Politics

Secretary Of Education Ben Carson? Here’s A List Of Potential Trump Cabinet Picks

The list isn’t final but includes plum roles for Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, and Reince Priebus.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has put together a who’s who shortlist of Trump surrogates and advisers to take top positions in his administration next year, ranging from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for attorney general to 39-year-old Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr. to be the secretary of defense.

The list of 41 names, obtained by BuzzFeed News, covers 13 departments, the attorney general, Office of Management and Budget, White House chief of staff, and White House counsel.

A source familiar with the list stressed it was not final, and it is unclear whether transition officials have narrowed it down or added more potential candidates for consideration by Trump.

In a handful of instances there is only one candidate listed — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is the only name listed for chief of staff, EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic is listed for secretary of labor, Rep. Jeff Miller as veterans affairs administrator, Sen. Jeff Sessions as director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Donald McGahn, who has served as counsel to Trump’s campaign, to be White House counsel.

In some cases, it appears the transition team is looking to find a home for a particularly loyal ally — Ben Carson, for instance, is listed as a potential candidate to be the secretary of education and secretary of health and human services, while Sen. Jeff Sessions is listed as a possible attorney general, head of the Office of Management and Budget, or secretary of defense.

Likewise, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is heading up the transition team, has his chips spread across the board, listed as a candidate for AG, commerce secretary, and homeland security secretary. Christie may face unusual scrutiny after the guilty verdicts handed down to two of his former advisers in the trial over the George Washington Bridge lane closures.

Although political appointments, cabinet-level positions typically require some level of expertise in the issues they cover. Most of the candidates either have at least nominal experience in their issue areas — for instance, Sessions is a former judge who has also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Still, some seem clearly designed to create buzz — like the possible nomination of Sarah Palin to head the Department of the Interior.

List of Potential Trump Cabinet Nominees:

Attorney General:

Gov. Chris Christie

Attorney General Pam Bondi

Sen. Jeff Sessions

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Secretary of Commerce:

Christie

Former Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco

Businessman Lew Eisenberg

Former Gov. Mike Huckabee

Sen. David Perdue

Former Sen. Jim Talent

Agriculture Secretary:

Gov. Sam Brownback

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives CEO Chuck Conner

Gov. Dave Heineman

Texas Agricultural Commissioner Sid Miller

Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue

Secretary of Education:

Ben Carson

Hoover Institution fellow William Evers

Secretary of Energy:

Venture Capitalist Robert Grady

Businessman Harold Hamm

Secretary of Health and Human Services:

Former New Jersey state Sen. Rich Bagger

Ben Carson

Newt Gingrich

Gov. Rick Scott

Secretary of Homeland Security:

Christie

Sheriff David Clarke

Secretary of the Interior:

Gov. Jan Brewer

Gov. Mary Fallin

Grady

Hamm

Oil Executive Forrest Lucas

Rep. Cynthia Lummis

Former Gov. Sarah Palin

Secretary of Defense:

Former Gen. Mike Flynn

Stephen Hadley

Rep. Duncan Hunter Jr.

Sessions

Former Sen. Jim Talent

Secretary of State:

John Bolton

Sen. Bob Corker

Gingrich

Treasury Secretary:

Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Businessman Carl Icahn

Banker Steven Mnuchin

Chief of Staff:

Reince Priebus

Director of Office of Management and Budget:

Sessions

Secretary of Labor:

EEOC Commissioner Victoria Lipnic

Veterans Affairs:

Rep. Jeff Miller

White House Counsel:

Donald McGahn


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John Stanton is a senior national correspondent for BuzzFeed News. In 2014, Stanton was a recipient of the National Press Foundation’s 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting of Congress.
Contact John Stanton at john.stanton@buzzfeed.com.
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