- Democrats are bemoaning president-elect’s choice of fossil-fuel advocate to head up environmental post.
In a flurry of decision-making on 7 December, President-elect Donald Trump added two new picks to fill his cabinet and also placed a long-time friend and donor in an important position that will define his administration’s work with small businesses.
His nominations include climate-change sceptic Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head up the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.
Trump’s long-time friend WWE professional wrestling magnate Linda McMahon, was appointed to head the Small Business Administration, an agency that supports 30 million entrepreneurs and small businesses across the US.
And, following a souring of diplomatic relations with China over a phone call with Taiwan’s leader last weekend, Trump also appointed Iowa governor Terry Branstad, who has known Chinese President Xi Jinping since 1985, as ambassador to China.
A couple of these picks drew strong criticism from Democrats, not least of all Trump’s selection of Scott Pruitt, who has been a sharp critic of the EPA. “It’s a sickening and saddening choice,” said Rhode Island’s Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse on MSNBC following reports of Puitt’s nomination.
“This man’s purpose, in going to the EPA,” Whitehouse said, “will be to corrupt that public organisation so that it does the bidding of regulated industry and doesn’t serve the American people.”
Credited to International Business Times