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Trump Heads to Washington, Senate to Vote on National Security Cabinet Picks Friday | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump holds a campaign event in Phoenix, Arizona July 11, 2015. REUTERS/Nancy Wiechec

Donald Trump arrives in Washington on Thursday, a day ahead of him taking the oath of office as the 45th US president, with a sweeping determination to change the face of U.S. politics over the next four years.

Trump, 70, a real estate magnate with no previous political or military experience, was elected in part for his unusual strictness, his working class supporters have sent him to this bastion of federal power to turn the page on the Obama era and shake up the current system. Trump has vowed to act, and swiftly.

He departs Trump Tower, his Manhattan home and campaign headquarters, for New York’s La Guardia airport where he will board an aircraft from the presidential fleet, leaving behind his private Boeing jet. With President Barack Obama’s departure on Friday, Trump becomes Air Force One’s most exclusive passenger.

Trump’s swearing-in, on the steps of the Capitol at noon Friday — a date and hour set by the US Constitution — will be carried live on screens throughout the planet. Rain is forecast.

More so, the U.S. Senate is also due to vote on Friday on the two retired Marine generals who are President-elect Donald Trump’s nominees to be Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Homeland Security, Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer said on Thursday.

Both retired General James Mattis, Trump’s pick to lead the Pentagon, and retired General John Kelly, his choice for Homeland Security, are expected to be confirmed easily.

The Senate will begin debate on a third prospective member of Trump’s national security team, U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo, the Republican’s selection to be director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Schumer said. No guarantee was made that there would be a vote on Pompeo on Friday.

Senate Republicans had hoped to confirm as many as seven of Trump’s cabinet nominees in the hours after he is inaugurated as president on Friday.