Trump defends Cabinet picks disagreeing with him: They should “express their own thoughts”

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday defended his Cabinet nominees repeatedly breaking from his own policy positions during their confirmation hearings

Trump

President-elect Donald Trump on Friday defended his Cabinet nominees repeatedly breaking from his own policy positions during their confirmation hearings this week.

(Article by Mark Hensch from TheHill.com)

The Senate began interviewing Trump’s departmental picks this week, often finding they disagree with their would-be boss on everything from climate change to waterboarding.

Trump’s choice to lead the CIA, for example, told lawmakers Thursday he would “absolutely not” comply with orders to resume enhanced interrogation tactics.

“Moreover, I can’t imagine that I would be asked that by the president-elect,” Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) said in response to questions from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.).

Trump has previously voiced support for waterboarding, which critics say amounts to torture. The technique is currently illegal.

The president-elect’s choice for defense secretary, meanwhile, struck a tougher tone on Russia Thursday than Trump has.

Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis called Russia the “principal threat” to U.S. security during an appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He added the U.S. has a “relatively short list of successes” improving ties with Russia.

The retired general also broke with Trump on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“[It is] the most successful military alliance probably in modern world history, maybe ever,” Mattis said.

Trump has previously expressed hope for warmer ties with Moscow and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The president-elect also repeatedly criticized NATO as obsolete on the campaign trail, urging it to do more in the fight against terrorism.

Read more at: thehill.com

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