US & Canada

Trump's cabinet: The people around the president

resident Donald Trump (3-R) holds a meeting with members of his cabinet in the Cabinet Room of the White House on March 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Image copyright Pool
Image caption Trump's cabinet had its first official meeting on 13 March

Meet President Donald Trump's inner circle and cabinet.

Vice-President Mike Pence

The former Indiana governor is a favourite among social conservatives and boasts considerable experience in Washington.

Mr Pence was raised Roman Catholic along with his five siblings in Columbus, Indiana, and says he was inspired by liberal icons John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.

He is known for his staunch opposition to abortion, signing a bill to ban abortion in Indiana on the basis of disability, gender or race of the foetus.

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Media captionWhat does Vice-President Mike Pence believe?

He has said he would favour overturning a 1973 Supreme Court judgement, often referred to as the Roe v Wade case, which bars the US government from prohibiting abortions.

Women's rights advocates have mounted online campaigns against his views, including asking people to call his office to tell them about their periods or to make donations to family-planning organisations in Mr Pence's name.

He served as the chair of the House Republican Conference, the third highest-ranking Republican leadership position.

He also chaired the Republican Study Group, a coalition of conservative House Republicans, which could give him a boost with some evangelicals of the party that have questioned Mr Trump's ideological purity, the BBC's Anthony Zurcher says.

Who is Mike Pence?


John Kelly - Chief of Staff

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Image caption US Marine Corps General John Kelly has four decades of military experience

The president initially nominated the retired Marine General to oversee Homeland Security before promoting him to chief of staff, replacing Reince Priebus.

Mr Kelly was a key influence on the decision to fire the director of communications, Anthony Scaramucci, after just 10 days in office.

The former four-star general, whose military career spans four decades, quit as head of the military's Southern Command, which oversees military activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, to join the Trump administration.

Mr Kelly is the highest-ranking military officer to lose a child in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His son Robert, a first lieutenant in the Marines, was killed in combat when he stepped on a landmine in Afghanistan in 2010.

The seasoned commander had previously clashed with the Obama administration on illegal immigration at the US-Mexican border.

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John Bolton - National Security Adviser

Known for his walrus moustache, Mr Bolton has served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush and George W Bush.

The second Bush appointed him as US envoy to the UN, during which time diplomats privately criticised Mr Bolton's style as abrasive.

A strident neo-conservative, Mr Bolton helped build the case that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which turned out to be wrong.

Mr Bolton does not appear to have moderated his views since his last spell in government. He stands by the invasion of Iraq and has called for the US to attack Iran and North Korea.

Bush-era war hawk makes comeback

Stephen Miller - Senior policy adviser

Mr Miller was a top aide to Jeff Sessions before he joined the Trump campaign.

He often warmed up crowds before Mr Trump took the stage at rallies on the campaign trail and was subsequently named the national policy director for Mr Trump's transition team. He also served as the campaign's chief speechwriter.

Image copyright AFP

As a senior adviser, Mr Miller manages White House policy staff, speechwriting functions and ensures the implementation of the president-elect's policy.

"He is deeply committed to the America First agenda, and understands the policies and actions necessary to put that agenda into effect," Mr Trump said.

A combative interview with CNN's Jake Tapper ended prematurely when the CNN host lost patience.

Kellyanne Conway - Counsellor to the President

Image copyright Reuters

The Republican strategist and veteran pollster serves as the highest-ranking woman in the White House after having earlier been considered for the role of press secretary.

"She is a tireless and tenacious advocate of my agenda and has amazing insights on how to effectively communicate our message," Mr Trump said.

The mother of four was promoted as Mr Trump's third campaign manager in August 2016 as part of another staff shake-up after the Republican convention.

She has been praised as the "Trump whisperer" and became the first woman to run a successful US presidential campaign.


