Who will be in Donald Trump's Cabinet? Some likely names

Some of the names put forward for US President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet include (clockwise from left) Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Reince Priebus and Sarah Palin.
Some of the names put forward for US President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet include (clockwise from left) Chris Christie, Ben Carson, Reince Priebus and Sarah Palin.PHOTOS:AFP, EPA
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York on Nov 9, 2016.
US President-elect Donald Trump speaks at his election night rally in Manhattan, New York on Nov 9, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

After his stunning upset of the heavily favoured Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and his senior aides met at Trump Tower in New York to begin the transition to the White House. Among the topics of discussion: Who will form his cabinet and White House team?

Here is a look at some likely picks for Trump's cabinet:

Newt Gingrich, 73, or Bob Corker, 64 - Secretary of State


Bob Corker (left) and Newt Gingrich have been named as potential vice-presidential picks for Donald Trump. PHOTOS: AFP

Both Corker, Republican senator from Tennessee, and former House of Representatives speaker Gingrich had been under discussion as potential vice presidential picks for Mr  Trump, a position that eventually went to Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Corker also chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Gingrich made an unsuccessful run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011.

Rudy Giuliani, 72 - Attorney General


Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani arrives on stage during a campaign rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Oct 12, 2016 in Ocala, Florida. PHOTO: AFP

The former New York mayor and a former New York prosecutor ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008 but withdrew from the race after learning he had prostate cancer.  He also introduced New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy, which critics have said was a form of racial profiling. But Trump has championed the tactic.

Chris Christie, 54 - Commerce Secretary


Governor Chris Christie speaks to supporters in West Des Moines, Iowa on Jan 31, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

During the Republican primary debates, Christie, 54, helped Trump by damaging rival Marco Rubio with a scathing attack on the Florida senator’s scripted answers to questions. He is currently overseeing Trump's transition to the White House and has been mentioned for various posts in the administration, including commerce secretary. But he comes with a major liability: a scandal over the closure of a major bridge linking New Jersey and New York, allegedly to punish a local mayor. Two former aides to Christie were convicted of all charges in the case on November 4.

Sarah Palin, 52 - Interior Secretary or Secretary of Energy


Sarah Palin attends Donald Trump's election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown on Nov 8, 2016 in New York City. PHOTO: AFP

The president-elect has floated the idea of giving 2008 VP nominee Sarah Palin a cabinet position. The Alaskan, who is now into reality television, could become secretary of the interior or secretary of energy. Another potential for Interior Secretary is fracking mogul Harold Hamm.

Jeff Sessions, 69 - Defense Secretary


Senator Jeff Sessions speaks at a rally for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Oct 10, 2016 in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. PHOTO: AFP

The Alabama senator was one of  Trump’s most fervent supporters in the US Congress, and is said to be under consideration for a prominent role, perhaps defense secretary, sources familiar with transition planning said on Wednesday. Since March, he has led Trump’s national-security committee, relying on both his experience as an Army officer in the 1970s and his time on the Senate Armed Services Committee more recently. At his victory bash in New York, Trump hailed the 69-year-old Sessions as “the first man, first senator, first major, major politician” to endorse him.  “Let me tell you, he is highly respected in Washington because he is as smart as you get,” Trump said.

Michael Flynn, 57 - National Security Adviser


Retired General Michael Flynn speaks to the crowd gathered to see Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Springfield, Ohio on Oct 27, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

Retired General Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, played a prominent role during the campaign, often serving as an introductory speaker at campaign rallies and has provided private counsel on foreign affairs. He was Trump's top military adviser.  A former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-2014, Flynn was reportedly forced out of that post after clashing with his superiors. “He has a calming influence on Trump,” said a source familiar with transition planning.

Steven Mnuchin, 53 - Treasury Secretary

A former Goldman Sachs executive, he was the finance chairman of the Trump campaign, and the President-elect has himself named him for the post of Treasury Secretary.  Mnuchin would be a relatively conventional pick for a president-elect who campaigned as a populist fighting a “rigged system.” After leaving Goldman Sachs, Mnuchin founded a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

Ben Carson, 65 - Education Secretary


 Dr Ben Carson delivers remarks during a Trump campaign event at the DoubleTree by Hilton on Nov 1, 2016 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. PHOTO: AFP

The retired neurosurgeon endorsed Trump after dropping out of the 2016 Republican presidential nomination fight. At a recent anti-Obamacare rally, Trump said Carson was a "brilliant" physician, and added that he hoped "he will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years." 

Reince Priebus, 44 - White House Chief of staff


Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus during the first day of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 18, 2016. PHOTO: EPA

The Republican National Committee chair has emerged as a trusted adviser to the New York businessman.   Priebus provided Trump with a crucial link to the party’s resources in getting out the vote as well as to a skittish Republican leadership.  A lawyer with deep roots in Wisconsin’s Republican party, Priebus is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite who will be key to passage of the new administration’s legislative agenda.  Wisconsin was in Trump’s win column, a stunning Republican breakthrough in a state that has long voted for Democrats for president. 

Kellyanne Conway, 49 - White House press secretary or senior adviser


US President-elect Donald Trump and his campaign manager Kellyanne Conway greet supporters during his election night rally in Manhattan on Nov 9, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump’s campaign manager has helped bring about a more disciplined approach to the candidate, and could be White House press secretary, according to a source. “I think that job is hers if she wants it,” the source said. “No one was more effective at carrying our message than her. On the campaign, very few staffers were accurately titled. She was officially the campaign manager but, really, she was the top spokeswoman,” the source told Politico.

SOURCES: REUTERS, AFP, NYTIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE GUARDIAN, BBC