By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Thursday, December 1, 2016, US Representative Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) said that she is impressed by many of the cabinet selections that President-elect Donald J. Trump (R) has made thus far.
Congresswoman Roby said, “I’ve always believed that good leaders surround themselves with smart, capable people, and that’s what President-elect Trump has done so far.”
Rep. Roby specifically applauded President-elect Trump’s selection of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) as Attorney General, Rep. Tom Price (R-Georgia) as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), and Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Roby said that she has a positive working relationship with each of these appointments from serving in Congress for the last six years.
Congresswoman Roby said, “Part of my job is to build relationships with leaders of federal agencies in order to get results on the issues that are important to my district, so to already have good relationships with so many incoming Cabinet officials is very encouraging.”
Rep. Roby said that she is eager to see President-elect Trump’s selections for other key Cabinet positions, particularly the Secretaries of Defense, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture. Roby said that these agencies are critically important to Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
After an eleven-year old videotape surfaced showing GOP nominee Donald Trump using the p-word and claiming that his celebrity meant that he could assault women with impunity, Rep. Roby along with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley (R) withdrew their support for Trump’s candidacy. Despite the loss of the support, Trump still easily carried Alabama and won an unexpected electoral college landslide.
Rep. Roby was widely criticized by conservatives for her comments abandoning the nominee. Since Trump’s victory, the conservative congresswoman from Alabama has been highly complementary towards the Republican President to be. Some conservative voters wrote in the name of Becky Gerritson (R), the tea party leader who challenged Roby in the GOP Primary. The result was the closest election for any incumbent in the general election in Alabama.
Trump is still working to fill all of those cabinet appointments.
On Thursday night, President-elect Trump told a crowd of supporters in Cincinnati, “We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of Defense, but we’re not announcing until Monday, so don’t tell anybody.”
Mattis has served as the head of US Central Command, which oversees the US wars in the Middle East. He and President Barack H. Obama quarreled over the President’s Iran deal.
The appointment of Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis to a civilian cabinet post will take special permission from Congress as existing law prevents former military officers from such posts for six years following them leaving the armed forces. Mattis retired in 2013.
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) has already announced that he will write that waiver bill. Sen. McCain said after meeting with Mattis; “General Mattis has a clear understanding of the many challenges facing the Department of Defense, the US military, and our national security. I hope he has an opportunity to serve America again.”
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.
(Original reporting by ‘The Hill’ and the ‘Washington Post’ contributed to this report)