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The attorney general nominee has made racist statements in the past while his new national security adviser is an Islamophobe.
Donald Trump has disclosed more names to to fill his cabinet, choosing the controversial Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Representative Mike Pompeo as CIA director and Lt. Gen. (ret.) Mike Flynn as national security adviser, a transition official told Reuters Friday.
The three men have accepted Trump’s offer. However the U.S. president-elect will need the Senate to confirm his Cabinet nominations, and Sessions could face some trouble due to a checkered past around his views on race.
Back in 1986, the Alabama senator was accused of making racist comments while serving as a U.S. attorney in Alabama. He called a black assistant U.S. attorney “boy” and the NAACP “un-American” and “communist-inspired.”
Sessions is a very close ally of Trump, as he was the first senator to endorse his presidential bid. According to media reports, he is one of the key architects of Trump’s immigration, counter-terrorism and trade policies.
The role of Sessions will be vital for the new president, as he opposes any path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and is an enthusiastic backer of Trump’s promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico. But his confirmation, even in a Republican-controlled chamber, is not guaranteed.
National Security Adviser-in-waiting Flynn shares Trump’s the harsh criticism of the Obama administration, especially since he was ousted as director of the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2014.
Flynn is also a known Islamophobe who used torture on those captured during army covert operations. He has said the U.S. is “at war with” the “cancer” of Islam, and tweeted that “fear of Muslims is RATIONAL.” His appointment will not require Senate confirmation.
Related video added by Juan Cole: