US election: Who could form Donald Trump's cabinet?
Now that Donald Trump has won the race for the White House, who could he call on to make up his top team?
Trump’s running mate Mike Pence is expected to play a key role in the new administration, while there are some familiar names being linked with the top jobs in the Cabinet.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has been mentioned as a possible Attorney General while Newt Gingrich, who ran his own presidential campaign throughout 2011 and eventually endorsed Mitt Romney in May 2012, has been touted as as a potential Secretary of State. Gingrich encouraged fellow Republicans to back Trump, and was one of three final choices to be Trump’s running mate.
Reince Priebus, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman, has been linked with the Chief of Staff role. Priebus described Trump as a ‘role model’ in October 2016, and was actively enaged in safeguarding his nomination when anti-Trump delegates opposed the nomination.
Retired US Army lieutenant general Michael T Flynn could be offered Defense Secretary or national security adviser.
Secretary of State
Newt Gingrich - a leading Trump backer - is interested, as is Senator Bob Corker, who currently chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has admitted he would ‘strongly consider’ the role. John Bolton, the ex-UN Ambassador, is also on Trump’s radar.
Trump looks set to give the nod to his finance chief Steven Mnuchin. A former Goldman Sachs employee, Mnuchin founded the production firm behind the X-Men film franchise and Avatar.
He was a prominent backer of Mitt Romney during the 2012 US election and was named Trump campaign finance chairman in May 2016.
Secretary of Defense
Possible Defense Secretaries include Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, ex-National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and former Senator Jim Talent.
A former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, retired Lt. Gen. Michael T Flynn could be handed an adviser role rather than the Secretary role.
This is because retired officers are required to wait seven years before taking the Pentagon top job - and Flynn would need a waiver from Congress to proceed with the role.
Brought up in a ‘very strong Democratic family’, Flynn was one of the keynote speakers during this year’s Republican National Convention and was employed as a national security adviser by the Trump campaign.
Flynn was critical of the Democrats and railed at Barack Obama’s ‘empty speeches and misguided rhetoric’ during his address.
Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is the leading candidate for the Attorney General position, according to Trump insiders.
He came out in support of Trump and delivered a prime time speech at the Republican National Convention, as well as defending Trump against allegations of racism and sexual assault.
Giuliani also served in the role during the Reagan administration between January 1981 and June 1983.
Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor, could land a top role but his part in the Bridgegate scandal could scupper his chances.
Similarly, Florida AG Pam Bondi has been mentioned but controversy over a Trump donation could undermine her nomination.
Forrest Lucas, co-founder of Lucas Oil, is reportedly viewed as a leading contender for the post while venture capitalist Robert Grady - who served in George HW Bush’s administration - is also an option.
Donald Trump Jr. is also keen on the role while John McCain’s running mate from 2008, Sarah Palin, has declared an interest with Trump believed to be keen on having the former governor of Alaska in his cabinet.
Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin and Oklahoma-based oilman Harold Hamm are among the other candidates.
Chief of Staff
Reince Preibus is the only person to be mentioned in connection with the Chief of Staff role. He would be a bold choice, however, as Priebus released statements criticising Trump - especially after his comments about the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim soldier who died in Iraq - despite also voicing support for the Republican candidate.
Priebus was reportedly seeking a fourth consecutive term as chairman of the Republican National Committee during the summer - but it’s unclear if he’s interested in the chief of staff position at this moment in time.
Trump has a large field to choose from for this role, with former Texas governor Rick Perry one of the stand-out names linked with the position.
Sid Miller, whose campaign Twitter account referred to Clinton as a c*** just days ago, is also in the running along with Kansas governor Sam Brownback, Nebraska governor Dave Heineman and ex-Georgia governor Sonny Perdue.
Trump could well pick and choose from the business community for this role. Two of his economic advisers, Wilbur Ross and Dan DiMocco are possibilities for the role while Rick Perry, Mike Huckabee or even Chris Christie could be considered.
Team Trump is looking for an executive or CEO to lead the Labor Department and could plump for Victoria Lipnic, who has been Commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since 2010. Lipnic was also on Romney’s radar in 2012 for a high-ranking Labor position.
Health and Human Services Secretary
A host of prominent Republicans have been tied to this role, including Florida governor Rick Scott, Gingrich, and Ben Carson, a former presidential candidate. Trump talked Carson up at a recent anti-Obamacare rally, saying: “I hope that [Carson] will be very much involved in my administration in the coming years.”
Hamm, linked with the Interior Secretary role, could land the Energy brief instead. A close friend of Trump, the Oklahoma oil tycoon is thought to have influenced Trump’s energy policy throughout the campaign.
Grady is also a possibility if Hamm knocks the role back.
Trump has suggested that the Education Department may play a reduced role in his administration - possibly even removing it entirely.
But while it’s still around, Carson has been linked to it as has William Evers, who worked in the department during the Bush administration and served as a senior adviser to Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
Veteran Affairs Secretary
The only candidate for this role appears to be House Veterans’ Affairs chairman Jeff Miller; an early Trump supporter who is retiring from the House.
Homeland Security Secretary
Christie is a possibility but insiders say David Clarke, the conservative Sheriff of Milwaukee County in Wisconsin, is a leading candidate.
Environmental Protection Agency administrator
Trump has rather altered his views on this department, initially calling for it to be scrapped before rolling back on his comments and suggesting that he’ll refocus its aims on ‘clean air’ and ‘safe drinking water for all Americans’.
Leading candidates include climate skeptic Myron Ebell and Carol Comer, the Mike Pence-appointed commissioner of the Indiana Department of Enviromental Management.
No word yet on any roles for Nigel Farage, who has offered his services to Trump and supported him at numerous campaign rallies.