Trump Eyes Ex-Goldman Banker Steve Mnuchin For Treasury

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to pick former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin to be treasury secretary, US media suggest.

Steve Mnuchin

Mr Mnuchin, who was Mr Trump’s campaign finance chairman and has no government experience, could be named on Wednesday, according to reports.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump picked Tom Price as health secretary and Elaine Chao as transportation secretary.

He is still weighing his options in filling the posts of state and defence.

Mr Mnuchin amassed a fortune over 17 years at Goldman Sachs investment bank, before founding a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

It remains to be seen whether Mr Trump’s first key economic policy move, potentially picking a consummate Wall Street insider to helm the nation’s financial system, will be welcomed by supporters who were energised by the Republican’s vow to “drain the swamp” of special interests.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross – known as “the king of bankruptcy” for his restructuring of failing industries – is tipped to be named as Mr Trump’s commerce secretary.

Elaine Chao

Ms Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, led the Labor Department from 2001-09 under President George W Bush.

Born in Taiwan, she was the first Asian-American woman to hold a position in a presidential cabinet.

The 63-year-old also served as deputy secretary of transportation in President George HW Bush’s administration.

Ms Chao will play a crucial role under Mr Trump, who has vowed to make infrastructure spending on the country’s roads, bridges and other public transit an integral part of his agenda.

She came to the US with her family at the age of eight and settled in New York, where her father became a shipping magnate.

Tom Price

Mr Price, a 62-year-old congressman and orthopaedic surgeon, serves as the chairman of the House of Representatives budget committee.

The Georgia congressman has fiercely opposed the Affordable Healthcare Act, considered Mr Obama’s flagship measure, and is expected to play a key role in efforts to dismantle the law.

During his election campaign, Mr Trump vowed to repeal and replace the act, but has since said he favours keeping certain provisions.

Mr Trump said Mr Price was a “tireless problem solver” and “the go-to expert on healthcare policy”.

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Mr Price said he was looking forward to the opportunity of serving as health secretary on behalf of the American people.

He said his aim was to create a new system that worked for patients, families and doctors, adding that it should “protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit”.

But the appointment provoked a backlash from Democrats.

Liberal New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “Donald Trump’s HHS pick makes it clear that he wants to take away health care from the aging and the poor. It will be up to us to stop him.”

Analysis by Anthony Zurcher,

Donald Trump campaigned as an outsider intent on cleaning up the federal government, but his top appointments so far paint a picture of a chief executive interested in working with establishment powers to advance a traditional conservative agenda.

The president-elect’s selection of Tom Price for health and human services secretary is a perfect example, as he opted for a congressional insider with detailed knowledge of the legislative steps necessary to realise Mr Trump’s stated goal of dismantling Democratic healthcare reforms.

His pick of Seema Verma for a key healthcare agency is also illuminating. She has a track record of working within the system to advance conservative priorities. For instance, she helped prevent a grassroots Republican revolt when Indiana expanded its Medicaid insurance coverage for the poor by implementing work and eligibility requirements.

While Mr Trump blusters on Twitter and avoids most contact with the media, these latest moves seem to indicate the people running his administration will be detail-oriented and practical, albeit with a decidedly conservative bent.

The real tell, however, may be who he picks for secretary of state. If it’s Mitt Romney, the establishment insiders have prevailed. A loyalist like Rudy Giuliani? All bets are off.

On Tuesday, Mr Trump met Mitt Romney for a second time despite one of his top aides launching a public campaign against offering the former Massachusetts governor the post of secretary of state.

Mr Trump had dinner with Mr Romney and the president-elect’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway spoke out against Mr Romney on Sunday, saying Mr Trump’s supporters felt “betrayed” he would consider the 2012 Republican nominee for the prominent role.

Mr Romney was one of Mr Trump’s harshest critics during the campaign.

The president-elect will also sit down with Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee.

The two men are leading contenders for the all-important diplomatic post.

Earlier, Mr Trump met retired Gen David Petraeus. He said he was “very impressed” with the former CIA director in a tweet after their meeting on Monday.

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