Tuesday, 10 January 2017 10:54

Presidential transition starting with cabinet vetting Featured

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WASHINGTON (ABC NEWS) - President-Elect Donald Trump said he's optimistic about his cabinet picks as the first senate confirmation hearings begin today, 10 days before he takes office.

The nominees are expected to face tough questions on everything from conflicts of interest, to race and Russia.

 

Donald Trump's cabinet picks are gearing up for a congressional grilling.

 

On the hot seat today, retired Marine General John Kelly, tapped to be Secretary of Homeland Security and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump's choice for Attorney General. His hearing could be confrontational. 31 years ago, Sessions was rejected for a federal judgeship over allegations he made racist remarks, charges he forcefully denies.

 

Sessions stated "I am not a racist at least nine of Trump's cabinet picks facing confirmation hearings this week and four still have outstanding issues in the vetting process, which involves handing over personal financial information, an FBI background check and answering congressional committee questionnaires.

 

Republicans dismissed democrats concerns, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell sent this letter, asking for the vetting process for president Obama's nominees to be finished before confirmation hearings. He said "Everybody will be properly vetted." But eight years ago on Monday the senate democratic leader sent McConnell's 2009 letter right back to him with the names changed.

 

One position that does not require senate confirmation, Senior Advisor to the President. Trump announced his son-in-law Jared Kushner will be working closely by his side in the west wing. Raising eyebrows and questions about potential ethical conflicts. Concerning the appointment Trump said "Oh well we'll talk about that on Wednesday."

 

Today President Obama taking what's likely his final ride on Air Force One to Chicago to deliver his farewell address. He's expected to reflect on his administration and Washington.

National News