What to think about all the daylight between Trump and Cabinet nominees?
by ED MORRISSEY at HotAir:
“After a few days of confirmation hearings, a couple of points have become certain. First, all of Donald Trump’s appointments will wind up being confirmed. Rex Tillerson’s probably closest to being on the bubble, but at least so far there’s nothing to suggest that he’s going to lose three Senate Republicans in the final floor vote. We haven’t seen all of Trump’s Cabinet picks, but Tom Price knows his way around a Congressional hearing, and Betsy DeVos has had plenty of practice at parrying attacks over the last couple of weeks.
The second thing we know is that Trump didn’t exactly hire “yes men.” In every confirmation hearing thus far, his nominees have put daylight between themselves and key Trump campaign positions. Karen Tumulty reports on the surprising trend for the Washington Post:
Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, in their first round of confirmation hearings on Capitol Hill, have one after another contradicted the president-elect on key issues, promising to trim back or disregard some of the signature promises on which he campaigned.
A fresh set of examples came Thursday, the third day of hearings.
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, Trump’s nominee to be defense secretary, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the United States must honor the “imperfect arms-control agreement” with Iran that Trump has vowed to dismantle because “when America gives her word, we have to live up to it and work with our allies.”
There was plenty more than that, from Mattis and others. Mattis holds a much more skeptical view on Russia than Trump has publicly stated, a key difference when it comes to the strategy and planning at the Department of Defense. Mattis explicitly testified that Russia wants to break NATO and that the alliance is key to Western security, both somewhat off-message from Trump. Tillerson wants to keep engaging on climate change, itself a surprising position for the former head of ExxonMobil. John Kelly and Jeff Sessions disavowed the “Muslim registry” plan that Trump promoted, and both he and Mike Pompeo rejected Trump’s call to restart enhanced interrogation techniques…..” There’s more below: