6 Ways Trump Cabinet Nominees Disagreed With Him
Opposing views on Russia, climate change, waterboarding
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2017 7:03 AM CST
Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis listens to questions on Capitol Hill.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – One of the themes emerging from coverage of this week's confirmation hearings is points on which Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees have disagreed with him on major issues. Examples from the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal:

  1. Retired Gen. James Mattis, the defense chief nominee, "classified Russia as the principal threat to the US and expressed little hope that Washington would develop a substantive partnership with Moscow, as Mr. Trump has suggested." (The Journal)
  2. Mattis also said the US must abide by the "imperfect ­arms-control agreement" with Iran that Trump has threatened to dismantle because "when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies." (The Post)

  1. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson's comments on climate change didn't sync with Trump's prior statements that it is a hoax, saying America must "maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address the threats of climate change, which do require a global response." (The Post)
  2. Retired Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly, picked to lead Homeland Security, didn't sound enthused about Trump's plan for a border wall with Mexico. "A physical barrier in and of itself will not do the job,” he said, adding, “it has to be really a layered defense.” (The Times)
  3. Trump has said he would bring back waterboarding, but his pick to run the CIA, Mike Pompeo, is opposed. Pompeo said he would "absolutely not" follow orders from the president to use the interrogation technique. (The Journal)
  4. Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions also called waterboarding illegal, and, when asked about Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigrants (one he has since modified to refer to troubled nations, not religion) said, "I have no belief, and I do not support the idea that Muslims, as a religious group, should be denied admission to the United States." (The Times)
On Friday morning, Trump himself didn't sound concerned about the disagreements. "All of my Cabinet [nominees] are looking good and doing a great job," he tweeted. "I want them to be themselves and express their own thoughts, not mine!”

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