Confirmed: Donald Trump Picks Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross for His Cabinet

Mnuchin will be Treasury Secretary, Ross will lead the Commerce Department.

President-elect Donald Trump has filled more top posts on his economic team — picking former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and financier Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.

Mnuchin is confirming that he and Ross are joining Trump’s Cabinet, pending confirmation by the Senate.

He tells CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview Wednesday that “we’re thrilled to work for the president-elect and honored to have these positions.”

Mnuchin says “sustained economic growth” is the chief priority of the incoming administration and he says “we can absolutely get to sustained 3 to 4 percent” in the gross domestic product.

He’s also outlining what he calls “the largest tax change” since President Ronald Reagan — cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, a “big” middle-class income tax cut and simplifying taxes.

Mnuchin led Trump’s finance operations during the presidential campaign and became close to the president-elect and his family.

Ross is a billionaire investor who’s considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits.

Mr. Trump praised Mnuchin as a “world-class financier, banker and businessman” in a statement.

“Steve Mnuchin is a world-class financier, banker and businessman, and has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs,” he said.“His expertise and pro-growth ideas make him the ideal candidate to serve as Secretary of the Treasury.”

In his own statement, Mnuchin said he was “honored” To have a role in the incoming administration.

“I understand what needs to be done to fix the economy,” he said. “I look forward to helping President-elect Trump implement a bold economic agenda that creates good-paying jobs and defends the American worker.”

Mnuchin spoke with reporters Wednesday at Trump Tower about his appointment and his priorities for the incoming administration.

“Our first priority is going to be the tax plan and the tax plan has both the corporate aspects to it — lowering corporate taxes so we make U.S. companies the most competitive in the world, making sure we repatriate trillions of dollars back to the United States, and the personal income taxes where we’re going to have the most significant middle income tax cut since Reagan,” he said. He added that the administration intends to implement the president-elect’s child care program, which Mnuchin predicted would be a “tremendous boon to the economy.”

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Composite:Getty Images/ AP

Trump’s Newest Addition To Cabinet: Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos

President-elect Donald J. Trump named two prominent Republican women to cabinet posts on Wednesday, recruiting Betsy DeVos, a prominent Republican philanthropist and educational activist, as education secretary, and Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina as ambassador to the United Nations.

Donald Trump is going with a former critic for a key foreign policy post, picking South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


Gov.Nikki R. Haley, Photo: NY Times

The president-elect has also picked Betsy DeVos, a businesswoman and charter school advocate from Michigan, to be his secretary of Education, DeVos said in a tweet posted early Wednesday afternoon.

And former Republican primary rival Ben Carson, mentioned as a possible pick for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said on Twitter and Facebook that “I feel that I can make a significant contribution,” and an announcement is “forthcoming.”

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Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks Still Not Entirely Known

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

There were hints but no decisions to announce. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, was “under active and serious consideration” for secretary of state, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said. Trump himself said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defense secretary.

“We’ve made a couple of deals,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club before returning to New York. He gave assurances that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” into the government. “You’ll be hearing about them soon.”

More meetings are on Trump’s Monday schedule. His transition team said former Texas governor and GOP presidential rival Rick Perry was expected to meet with Trump on Monday.

Among the visitors to the white-pillared clubhouse Sunday were Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, the former commander of U.S. Southern Command.

The businessman who is now the president-elect also apparently was considering options to lead the Commerce Department, meeting with Ross. “Time will tell,” Ross told reporters when asked if he wanted a post.

It was hard to tell if some of the visitors were on the job hunt. Hollywood powerbroker Ari Emanuel and BET founder Robert Johnson came through over the weekend as did health care billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. Trump made a show of each guest, greeting them formally at the door, shaking hands, and smiling for the cameras and telling the press how “great” they were.

“King of Hollywood,” Trump said, as he ushered Emanuel in the door Sunday.

Between conversations, Trump revealed he was making transition plans for his family. He told reporters that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, would move to Washington when the school year ends.

Trump also turned to Twitter to share some of his thinking. In between criticism of Saturday Night Live, the hit musical “Hamilton,” and retiring Democratic leader Harry Reid, he wrote that, “General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!”

The comments were indications that Trump is looking outside his immediate circle as he works toward rounding out his foreign policy and national security teams. On Friday, he named a loyalist, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential contender, and Trump exchanged bitter insults during the campaign, and Mattis has not been considered a Trump confidante. The appointment of more establishment figures could offer some reassurance to lawmakers and others concerned about Trump’s hard-line positions on immigration and national security and his lack of foreign policy experience.

Trump told reporters Sunday that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

But even as Trump and his team discussed pressing issues facing the country and how to staff the incoming administration, the president-elect’s Twitter feed suggested other issues too were on his mind.

His targets Sunday included Sen. Reid. Trump tweeted that incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, another media-savvy New Yorker, was “far smarter” than Reid and “has the ability to get things done.”

Trump also complained that Saturday Night Live, which thrives on making fun of politicians, is “biased” and not funny. The night before, actor Alec Baldwin portrayed Trump as Googling: “What is ISIS?”

Trump also insisted again that the cast and producers of “Hamilton” should apologize after the lead actor addressed Pence from the stage Friday night, telling the vice president-elect that “diverse America” was “alarmed and anxious.” Pence said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he wasn’t offended.

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