Trump Diversifies Cabinet; Picks Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos – New York Times
Ms. DeVos, 58, is one of the nation’s most avid supporters of school choice, a subject she and Mr. Trump discussed last week when she met him at his country club in Bedminster, N.J. But Ms. DeVos also sharply criticized him during the campaign and spent much of the year raising money for other Republicans on the ballot.
For Mr. Trump, who was spending a quiet day before Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago, his estate in Palm Beach, Fla., the appointments ended a breathless two-week sprint since his stunning victory. In a videotaped holiday greeting to the American people on Wednesday, he acknowledged the wounds left by a “long and bruising political campaign.”
His aides said he would resume meeting with potential cabinet members on Friday, when they said he would announce Mr. Carson, the retired neurosurgeon with whom Mr. Trump bitterly clashed and lavishly praised during the campaign.
Soon after, Mr. Trump is expected to name Gen. James N. Mattis as defense secretary. But the search for a secretary of state has become less clear, people involved in the transition said. Aides are divided between Rudolph W. Giuliani, who staunchly backed Mr. Trump’s candidacy but whose business dealings pose potential problems; and Mitt Romney, viewed by many as a safe pick but who harshly criticized Mr. Trump during the campaign.
The tension has left some on the team looking for a third choice, like Gen. John F. Kelly of the Marines, the former head of the United States Southern Command, which oversees the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; David H. Petraeus, the retired Army general who was director of the C.I.A.; or, a particular long shot, former Senator Jim Webb of Virginia, who could be the lone Democrat in the cabinet after having briefly run for the party’s presidential nomination last year.
Choosing Mr. Petraeus, who resigned in 2012 in a scandal over his leaking of classified information, would be somewhat easier after Mr. Trump said he would not pursue a case against Hillary Clinton on similar grounds, one person close to the transition said.
The debate over secretary of state is a microcosm of the balance Mr. Trump is trying to strike in all of his appointments — between loyalists who will appeal to his base and more mainstream Republicans, many of whom stridently opposed his candidacy. In Ms. DeVos, Ms. Haley and Mr. Carson, he is trying to appeal to several of these constituencies.
Mr. Trump’s selections could blunt criticism that his early picks came from a homogeneous bloc of older, white men. If confirmed, Ms. Haley would step down as governor and be replaced by the state’s lieutenant governor, Henry McMaster, who was an early supporter of Mr. Trump.