Melania Trump

A former model born in Slovenia, Melania married Donald Trump in January 2005.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Melania has been married to Mr Trump since 2005 and they have one son

She has stood by her husband despite reports of his infidelities, alleged sexual assaults, and campaign revelations that he boasted about groping women.

In July 2016 she made headlines after making a speech at the Republican National Convention, which she was accused of having plagiarised from one made by Michelle Obama in 2008.

In an October interview with CNN, she was asked what she would change about her husband. She replied: "His tweeting".

She stayed in New York with their son Barron until he finished his school term, before formally moving into the White House in June 2017.

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Media captionWhat was Melania Trump like in Slovenia?

The new first lady

Ivanka Trump

Perhaps the best-known of Donald Trump's children, the only daughter of his marriage to Ivana, his first wife.

A model in her early years, she was a vice-president at The Trump Organization, before stepping down when her father became president. She also launched her eponymous fashion line and was also a judge on her father's reality TV show The Apprentice.

Image copyright Reuters

Her brother Donald Junior says Ivanka is the favourite child and is referred to as "Daddy's little girl".

She was given a level of authority in the family business that none of his wives ever had and is said to have handled some of the company's biggest deals.

Since Mr Trump became president, she has regularly been seen at his side. She, rather than the first lady, travelled with him to an air base in early February 2017 to mark the return of the body of a soldier killed in a raid in Yemen.

She joined her father's administration as an unpaid aide with the title Adviser to the President, and has her own office in the West Wing of the White House.

After her father became president, Ivanka said she had resigned from her signature apparel and accessories brand.

She converted to Judaism after marrying Jared Kushner in 2009.

America's other First Lady?

Jared Kushner

Mr Trump's media-shy son-in-law is the son of a prominent New York property developer and is married to Ivanka Trump.

Mr Kushner arrived at the White House with the broadest of briefs and has come out on top of several rounds of infighting in the West Wing.

But he increasingly faces a battle for relevance - stripped of his top-level security clearance and locked in a power struggle.

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Image caption Jared Kushner and his wife Ivanka Trump smile for the camera at Donald Trump's presidential victory party

It emerged that Mr Kushner had attempted to arrange a communications backchannel with Russia during the presidential transition. But Mr Kushner denies any suggestion of collusion with the Kremlin.

He is a wealthy property developer and publisher. He owns 666 Fifth Avenue, a skyscraper a few blocks down from Trump Tower, and in 2006, aged just 25, he bought the once-venerable New York Observer newspaper.

Mr Kushner was born and raised in comfort in Livingston, New Jersey, alongside two sisters and a brother. His grandparents escaped Poland during the war, arriving in the US in 1949, and his father Charles made his fortune as a New Jersey property mogul.

Trump's right-hand man

Donald Trump Jr

Donald Trump's eldest son from his first marriage to Ivana is now executive vice-president of The Trump Organization, but had played a significant role during Mr Trump's campaign.

In July 2017, it emerged that Mr Trump Jr - along with Jared Kushner and former campaign manager Paul Manafort - had met with a Russian lawyer with links to the Kremlin during Mr Trump's presidential campaign.

He initially explained that the meeting was held to discuss Russian adoptions, which were suspended after the US announced sanctions on Russia in 2012.

But emails showed that he decided to attend the meeting after being offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

He and President Trump have since described the meeting as "opposition research" that any politician would engage in.

Eric Trump

The third child of Mr Trump's marriage to Ivana, he is also an executive vice-president of the Trump Organization.

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Image caption Donald (L) and Eric Trump both have important roles in their father's business

He is president of the Trump Winery in Virginia and oversees Trump golf clubs.

In 2006, he also set up the Eric Trump Foundation, which was embroiled in a controversy over donations.


Mike Pompeo - Secretary of State-designate

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Media captionPompeo on Russia, North Korea and Trump

The former hardline Republican Congressman became US spymaster as head of the CIA. Now he has been nominated to take over as America's top diplomat following Mr Trump's abrupt firing of Rex Tillerson.

