Local reaction to President-elect Donald Trump’s administration picks


TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — As President-elect Donald Trump starts appointing key administration jobs, controversy surrounds some of his picks — particularly, his choice for attorney general.

President-elect Trump nominated U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo as director of the Central Intelligence Agency .

He’s also selected Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as the assistant to the president for national security affairs.

Sessions is arguably the most controversial, at least for Tippecanoe County Democratic Party chair Heather Maddox.

Sessions was nominated in 1986 for a federal judgeship but was rejected due to allegations of racist comments.

U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita said Trump has appointed several of his friends but Sessions isn’t one of them.

“I don’t personally know Jeff Sessions,” said Rokita. “I haven’t done any legislative work with him, but his credentials seem to be very good. He used to do this kind of work before he was a senator.”

Maddox said, “I wish I could say I was surprised, but I’m not.”

She was hoping President-elect Trump would prove her wrong after he was elected.

“It could have been a great opportunity to say, ‘Here I am in here now. This is how I’m going to lead,'” said Maddox. “Well, he is showing us that!”

She’s mostly referring to his pick AG pick, Alabama Sen. Sessions.

“This is a guy that couldn’t even get confirmed as federal judge. He got rejected, and there were good reasons for that — some of them being racist comments that he made and his record in the past,” said Maddox. “But I just don’t think that’s who we as a country want as our attorney general.”

Maddox said her only hope going forward is moderates and Democrats in Congress will speak up.

But congressman Rokita also supports Trump’s other picks, such as congressman Pompeo as CIA director and Lt. Gen. Flynn for national security adviser.

“I think the appointments have been excellent, so far,” said Rokita. “They’re just starting. I have several friends that have already been appointed.”

He said despite what you may have heard, the transition process is running smoothly.

“Having, of course, our governor head the transition team, I think the process is going forward,” Rokita said. “I think it’s actually ahead of schedule in some places.”

Rokita said he’s working to try to place Hoosiers in the administration. When we asked to whom he was referring, Rokita declined to specify. He said he didn’t want to jeopardize the process.