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US president-elect selects candidates for CIA, attorney general positions

US president-elect Donald Trump revealed the first three members of his cabinet on Friday, naming Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Congressman Mike Pompeo to head the CIA and former military intelligence chief Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.
The media interpreted the selection as indicating that Mr. Trump wants to fulfil his election pledge to undo the policies of the Obama administration. All three are fierce critics of President Barack Obama and his policies.
Mr. Sessions and Flynn, were also among Mr Trump’s most ardent supporters during the presidential campaign. In December last year, Senator Sessions, an Alabama Republican, voted against a sense of the Senate resolution which rejected Mr. Trump’s call for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims” entering the country.
In a tweet earlier this year, Mr. Flynn urged his followers to share an anti-Muslim YouTube video, featuring Lashkar-e-Taiba, and said that fearing Muslims was “rational”. Senator Sessions and Mr. Pompeo, a Kansas Republican, will both require Senate confirmation, but Mr. Flynn will not.
The US media noted that even though Republicans control the Senate, Mr. Sessions could face obstacles. He withdrew from consideration for a federal judgeship in 1986 after being accused of making racist comments while serving as an attorney in Alabama.
Mr. Pompeo is a conservative Republican and a strong critic of President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran. A three-term congressman, he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point and from Harvard Law School. Mr. Flynn was a critic of Obama’s military and foreign policy long before he joined the Trump campaign.
As national security adviser, Mr. Flynn would work in the White House and have frequent access to the new president. He became director of the Defence Intelligence Agency in 2012 and has a reputation as of being an astute intelligence professional and straight talker.
Later, according to him, he had to leave the agency because he took issue with the Obama administration’s approach to global affairs and fighting the militant Islamic State group.
Like Mr. Trump, Mr. Flynn also wants Washington to work more closely with Moscow. He traveled to Moscow last year to join Russian President Vladimir Putin at a celebration for RT, a television channel funded by the Russian government. Mr. Flynn said he had been paid for taking part in the event and brushed aside concerns that he was aiding a Russian propaganda effort.
Media reported on Friday that as a gesture of reconciliation with establishment Republicans, Mr. Trump has agreed to meet 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney later this week. The reports claimed that Mr. Romney is a potential candidate for a key cabinet post, the secretary of state.
This and other meetings are part of Donald Trump’s efforts to complete the government transition before his Jan 20 inauguration. Agencies add: An Army veteran, Sessions is a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and chairman of its Strategic Forces Subcommittee. Despite those qualifications, the 20-year congressional veteran could face resistance as he seeks Senate confirmation.
In 1986, Sessions became only the second nominee in 50 years to be denied confirmation as a federal judge after allegations that he had made racist remarks. Those included testimony that in 1986 he had called an African-American prosecutor “boy,” an allegation Sessions denied.
‘Courtesy Dawn Karachi”.

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