It’s the biggest parlor game in DC when a new President comes to town: Who will occupy the top spots in the new administration?
While resumes are polished, back channels opened and the public and private preening begins, dubious lists appear of prospective, rumored, and wannabe appointees, some lists more reliably informed than others.
TPM will maintain a master list of all of the reported possible picks for the top slots–far-fetched or not–crossing them off as they are eliminated from consideration.
It will be an evolving list so check back as Trump builds out a new administration from scratch.
Click on a link below to go directly to that position:
Secretary of State | Secretary of Treasury | Secretary of Defense | Attorney General | Secretary of the Interior | Secretary of Agriculture | Secretary of Commerce | Secretary of Labor | Secretary of Health and Human Services | Secretary of Housing and Urban Development | Secretary of Transportation | Secretary of Energy | Secretary of Education | Secretary of Veterans Affairs | Secretary of Homeland Security | Chief of Staff | Chief Strategist | White House Counsel | Communications Director | White House Political Director | Press Secretary | RNC Chair | Director of Office of Management and Budget | EPA Administrator | US Trade Representative | UN Ambassador | CIA Director | Director of National Intelligence | National Security Adviser | Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services | Secretary of the Army | U.S. Ambassador to Israel | U.S. Ambassador to China
Secretary of State:
Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil chief executive, was finally selected as Trump’s Secretary of State, amid concerns of his business ties to Russia.
John Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN Rudy Giuliani has been named a leading candidate, along with Bolton, according to reports from Wall Street Journal Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who has expressed interest in the role Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations Zalmay Khalilzad, former US ambassador to Afghanistan Stanley A. McChrystal, former senior military commander in Afghanistan David Patraeus, former CIA director, who resigned amid scandal over classified material Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), chairman of the House Financial Services committee Businessman Carl Icahn Thomas Barrack Jr., founder and executive chairman of Colony Capital Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, though he said he would not be interested
Secretary of Defense:
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis was selected to serve as Defense Secretary
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) Stephen Hadley, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs under the George W. Bush Administration Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Former Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) Former Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), who just lost her Senate seat to New Hampshire’s current Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan Retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
*Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) was announced Attorney General on Friday
Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State and of counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Pam Bondi, Attorney General of Florida Rep. Trey Gowdy, (R-SC)
Secretary of the Interior:
Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), an ex-Navy Seal commander, has been reportedly selected as Secretary of the Interior.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, (R-WA) is Trump’s expected choice for Secretary of the Interior. Forrest Lucas, oilman Jan Brewer, former Arizona governor Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma Robert Grady, venture capitalist Harold Hamm, Oklahoma oilman Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin Donald Trump Jr. reportedly has interest in the job
Secretary of Agriculture:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback
Chuck Conner, CEO National Council of Farmer Cooperatives
Dave Heineman, former Governor of Nebraska
Sid Miller, Texas’ Secretary of Agriculture
Former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue
Mike McCloskey, major dairy executive from Indiana
Bruce Rastetter, major GOP donor in Iowa
Kip Tom, farmer who ran unsuccessful Indiana congressional campaign
Don Villwock, president of Indiana Farm Bureau
Ted McKinney, director of Indiana Department of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce:
Wilbur Ross, billionaire investor & Trump economic adviser, was selected for the job
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Dan DiMicco, Former Nucor CEO and Trump trade adviser Businessman Lewis Eisenberg Peter Thiel, billionaire, Paypal cofounder Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) Former Missouri Sen. Jim Talent Former Texas Governor Rick Perry Ray Washburne, Dallas-based investor and a Trump campaign fundraiser Linda McMahon, a former World Wrestling Entertainment executive who ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut in 2012
Secretary of Labor:
Andy Pudzer, chief executive of fast food company CKE Restaurant Holdings Inc., is Trump’s choice for labor secretary.
Victoria Lipnic, EEOC commissioner
Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a fierce Affordable Care Act critic, was chosen by the Trump transition team
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Florida Gov. Rick Scott Former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal Former New Jersey state Sen. Rich Bagger, though Politico calls the suggestion a “longer shot” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Ben Carson was officially named HUD secretary
Secretary of Transportation:
Elaine Chao, former Labor Secretary during the Bush administration and member of Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council during his campaign, was chosen for the position.
