President-elect Donald Trump announced Friday that he plans to nominate Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as attorney general and Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) as CIA director, a pair of hard-line conservatives who offer early signs of the shape of Trump’s Cabinet.
Trump also confirmed the news reported a day earlier that he has selected retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn as his national security adviser, a position that, unlike the other two, does not need to be confirmed by the Senate.
“The president-elect is a man of action, and we’ve got a great number of men and women with great qualifications who look forward to serving in this administration,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence told reporters in New York. “Our agency teams arrived in Washington D.C. this morning, and I am very confident it will be a smooth transition that will serve to lead this country forward.”
The announcements were greeted with widespread applause from Republicans, but Democrats and civil rights groups denounced Sessions and Flynn for their hard-line views on Muslims and immigrants that have put them in close alignment with Trump. The criticism could portend a messy Senate confirmation process for Sessions, though several of his GOP colleagues, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), lavished praise on him.