President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team are at work vetting individuals to serve in the incoming White House cabinet.
And a few names have cropped up repeatedly for the secretary of state job — former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, former US ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.
Here’s a rundown on each candidate.
As of now, Giuliani is Trump’s “top pick” for secretary of state, according to The Wall Street Journal. Giuliani was mayor of New York City during the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has been a controversial figure on the campaign trail — he gave a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention in July and has been one of Trump’s top surrogates ever since.
Giuliani was a high-profile prosecutor before he served as mayor, which established his reputation as a firebrand. While he was mayor, he was known to practice a localised version of foreign policy, The New York Times noted this week. He once kicked Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat out of a symphony performance at the Lincoln Center in New York, refused to dine with Cuban leader Fidel Castro, and threatened to boot the UN from its headquarters in the city.
The Times describes him as a neoconservative who supports Israel, is suspicious of Iran, and believes in aggressive foreign policy.
Corker confirmed to CNBC this week that he is being considered for the secretary of state job and has had conversations with the Trump transition team. Corker also, however, told The Tennessean that he doesn’t expect to get the job.
Corker has been a senator since 2007 and is the current chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He seems to differ with Trump somewhat on his views of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Corker told CBS News this week that, while its good for two world leaders to begin their relationship on a “positive note,” Putin has also “shown himself to be a brutal dictator-like leader” who has “worked against our national interests.”
Bolton, a former US ambassador to the UN under President George W. Bush, is another rumoured pick for secretary of state.
He’s a well-known neoconservative hawk who is currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. In addition to serving as UN ambassador, Bolton worked in the State Department under Bush and was one of the architects of the Iraq War.
Like Trump, he opposes the Iran nuclear deal, but unlike the president-elect, he’s rather interventionist in his foreign policy.
The former House speaker and Georgia congressman was another one of Trump’s top surrogates during the campaign. Before the election, Trump said that Gingrich would have a role in his administration if he won, and Gingrich has remarked recently that he would like to be involved in Trump’s government.
Gingrich was House speaker in the 1990s, but has since then developed a reputation for his rhetoric that, in many ways, mirrors Trump’s. He ran for president in 2012, but failed to win the Republican nomination. He also racked up ethics complaints during his time serving in the House.
Haley’s name was added to the list on Wednesday, according to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough. The South Carolina governor has become a rising star within the Republican party in recent years.
She delivered a well-received rebuttal to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address this year, calling for unity seeming to negate Trump’s campaign tactics by urging people to “resist the temptation” of following the “siren call of the angriest voices.” She also took a swipe at anti-immigrant rhetoric, saying that “no one who is willing to work hard, abide by our laws, and love our traditions should ever feel unwelcome in this country.”
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