The three-term Tea Party Republican from Wichita, Kansas, was a vehement critic of the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran and has defended the National Security Agency's bulk data collection programme.

He also opposes closing Guantanamo Bay and, after visiting the prison in 2013, he remarked that some inmates who had declared a hunger strike looked like they had put on weight.

In January, he told the BBC that Russia would target the US mid-term elections.

Trump's new loyalist top diplomat

Steven Mnuchin - Treasury Secretary

Not all of Mr Trump's supporters welcomed the idea of handing the levers of national tax policy to a consummate Wall Street insider.

During his time running the OneWest bank, his business oversaw thousands of home foreclosures in the aftermath of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Mr Mnuchin amassed a fortune during his 17 years at Goldman Sachs before founding the movie production company behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

Five things about Steve Mnuchin

The treasury secretary found himself under investigation after he took a government-subsidised trip to Fort Knox with his Scottish wife Louis Linton, amid claims they were sightseeing.

US treasury secretary's wife rues missteps

James Mattis - Secretary of Defense

Gen Mattis served in the Marine Corps for 44 years, fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. A counterinsurgency expert, he played a key role in fighting in Falluja in 2004.

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Image caption Gen Mattis retired from the military in 2013 after more than four decades of service

From 2010-13 he led US Central Command, which covers an area from the Horn of Africa into Central Asia and includes all US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He is known for his blunt comments. In 2005 he was criticised after saying - in reference to Afghan men who "slap women around... because they didn't wear a veil" - that "it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them".

But he is also described as a popular leader, well-liked by those he commanded, and an avid reader of literature on warfare. His nicknames were warrior monk and mad dog.

As Gen Mattis retired in 2013, the law that bans military officers from serving as defence chief for seven years after leaving active duty was waived.

'Warrior Monk' to head Pentagon

Elaine Chao - Transportation Secretary

Born in Taiwan, she became the first Asian-American woman to hold a position in a presidential cabinet when she led the Labor Department under President Bush from 2001-09.

Ms Chao, who is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, served as deputy secretary of transportation and director of the Peace Corps in former President George HW Bush's administration.

She came to the US with her family at the age of eight and settled in New York, where her father became a shipping magnate.

Jeff Sessions - Attorney General

Mr Sessions had been one of Mr Trump's closest allies throughout the campaign, and his loyalty was rewarded when he became the nation's top prosecutor.

But the former senator from Alabama has appeared isolated after the president said he never would have appointed him if he had known that Mr Sessions would later recuse himself from the Russian investigation.

Mr Sessions later said the president's attacks were "kinda hurtful".

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Allegations of racism have dogged him throughout his career, and were raised during his confirmation hearing in the Senate.

He lost out on a federal judgeship back in 1986 when former colleagues said he had used the N-word.

But during the hearing, he acknowledged "the horrendous impact that relentless and systemic discrimination and the denial of voting rights has had on our African-American brothers and sisters".

Gina Haspel - nominated as CIA director

Image copyright Office of Strategic Services Society

Ms Haspel has been chosen by Mr Trump to take over from Mike Pompeo as he steps up to become secretary of state.

If confirmed, she will become the first female director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

A career intelligence officer with more than 30 years' experience, she was appointed CIA deputy director last year.

Controversially, she ran a prison in Thailand where suspected al-Qaeda members were tortured by waterboarding in 2002.

Trump's pick as new CIA director

Nikki Haley - US ambassador to the UN

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Image caption Mrs Haley was critical of Mr Trump during his presidential campaign

In the Republican primaries, Nikki Haley, then the governor of South Carolina, first backed Mr Rubio and later Texas Senator Ted Cruz before she finally threw her support behind Mr Trump.

She was highly critical of Mr Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigrants, calling it "un-American", and also of his refusal to release tax records.