Secretary of Energy:
Rick Perry, former Texas governor, who wanted to eliminate the Department of Energy, has been named for the secretary position.
Venture Capitalist Robert Grady Harold Hamm, Continental Resources CEO James Connaughton, chief executive of Nautilus Data Technologies and former environmental adviser in the Bush administration
Secretary of Education:
Trump has suggested the Department of Education will be reduced, if not completely dismantled, in his administration, but that has not diminished speculation.
*Betsy DeVos, Michigan philanthropist, chairwoman of the American Federation for Children (AFC), former chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party was announced as the new Secretary of Education on Wednesday
Eva Moskowitz, CEO of NYC’s Success Academy Charter Schools Williamson Evers, Hoover Institution fellow and senior advisor to Bush Administration’s Secretary of Education
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate
Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)
Secretary of Homeland Security:
Retired Gen. John Kelly, who had a 40-year career in the Marine Corps, is Trump’s pick for Secretary of Homeland Security.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee County Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), House Homeland Security chair Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Ariz. Sen. Jeff Sessions, (R-AL)
Chief of Staff:
Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief and executive chairman of Breitbart Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband and owner of the New York Observer, was seen walking with Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, igniting speculation he might be in the running for the position under a Trump administration. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
*Steve Bannon, Trump’s campaign chief and white nationalist, right-wing media figurehead, tapped as the president-elect’s senior counselor and chief strategist
White House Counsel:
Donald McGahn, Trump campaign counsel
Jason Miller, Trump campaign senior communications adviser
Hope Hicks, Trump campaign press secretary
White House Political Director:
Bill Stepien, an ex-Chris Christie aide who mentored major figures in the 2013 Bridgegate scandal, is considered a top contender.
Laura Ingraham, conservative radio host and Fox News contributor
Kimberly Guilfoyle, a Fox News host
Sean Spicer, RNC communications director
Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager and current CNN contributor
David Bossie, Trump’s deputy campaign manager
Dave Urban, president of Pennsylvania-based political operation American Continental Group, who worked on Trump’s efforts in the Keystone State
Director of Office of Management and Budget:
Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), has been nominated to lead OMB.
Sen. Jeff Sessions(R-AL)
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator:
Scott Pruitt, Attorney General of Oklahoma and critic of the EPA under the Obama administration, was selected as EPA Administrator
Myron Ebell, an official at Competitive Enterprise Institute, who has running Trump’s EPA working group Robert Grady, venture capitalist Joe Aiello, director, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Environmental Safety and Quality Assurance Carol Comer, commissioner, Indiana Department of Environmental Management Leslie Rutledge, Attorney General of Arkansas Jeffrey Holmstead, lawyer and former deputy EPA administrator in the Bush administration
U.S. Trade Representative:
*Nikki Haley, Governor of South Carolina
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) Richard Grenell, spokesman for the UN ambassador during the Bush administration
*Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)
Peter Hoekstra, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers, former chair of the House Intelligence Committee Frances Townsend, former Homeland Security adviser under the Bush administration
Director of National Intelligence:
Carly Fiorina, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard and Republican presidential candidate, is under consideration for the job after visiting Trump Tower.
Former Rep. Heather Wilson, (R-NM)
National Security Adviser:
Michael Flynn was announced as Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser
Head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services:
Seema Verma a consultant who worked with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to negotiate a Medicaid deal with the Obama administration, has been chosen to lead the health care agencies.
Secretary of the Army:
Vincent Viola, billionaire, founder of the electronic trading firm Virtu Financial and owner of the National Hockey League team Florida Panthers, was nominated for Army Secretary
U.S. Ambassador to Israel:
David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer who takes a far-right approach to American policy toward Israel, has been named as Trump’s choice for ambassador.
Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas and an ordained Baptist preacher
U.S. Ambassador to China:
Gov. Terry Brownstad of Iowa was selected as Trump’s choice for ambassador