McConnell on Trump's Nominees So Far: 'I'm Optimistic They'll All Be Confirmed'

By Barbara Hollingsworth | December 12, 2016 | 12:06pm EST
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks to reporters at a press conference on Capitol Hill on Dec. 12, 2016. (C-SPAN2 screenshot)

( – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said  that he is “optimistic” that all of President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees will be confirmed by the Senate during a Monday morning press conference on Capitol Hill.

“I’ve been very impressed with the nominations so far, and we’ll have to wait and see who is nominated for secretary of State, and we’ll obviously treat whoever that is with respect,” McConnell said in response to a reporter’s question about whether he would have any concerns about possible conflicts of interest if Trump nominates ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of the State Department.

“We’ll go through the regular process and respond to questions and we’ll see where it comes out,” the Senate majority leader said.

When asked if Tillerson could be confirmed by the Senate, McConnell said: “Yeah. Let’s wait until we get nominees. I think of the nominees that we’re already aware of, I think, I’m optimistic that they’ll all be confirmed. But I don’t want to comment on a kind of phantom nominee today.”

“I’ll comment on who’s been nominated so far," McConnell continued. "I think Mike Pompeo is an outstanding choice for CIA. I think General Mattis is an outstanding choice for Defense. I’m optimistic the president’s going to have a good national security team, all aspects of it, in place."

Other Trump nominees include:

  • Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for attorney general;
  • Betsy DeVos for secretary of Education;
  • Retired Army General Mike Flynn for national security advisor;
  • Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt for administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency;
  • Dr. Ben Carson for secretary of Housing and Urban Development;
  • Retired Marine Corps General John Kelly for secretary of Homeland Security;
  • Former Goldman Sachs partner Steve Mnuchin for secretary of Treasury;
  • Investor William Ross for secretary of Commerce; and
  • Former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon for head of the Small Business Administration.

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