Washington Weighs In on Trump Picks

Washington, D.C., power players were weighing in Friday after President-elect Donald Trump picked Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director, including an FCC commissioner with a personal connection.

"I had the honor of working for Senator Sessions on the Senate Judiciary Committee, when he chaired the Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts," said FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, a leading contender for interim FCC chair and perhaps permanent. "Senator Sessions was and is a good man and a superb senator: honorable, thoughtful, devoted to the Constitution, and deeply committed to equal justice and the rule of law. He has long employed a diverse staff of attorneys —during my tenure, his staff consisted of an African-American man, two women, and me, a first-generation Indian-American—all of whom worked every day to fulfill his vision of a just and free America."

“Mike Pompeo's background as an Army officer and congressman, and his knowledge and leadership on national security issues, make him a strong choice to lead the CIA at this crucial time in our nation's history," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who squared off against Trump in the primaries. "Our intelligence professionals are America’s first line of defense, and it’s essential that our leaders and policymakers have the best possible intelligence as they work to protect and advance our country’s interests."

Trump has praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Rubio saw danger ahead. "The world is more dangerous than ever, with Russia and China attempting to undermine America’s allies, Islamic terrorism spreading, and increasingly aggressive rogue nations threatening our security. I’m confident Mike will do a good job guiding the men and women of the CIA in their important work on behalf of our nation..."

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee was not so happy with the Sessions pick.

"Jeff Sessions as Attorney General would be the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse," said campaign press secretary Kaitlin Sweeney. "He is not a mainstream choice for Attorney General. "[H]e opposes the Voting Rights Act and has draconian views on immigration. This makes him 100% unqualified to lead the Justice Department's civil rights and voting rights divisions.

“Sessions has consistently opposed reforming and challenging Wall Street, and cannot be trusted to prosecute Wall Street bankers who broke the law -- an idea that unites Republican, Independent, and Democratic voters.” -- Kaitlin Sweeney, Press Secretary, Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.