By Carson Kipp
With President Elect Donald Trump set to be inaugurated in just over a week, he has begun to assemble his cabinet. While most of his appointments seem like normal candidates for their designated roles, other have left the media and voters confused.
So far Trump has appointed 26 individuals to his administration, ten of which do not require approval by Senate. Some of the most controversial of the group include Trump’s campaign CEO and former chairman of Breitbart News, Steve Bannon and, most recently, son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Bannon in particular has been under heavy watch by media due to some of the controversial topics featured on Breitbart, which Bannon has described as “a platform for the alt-right”. Reactions to Bannon’s announcement have been mostly negative, some even going as far as calling Bannon a “White Supremacist” or a “Voice of Racism”. However current President Barrack Obama says during a news conference “It’s important for us to let him make his decisions, the American people will judge over the course of the next couple of years whether they like what they see.”
On the other hand, the legality of Jared Kushner’s appointment is under examination, as it may potentially go against anti-nepotism laws. Even with legal troubles aside, some still wonder if Kushner’s holds the credentials to be Trump’s Senior Advisor as a New York realtor. The Trump campaign has attempted to counteract these arguments by stating that Kushner holds a broad portfolio that includes government operations, trade deals and Middle East policy.
Further controversies have risen from the announcement of CEO of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson and Michigan Billionaire, Betsy DeVos. DeVos in particular has faced some opposition to her appointment because of her openly resistant policies towards the LGBTQ community. As Secretary of Education, some are concerned that DeVos will not provide a safe learning space for students who belong to the LGBTQ community. The Trump administration plans to withdraw some of the federal guidance to the states on protecting the transgender community which was previously established by the Obama administration, and DeVos, with similar views on the matter, is expected to extend these policies to the education system if confirmed. On the other hand, CEO Rex Tillerson has been deemed “ill-prepared and disengaged” for a position as important as Secretary of State. Most of TIllerson’s opposition has come from Senator Marco Rubio who believes that Tillerson “lacks the moral clarity in regards to foreign human rights abuses.”
A common theme throughout Trump’s cabinet picks seem to be a concern for ill preparedness and a lack of sound moral beliefs on matters such as protection of minorities. As the Senate continues to unveil their votes on Trump’s cabinet, public opinion seems to remain against the picks. Even despite all the backlash, President-elect Donald Trump still believes that all of his appointments have been fair and that his candidates are qualified for their positions calling his administration during a press conference “one of the strongest cabinets in our country’s history.”