact that Trump called the CIA information ridiculous. The CIA's main task is to keep the US leadership up to date on security issues. By openly expressing his distrust of the authority, Trump could have revealed why he has appointed people from outside politics instead of experts to the top posts. The risk is that the future president may consistently close his eyes and ears to information that doesn't fit in with his world view.”

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The Guardian (GB) / 15 December 2016
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