Announcing her as the first woman chosen for his cabinet, Mr Trump called her "a proven dealmaker" who will be "a great leader representing us on the world stage".

Nikki Haley, the Republican who took on Trump

The daughter of Indian immigrants, Mrs Haley was the first minority and female governor of South Carolina, a deeply conservative state with a long history of racial tensions.

At times, she has contradicted the White House, and said "everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections" despite the president's more nuanced stance.

Rick Perry - Energy Secretary

The former Texas governor heads an agency he proposed to eliminate during his failed 2012 presidential campaign.

The former Dancing with the Stars contestant was a vocal critic of Mr Trump, calling him a "barking carnival act" and a "cancer on conservatism" before he dropped out of his second unsuccessful bid for the White House in 2015.

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As governor of Texas, Mr Perry called for lighter regulation on the oil industry and referred to the science around climate change as "unsettled".

After being picked by Mr Trump, he stepped down from the board of directors at Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.

Betsy DeVos - Education Secretary

A wealthy Republican Party donor and a former Michigan Republican Party chairwoman, she became the second woman nominated for a cabinet position.

She had however once described Mr Trump as "an interloper" who didn't represent the Republican Party.

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Image caption Betsy DeVos has supported the Common Core education standards that Mr Trump has criticised

Mrs DeVos is an advocate of Republican-favoured charter schools, which are publicly funded and set up by teachers, parents, or community groups outside the state school system.

She also previously supported the Common Core education standards that Mr Trump and many conservatives have pilloried.

Mr Trump called her "a brilliant and passionate education advocate" but she was criticised after appearing to struggle at times during her nomination hearing.

Why is Betsy DeVos so unpopular?

Alexander Acosta - Secretary of Labor

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Image caption Unlike other cabinet members, Acosta has a long record of government work

The former Florida International University law dean has worked for the National Labor Relations Board, the Justice Department's civil rights division, and the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Before joining the Trump administration, he was chairman of the US Century Bank, the largest domestically owned Hispanic community bank in Florida.

During his time serving as US Attorney in Florida, he cut a secret deal with billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein, who had been accused of sexual misconduct with underage girls.

The deal was criticised by lawyers representing the alleged victims, saying that the punishment was too lenient.

Ryan Zinke - Secretary of the Interior

The former Navy SEAL was picked to lead the agency that oversees federal land, including national parks such as Yosemite and Yellowstone.

He is a former congressman for Montana, where he was raised near Glacier National Park.

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Image caption Mr Zinke spoke at the Republican convention in Ohio

Mr Zinke has bucked his party on the issue of privatisation or transfer of public lands to states, which he believes should remain under federal control.

Environmental advocacy groups condemned the pick, accusing Mr Zinke of being in hock to corporate polluters.

Who is Ryan Zinke?

Scott Pruitt - Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) boss

The former Oklahoma attorney general and well-known climate change sceptic leads the federal agency tasked with protecting the environment.

Mr Pruitt's appointment came as he led a 28-state effort to halt President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed to limit emissions from coal-fired plants; a plan that the EPA has been in charge of enforcing.

Mr Pruitt has called the EPA's work "unlawful and overreaching" and he has said the global warming "debate is far from settled".

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Media captionScott Pruitt said he didn't think climate change was a 'hoax'

Environmental groups said Mr Pruitt's appointment was "like putting an arsonist in charge of fighting fires".

Peter Navarro - Director of Trade and Industrial Policy

Mr Navarro is a top economic advisor to the president and director of the White House's Trade and Manufacturing Policy office.

A staunch anti-China and pro-tariff economist, Mr Navarro was sidelined and demoted by Chief of Staff John Kelly and other free trade economists on the National Economic Council last autumn.

However, the former Trump campaign advisor - an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine - still wields influence in the White House, as seen by the tariffs placed on steel and aluminium.

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Image caption Mr Navarro attends presidential proclamation signing on steel and aluminium tariffs at the White House