Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Eyes Cabinet Vacancies, Policy Questions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Eyes Cabinet Vacancies, Policy Questions

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * President-elect Donald Trump pressed to fill senior posts in his administration on Tuesday even as new questions emerged about his priorities at home and abroad.

His inauguration less than three weeks away, Trump tapped as U.S. trade representative a former Ronald Reagan aide who has condemned Republicans' commitment to free trade. The incoming president indicated that Robert Lighthizer, who is expected to take a hard line against China, would represent "the United States as we fight for good trade deals that put the American worker first."

The new administration's specific plans for crafting new trade deals, spokesman Sean Spicer said, "will come in time."

While several hundred high-level White House posts remain unfilled, just a handful of Cabinet-level vacancies remain, specifically in the departments of Agriculture and Veterans Affairs, as well as a director of national intelligence. Trump's private meetings Tuesday included one with Leo MacKay, a senior executive at a military contractor who previously served in the Department of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush.

"The president-elect is up on the issues," said MacKay, a senior vice president at Lockheed Martin Corp., citing "first-class health care" for veterans as one of his priorities.

Omarosa Manigault, a memorable contestant in the first season of "The Apprentice," is expected to join Trump's White House staff, according to two people familiar with the decision. Her job is expected to focus on public engagement.

Manigault was one of Trump's most prominent African-American supporters during the campaign and has been working with his transition team. This will be her second tour of duty at the White House she worked in the office of Vice President Al Gore during Bill Clinton's administration.

SESSIONS OPPOSED

Meanwhile, Trump's choice for attorney general Sen. Jeff Sessions has run into strong opposition from law school professors across the U. …

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