FILE – In this Jan. 11, 2017 file photo, Secretary of State appoints Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at the time of the hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Some of President-elect ‘Donald Trump’ s most important Cabinet choices are at odds with him on matters that were dear to his heart as an activist and central to his promises to the supporters. For the Pentagon, the CIA, the Ministry of foreign affairs, and more, Trump has picked people who publicly disagree with him on a number of pillars of his agenda In the confirmation hearings. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at the time of the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Some of President-elect ‘Donald Trump’ s most important Cabinet choices are at odds with him on matters that were dear to his heart as an activist and central to his promises to the supporters. For the Pentagon, the CIA, the Ministry of foreign affairs, and more, Trump has picked people who publicly disagree with him on a number of pillars of his agenda In the confirmation hearings. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
FILE – In this Jan. 3, 2017 file photo, National security adviser-designate Michael Flynn arrives at Trump Tower in New York. Some of President-elect ‘Donald Trump’ s most important Cabinet choices are at odds with him on matters that were dear to his heart as an activist and central to his promises to the supporters. For the Pentagon, the CIA, the Ministry of foreign affairs, and more, Trump has picked people who publicly disagree with him on a number of pillars of his agenda In the confirmation hearings.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
WASHINGTON – You can’t really call them “yes men.” Maybe we’re meeting Donald Trump ‘ s “yes, but” men.
Some of the new president of the most important Cabinet choices are at odds with him on matters that were dear to his heart as an activist and central to his promises to the supporters.
Trump says that he doesn’t mind the disconnect. He wants his Cabinet to be themselves, “say what you want to say,” he told reporters Friday in New York. “I may be good, they can be good.”
But despite that breezy dismissal, the differences uncovered in a week of the confirmation hearings, questions about whether Trump will roll his Cabinet in the area of immigration, Russia, national security and more, turn to his top advisors, ” stated convictions or they look back of decisions that can help them win Senate approval.
It’s a team of rivals, with this twist: The mercurial Trump can be a rival for himself.
He suggested, then appeared to move away from a plan to freeze the entry of the Muslims in the US. there Are also a challenging call for a great wall with Mexico has gone through several incarnations. His audience-rousing vow to pursue Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton melted in a tribute to her public service, when they conceded the election. On Friday, he tweeted again, she was “guilty as hell.”
Trump’s team is not as inflammatory or unorthodox. A number of more traditional Republicans who toed the line of the established GOP positions, even when they contradicted the boss.
The result is a Trump card is the compilation of a potentially discordant amen choir at the beginning of his presidency.
Trump ‘ s nominees to run the CIA, the Ministry of foreign affairs and Ministry of Justice, gave faith to the AMERICAN intelligence assessments of Russian hacking, that the president-elect ridiculed for weeks before he reluctantly accepted Wednesday.
Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, was appointed as director of the CIA, said that the report is the conclusion that Russia intervened in the AMERICAN elections is trying to help Trump win was “an analytical product that is good.” Rex Tillerson, nominated as secretary of state, told senators it is a “fair assumption” the hack could not have happened without the Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approval.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, chosen for the attorney-general, said: “I have no reason to doubt” the conclusions of the report.
Trump has stated that the focus on Russia and the election of a “political witch hunt,” while acknowledging this week that Russia was likely behind the hacking of the Democrats during the campaign.
RUSSIA and the NATO
Trump’s national security and diplomatic leaders have expressed sharp skepticism about the prospects for a warmer relationship with Moscow, in spite of Trump’s praise of Putin.
“Russia is the increase of serious problems on several fronts,” retired Gen. James Mattis, selected to run the Pentagon, told senators. “I have very modest expectations for the areas of cooperation with Mr. Putin,” whom he said: “the breaking of the North-Atlantic alliance.”
Tillerson expressed unconditional support for NATO’s “inviolable” in Article 5, which requires the allies to come to the defense of a member that is invaded. This, after a Trump card in the campaign suggested the US might not be the defense of NATO allies if they were attacked, as some people will not contribute more money to the alliance.
In the campaign, Trump a proposal for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the U.S., and at a given moment is proposed, where Muslims already in the country to register. The proposals have evolved to a that the stop of immigration from countries linked to terrorism, but Trump never explicitly took a Muslim ban off the table, nor apart from the registry advocated by some who supported him.
Tillerson told senators: “I do not support a blanket-type of rejection from a certain group of people.”
Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, nominated to lead the Homeland Security Department, also weighed in: “I do not agree with the registering of people on the basis of ethnicity or religion or something like that.” Nor is religion the basis for a criminal or terrorism investigations, he said.
Sessions also rejected “the idea that Muslims as a religious group, should be denied admission to the United States.”
Tillerson separate itself from Trump’s inflammatory description of the Mexicans crossing illegally into the U.S. as criminals and rapists. He claimed that he would never characterize an entire population with a single term.” Mexico is a “long-standing friend and neighbor of this country,” he added, offering a diplomatic bow to a country that Trump says is taking advantage of the weak AMERICAN leadership.
For his part, Kelly said that a wall can be not only a panacea for the illegal crossings. “There really should be a layered defense,” Kelly said. “If you have to build a wall from the pacific to the Gulf of Mexico, you’d still have to back that wall with patrolling by human beings, by sensors, observation devices.” Although he held the wall as a “nice” solution for a porous border, Trump has also called for the strengthening of patrols.
“Torture works,” Trump said in the campaign. “Only a stupid person would say that it’s not working.”
Torture does not work, Mattis said that he after the elections.
Trump pronounced himself “surprised” and “impressed” by that assertion, and suggested that he would reconsider his repeated promise to restore waterboarding and “worse” in the interrogation of terror suspects. He said: you’re one told him the beer and cigarettes are more effective at getting people to talk.
In the confirmation hearings, Session said current law is “absolutely” prohibited waterboarding and other torture techniques, despite his own past support for such practices.
Pompeo said that if Trump had let the CIA use of waterboarding, he would “absolutely not”.
Trump railed against the “disastrous” Iran nuclear deal in the campaign promised to dismantle. The multinational deal lifts sanctions against Iran in exchange for suspending its nuclear program.
Trump’s nominees gave a more measured response when asked about the ripping of the agreement.
Mattis called it “an imperfect” the pact, but said: “When America gives its word, we must live.” Tillerson only said that he would support a review.
Associated Press writers Robert Burns, Alicia A. Caldwell, Bradley Wow, Eric Tucker and Mary Clare Jalonick contributed to this report.