Trump team struggles with secretary of state selection


Republicans, including early supporters of President-elect Donald Trump, are shaking their heads over the difficulty the transition team is having in coming up with a selection for the most coveted job in Washington after president: secretary of state.


One reason is that the intellectual makeup and policy penchants that Mr. Trump appears to covet haven’t been shared by the people who have occupied the commanding heights of American foreign policy in Washington for more than 30 years.


“President-elect Donald Trump’s challenge in filling the secretary of state position is to find someone who is knowledgeable and shares his reluctance to have the U.S. intervene militarily abroad unless directly threatened,” said Merrill Matthews, resident scholar at the Institute for Policy Innovation.


“But that same person must be someone who can discuss foreign policy in a tactful way that doesn’t outrage the neoconservatives who support an aggressive interventionist approach,” Mr. Matthews added.


With a dearth of recognizable names that fit the “America First” policies Mr. Trump rode to the presidency, the Trump transition seems to keep coming up with the same faces and names but never slipping the State Department engagement ring on any of their fingers.



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