Three more rounds of President-Elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks go before panels of lawmakers in Washington today as they and their witnesses try to prove to the senate committees and to Americans that they are fit for the job.
Today Senator Marco Rubio has switched roles going from his grilling questions on the panel seat with potential Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to defending the next Trump cabinet pick on the witness stand, Dr. Ben Carson, slotted for the Housing and Urban Development Chair.
Rubio went to bat for Carson, who he called a friend and fellow Floridian. Rubio admitted they didn’t have much interaction until last year but spent much of his witness statement talking about Carson’s humor and generosity
“Specifically, I’ve seen how lapses in competence and a lack of accountability in the HUD inspection process has endangered the lives of men, women and children, not just in Florida, but all across their country. HUD needs a leader to covercome tough obstacles. Someone whow hen told you’ll never find a way to do that, finds the way to do that, and does it well,” Sen. Marco Rubio, Witness for Dr. Carson.
The senate confirmation hearing for potential CIA Director, Representative Mike Pompeo kicked off today with scrutiny over the President-Elect’s skepticism about the intelligence community.
The top democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, noted his concern about Trump’s rhetoric against the CIA and asked Pompeo to elaborate on his plan to reassure CIA staff that their work will not be disregarded by the white house.
Trump’s selection to be Defense Secretary also took a turn before a senate committee today. Coming out of the gate with strong language against Russian President Vladimir Putin and facing questions about his views of women in the military.
Retired General James “Mad Dog” Mattis took a hard stance against Russia and Putin in answering a question from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.
McCain said he’s seen three presidents fail at creating new relationships with Putin and Mattis stated he would recognize the reality of what we deal with concerning Putin and prepare our military.
“Our armed forces must remain the best led, best equipped, and most lethal force in the world,” Gen. James Mattis (ret.), Defense Secretary Nominee.
He identified Russian aggression, terrorism and Chinese aggressiveness in the South China Sea as the biggest attacks since World War Two.