Trump's Administration: Why the Controversy?

By Victoria Robertson on January 20, 2017

Well, inauguration week is finally here, whether we’re ready for it or not.

But in light of all of the fake news and hate messages being spread across social media sites, I thought it was time to take a step back and lay out the next president’s picks that have stirred up quite a bit of controversy on their own.

Again, whether we want him to be or not, Donald Trump is our next president, and while ignorance is bliss, it’s also important to be educated before losing friends over political drama that you aren’t even familiar with.

So, for your benefit, here is a quick summary of who to be on the lookout for following Friday’s inauguration:

The New Team:

Senior Adviser: Jared Kushner

What’s his role?

There’s a lot that goes into the role, but he’s essentially a part of domestic and foreign policy.

Why he’s controversial?

He’s married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. It’s debatable as to whether or not this breaks anti-nepotism laws (basically, the laws that state the president can’t appoint family members). It’s also controversial because he’s the CEO of the family’s real estate business (though he will be supposedly stepping down to take on the role).

Chief Strategist: Steve Bannon

What’s his role?

He’s basically the lead adviser to Trump.

Why he’s controversial?

He ran a media outlet (Breitbart News) that leaned very far to the right. For Democrats, this is a bad thing. For Republicans, not so much.

Chief of Staff: Reince Priebus

What’s his role?

Called the president’s “gatekeeper,” he will essentially supervise the staff in the White House.

Why he’s controversial?

Just another Republican. In fact, he was a Republican National Committee chairman.

Counselor to the President: Kellyanne Conway

What’s her role?

She would essentially be the president’s top adviser, working on his top priorities with lawmakers.

Why she’s controversial?

She was Trump’s campaign manager. In other news, she was the first female in that role to win the presidential election. An odd bit of irony for you, huh?

National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn

What’s his role?

He keeps us safe. Kind of. He’s an adviser to the president on issues such as military and foreign policy.

Why he’s controversial?

He’s anti-Islam. Or at least, pro-aggression towards Islam. He’s a retired general (served in both Iraq and Afghanistan) and he’s ready to turn up the heat.

Press Secretary: Sean Spicer

What’s his role?

Exactly as you’d think: he manages the relationship between the White House and the press.

Why he’s controversial?

He was the head spokesman of the Republican National Committee (just another Republican). But I think we’ll learn rather quickly that he’s going to have one of the toughest jobs over the next four years. That is if recent events have anything to say about it.

Secretary of State: Rex Tillerson

What’s his role?

He’s the main go-to on foreign policy. He’s basically going to be managing our international relations.

Why he’s controversial?

He was the CEO of ExxonMobil. He also has ties with Russia and Vladimir Putin himself. So for a president that’s rumored to have a similar relationship, this is a questionable choice.

Defense Secretary: James Mattis

What’s his role?

He’s the go-to man on defense. In other words, he runs the military.

Why he’s controversial?

He’s clashed with the White House previously under the Obama administration, though he has served for over 40 years in the Marines and has led forces in both Afghanistan and Iraq. So he’s qualified, but things will be very different than they were under Obama.

UN Ambassador: Gov. Nikki Haley

What’s her role?

She’s the go-to for the United Nations. She’s going to be a foreign policy adviser to the secretary of state and the president himself.

Why she’s controversial?

She’s probably best known as the South Carolina governor that took the Confederate Flag down after a shooting in order to stop division, and she’s been a big advocate against some of Trump’s plans. So we’ll likely see some head-butting there in the future.

CIA Director: Mike Pompeo

What’s his role?

You guessed it — he’s in charge of CIA operations. He’s also going to advise Trump on CIA intel to keep the U.S. safe.

Why he’s controversial?

For a brief history lesson, he was on the committee that investigated the Benghazi attacks. In future tense, he’s dealing with a president that’s been fairly anti-CIA. So again, head-butting could be in the near future.

Attorney General: Jeff Sessions

What’s his role?

He’s going to be running the Justice Department. So he’s basically the top law enforcement officer in the U.S.

Why he’s controversial?

He’s got a “spotty” civil rights history. Especially surrounding the police and Black Lives Matter issues that are ongoing, this is going to be quite a problem moving forward. Don’t be too surprised if this comes up frequently.

Treasury Secretary: Steve Mnuchin

What’s his role?

He’s our money man. Basically, he’s in charge of U.S. debt and updating the president on our finances as a country.

Why he’s controversial?

He has no government background. Oh, and he’s exactly the type of person that Trump said wouldn’t be appointed under his presidency. So already, some red flags are flying high. His plans will likely only help the financial elite, according to many sources, which is a bummer for middle-class Americans.

So these names will come up again — be on the lookout! And at least now you have some background information for the next time you hear their names.

Victoria is a dedicated writer who graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She currently writes freelance pieces for various sites and works in Marketing for Myndbee Inc., promoting their current mobile app, Picpal.

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