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On the Hot Seat: Trump Cabinet Hopefuls Brace for Lengthy Grilling during Confirmation Hearings

Dale Hurd : Jan 10, 2017 : CBN News

"There is an attempt by some to demonize people and call them racist when there is actually no proof for it. Let me say clearly, Sen. Sessions is not a racist." -Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson.

[CBN News] A flurry of confirmation hearings [began] Tuesday for President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet nominees. (Screengrab via CBS News)

Democrats don't have the votes to stop the appointments, but they still plan to slow things down.

On the hot seat today is retired Marine Gen. John Kelly for Homeland Security secretary and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general.

Democrats are looking to make the Sessions hearing confrontational. They've dredged up allegations from 31 years ago, when Sessions was rejected for a federal judgeship over claims he made racist remarks—charges he forcefully denies.

Sessions will face opposition from some black leaders, but he also has support from a group of black pastors who say he's being demonized.

"There is an attempt by some to demonize people and call them racist when there is actually no proof for it," Evangelical Bishop Harry Jackson told reporters Monday at a Capitol Hill news conference. "Let me say clearly, Sen. Sessions is not a racist."

Seven other Trump nominees are also set for hearings this week.

With 10 days until his inauguration, the president-elect said his cabinet will be ready to go.

"They are going great. Confirmations are going great. I think they'll all pass," Trump said.

After complaints Trump wasn't moving fast enough on cabinet picks, now Democrats complain he's going too fast and that there's not enough time to properly vet all the candidates.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "Everyone will be properly vetted, as they have been in the past."

One position that does not require Senate confirmation is senior advisor to the president. Trump has announced his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will fill the post. (Photo via The News International)

Monday night, Trump advisors huddled with House Speaker Paul Ryan on a plan to cut taxes and simplify the federal tax code.

Meanwhile, outgoing President Barack Obama has left Trump with some foreign policy messes that will need to be addressed. In the Persian Gulf, a U.S Navy destroyer had to fire warning shots at threatening Iranian vessels. This comes as Iran is set to receive a huge shipment of natural uranium from Russia for its nuclear program.

Also, North Korea is threatening to test-launch an intercontinental ballistic missile, raising the fear that someday the North could hit the United States mainland in a nuclear attack.

And Israel will come under more pressure this weekend when a global gathering of diplomats in Paris is expected to push again for a so-called two-state solution, giving the Palestinians their own nation side by side with Israel.

Relations between Israel and the U.S bottomed out under President Obama.

President-elect Trump—a big supporter of Israel—has told the Israelis to hang on until he enters office.







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