Trump Predicts Cabinet Picks Will Be Confirmed | NBC Southern California
Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

Donald Trump's First 100 Days in Office

The latest news on President Donald Trump's first 100 days

Trump Predicts Cabinet Picks Will Be Confirmed

The Senate will hold its first confirmation hearings on Tuesday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Senate hearings for President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet appointees start Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, a day after Trump reportedly named son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior advisor. (Published Monday, Jan. 9, 2017)

    Facing a week of high-profile tests for his administration-in-waiting, President-elect Donald Trump predicted Monday that all of his Cabinet picks would win Senate confirmation even as Democrats charged that Trump's team was ignoring standard vetting protocol.

    "I think they'll all pass," Trump said of his would-be Cabinet, describing them as "all at the highest level" in between private meetings in his Manhattan sky rise.

    Trump's confidence comes as lawmakers in both parties eagerly await the submission of background material from Cabinet picks, including billionaires whose extensive personal financial dealings have never faced public scrutiny. Senate Democrats urged GOP leaders to slow their aggressive hearing schedule, which includes Trump's picks for the nation's top diplomat, lead law enforcement officer and head of homeland security, among others. 

    "Bear in mind President-elect Trump's nominees pose particularly difficult ethics and conflict-of-interest challenges," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said. "They come from enormous wealth, many have vast holdings and stocks, and very few have experience in government."

    Pig Escapes Slaughterhouse Fate, Sells Original Paintings

    [NATL] Pig Escapes Slaughterhouse Fate, Sells Original Paintings

    A pig who escaped slaughter is now living out her life in a South African sanctuary and painting original works that have sold for up to $2,000.

    "She was really small when I rescued her," said Joanne Lefson, who manages the South African Farm Sanctuary, a haven for rescued farm animals where the pig now lives. "She's very smart and intelligent so I placed a few balls and some paintbrushes and things in her pen, and it wasn't long before I discovered that she really liked the bristles and the paintbrush...She just really took a knack for it."

    Funds from the art sales go towards the sanctuary.

    (Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017)

    One wealthy Trump pick official who won't require Senate confirmation: son-in-law Jared Kushner, who transition officials confirmed Monday would serve as a senior adviser in the new administration. Kushner, a New York real estate executive, is expected to exert broad sway over both domestic and foreign policy, particularly Middle East issues and trade negotiations.

    While not subject to Senate approval, White House staff must publicly disclose personal financial information.

    Addressing the Cabinet selections, Trump's incoming press secretary Sean Spicer insisted Monday, "Everyone who has a hearing this week has their paperwork in." 

    It's unclear, however, whether each had submitted the extensive list of requirements that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requested of President Barack Obama's nominees eight years ago. Those include an FBI background check, detailed questionnaires and financial disclosure statements that include tax returns, according to a 2009 letter from McConnell that Schumer read Monday on the Senate floor. 

    Clinton Gives First Major Post-Election Speech

    [NATL] Hillary Clinton Gives First Major Post-Election Speech at Event for Businesswomen

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave her first major public speech on Tuesday since losing the 2016 presidential election, speaking at a meeting of the Professional Businesswomen of California organization in San Fransisco, California.

    (Published Wednesday, March 29, 2017)

    "Everybody'll be properly vetted as they have been in the past," McConnell told reporters Monday after meeting privately with the president-elect in Trump Tower. 

    On Friday, however, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub said in a letter to congressional leaders that his office "has not received even initial draft financial disclosure reports for some of the nominees scheduled for hearings."

    Among the committees that haven't yet received the forms was the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has scheduled a hearing this week for Betsy DeVos, Trump's pick to lead the Education Department. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said it had also not received the forms for Trump's pick for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, though a spokeswoman said they're expected soon.

    Committee aides said they had received ethics forms for Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump's pick for attorney general; Rex Tillerson, Trump's choice for secretary of state; former Marine Gen. John Kelly, his pick for homeland security secretary; James Mattis, his pick for defense secretary; Rep. Mike Pompeo, his choice for director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Elaine Chao, his pick for transportation secretary. 

    The committee handling Ben Carson's nomination for housing secretary declined to comment on the record.

    McConnell said he's hopeful that up to six or seven of Trump's picks, "particularly the national security team," will be "in place on Day One."

    The Senate cannot vote on any Cabinet pick until after Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20.

    Trump's selections, meanwhile, have been going through extensive preparation in the days leading up to the hearings.

    Mom Tells Son's Story in Fight for NIH Funding

    [NATL-DC] Mom Tells Son's Story in Fight for NIH Funding

    Pediatric cancer research is one of the least funded and proposed budget cuts to NIH will deplete it even more. A family whose child died from pediatric cancer is testifying on Capitol Hill Wednesday, March 29, to save the funding. Tammi and Jason Carr in Michigan founded the ChadTough Foundation to honor their son Chad, who died at age 5 after battling a brain tumor. News4’s Shomari Stone reports. 

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    Transition officials said the nominees have spent more than 70 hours participating in full-blown mock hearings, with volunteers playing the role of senators asking questions.

    "They're listening, they're learning, they're preparing," Spicer said.

    As his Cabinet prospects prepare to disclose their personal business dealings, Trump insisted Monday that there is a "very simple, very easy" way to disentangle himself from his global business empire before he takes office.

    The details, he said, would have to wait until Wednesday, when he holds his first formal news conference in nearly six months.

    Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head

    [NATL] Martial Artist Breaks 111 Cement Blocks with His Head

    Sixteen-year-old Bosnian taekwondo martial artist Kerim Ahmetspahic performed an incredible stunt over the weekend. He smashed 111 cement building blocks with his head.

    (Published Tuesday, March 28, 2017)

    Trump has pledged to step away from the Trump Organization during his time in office, but amid warnings from government watchdogs and officials in both parties, he has yet to say specifically how he would do that.

    Trump continues to own or control some 500 companies that make up the Trump Organization and has said he intends for his two oldest sons and company executives to run the business while he's gone.