WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees have been facing Senate scrutiny for two days now. Congress has more hearings scheduled for Thursday.
Here are the nominees set to testify before Senate committees Thursday:
Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis, served in the first Gulf War and in Afghanistan. He has led the all-important US Central Command, which is in charge for the US military in the Middle East. He was also Supreme Allied Commander of NATO. Trump picking Mattis was a break with protocol; part of the National Defense Authorization act mandates a seven-year wait period between active duty and becoming secretary of defense, which requires a waiver. Mattis is scheduled to go before the Senate Armed Services Committee at 9:30 a.m. ET.
The President-elect’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development is his former Republican presidential primary rival. Ben Carson is known for his career in neurosurgery, and became the director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins at age 33. Carson does not have any experience in government or running a large bureaucracy. Carson is scheduled to go before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee at 10 a.m. ET.
Thursday will be Trump’s secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson’s second day of testimony. The former ExxonMobil CEO faced tough questions from the Senate Foreign Affairs committee on topics ranging from Russia to climate change. Tillerson is facing criticism for his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who gave Tillerson Russia’s highest honor for a non-citizen. Critics also point out that ExxonMobil has a stated policy of promoting human rights, but under Tillerson, the company has still worked in close partnership with repressive regimes.
Trump has nominated Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, a staunch conservative, to be his CIA director. The congressman was tapped to serve on the House Intelligence committee and the Select Committee on Benghazi, and took a tougher stance on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton than some other Republicans. Pompeo was also a strong critic of the Iran nuclear deal and introduced several bills focused on security concerns about the Iranian government. Pompeo is scheduled to go before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence at 10 a.m. ET.