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What Cabinet Picks Say about Direction of the Trump Administration

11-15-2016
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Pragmatist, or conservative ideologue? Donald Trump's potential cabinet appointments may give us a clue as to how he intends to run the country.

As outgoing President Barack Obama made his final overseas trip as president--starting in Greece -- incoming president Donald Trump pondered his potential cabinet picks. 

Just before leaving on his trip, Obama held a press conference where he said that Trump was committed to NATO, and he was asked about his impressions of the president-elect. 

"I don't think he is ideological.  I think ultimately he is pragmatic in that way and that can serve him well," said the president.

Trump's latest potential cabinet picks may demonstrate a pragmatic, business approach to move the country forward.

On the campaign trail Trump pledge to approve the Keystone XL pipeline and said he'd take steps to make the U.S. energy independent. Some of those being considered to head up the Department of Energy would help him accomplish that.

Among them is North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer. North Dakota has become one of the nation's top oil producing states.

Oklahoma oil tycoon Harold Hamm is also in the running. The billionaire's Continental Resources company is involved in shale oil fracking.

A final possible pick to head of the Department of Energy, or Interior, is venture capitalist Robert Grady, who previously worked in the Bush administration. 

But the potential big surprise may be Trump's potential pick for secretary of state, America's top diplomat.

For now, it appears to be Trump supporter and friend Rudy Giuliani.  A former federal prosecutor, many people thought Giuliani would be appointed U.S. attorney general or possibly head of Homeland Security. 

But Trump reportedly told the former New York City mayor he can have any cabinet position he wants.

And Trump may appoint gay Republican Richard Grenell to be ambassador to the United Nations. Grenell is a foreign policy expert and the longest serving U.S. spokesman at the U.N.

Still to come is who the president-elect will choose for the important posts of secretary of defense, intelligence, Homeland Security and Treasury.

Once his cabinet is firmed up, Trump will have another important personnel decision to make: who will replace the late Antonin Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court.

During a recent interview with "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl, Trump vowed to appoint pro-life justices and judges --those who may potentially  overturn Roe v. Wade.

"If it ever were overturned it would go back to the states, so it would go back to the states," Trump said.

"Some women won't be able to get an abortion," Stahl noted. 

"No, it'll go back to the states," Trump replied.

"By state, some women won't..." Stahl pressed.

"Perhaps, they'll have to go to another state," Trump suggested. 

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