Jeff Sessions, Mike Pompeo, Michael Flynn picks for Trump administration signal shift to right

Trump's Cabinet picks

Last Updated Nov 19, 2016 8:48 AM EST

President-elect Donald Trump was close to making more choices for his Cabinet on Saturday.

Breaking down Trump's choices for key Cabinet positions

CBS News has learned that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the leading candidate for secretary of state.

Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, will be tapped for treasury secretary, and the commerce secretary nominee will likely be billionaire investor Wilbur Ross.

Those appointments were expected to be announced early next week.

This comes on the heels of this week’s announcement of three picks to Mr. Trump’s national security team.

CBS News correspondent Weijia Jiang reports all the people the president-elect has tapped in his latest round of picks have one thing in common: They all supported him early -- and staunchly -- even when it was wildly unpopular.

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Friday’s names in particular signal a sharp shift to the right in U.S. national security policy, a sign Mr. Trump so far was fulfilling one of his top campaign promises.

Mr. Trump escaped New York’s Fifth Avenue on Friday evening, moving his transition team to his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, for the weekend.

On Saturday, he planned to meet with retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, who was under consideration for secretary of defense, and former foe Mitt Romney despite his previous efforts to knock out Mr. Trump’s campaign.

“Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud,” Romney said in March. “His promises are as worthless as a degree from Trump University.”

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Mr. Trump’s transition has been criticized for being frenzied, but Vice President-elect Mike Pence insists it’s a smooth process.

“We’ve got a great number of men and women of great qualifications,” Pence said.

Late this week, Mr. Trump named three picks for key posts.

Former military intelligence chief and retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn will be his national security adviser, a life-long Democrat who has frequently questioned President Obama’s strategy against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Rep. Mike Pompeo tapped for CIA director

“Let’s get off the dime and just call it like it is, which is Islamic extremism,” Flynn said on “CBS This Morning” co-host Charlie Rose’s PBS program.

Tapped to head the CIA was Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo, who was a critical voice in the 2012 Republican report on the State Department’s handling of the Benghazi terror attacks that killed four Americans.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions accepted the nomination for attorney general. In 1986, Sessions’ efforts to secure a federal judgeship were derailed amid accusations of making racist comments while serving as a U.S. attorney, including calling groups like the NAACP “un-American.”

“My opinion is they have not, they may have taken positions that I consider to be adverse to the security interests of the United States,” Sessions said during his confirmation hearings.

Democrats critical of Trump's picks so far

“Does that make them un-American?” then-Sen. Joe Biden said.

“No, sir, it does not,” Sessions said.

“Does that make the positions un-American?” Biden asked.

“No,” Sessions said.

Sessions may have to soon revisit those allegations.

Both he and Pompeo have to go through Senate confirmation hearings before joining the new administration.

If the GOP sticks together, Democrats won’t be able to block any of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet picks, but they only have a slim one-seat Republican majority.