NEW YORK – President-elect Donald Trump signaled a sharp rightward shift in US national security policy Friday with his announcement that he will nominate Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the Central Intelligence Agency, turning to a pair of staunch conservatives as he begins to fill out his Cabinet.
Trump also named retired Lt. Gen Michael Flynn as his national security adviser. A former military intelligence chief, Flynn has accused the Obama administration of being too soft on terrorism and has cast Islam as a “political ideology” and driver of extremism.
Sessions and Flynn were ardent Trump supporters during the campaign, and their promotions were seen in part as a reward for their loyalty.
The selections form the first outlines of Trump’s Cabinet and national security teams. Given his lack of governing experience and vague policy proposals during the campaign, his selection of advisers is being scrutinized both in the US and abroad.
Trump’s initial decisions suggest a more aggressive military involvement in counterterror strategy and a greater emphasis on Islam’s role in stoking extremism. Sessions, who is best known for his hard-line immigration views, has questioned whether terror suspects should benefit from the rights available in US courts. Pompeo has said Muslim leaders are “potentially complicit” in attacks if they do not denounce violence carried out in the name of Islam. (AP)