Donald Trump may have celebrated a big win on Tuesday night, but he undoubtedly has a lot of work ahead of him. Namely, the president-elect will have to build his network of advisors and, particularly, his Cabinet. On Wednesday night, just 24 hours after the election results came in, it was unclear who would be in Trump's Cabinet, but the rumor mill had already started spinning.
On Wednesday, the only sure thing about Trump's executive branch team was Mike Pence, his running mate turned vice president-elect. Once in office, Trump and Pence will ultimately be supported by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as Republicans will maintain control of both houses of Congress. But as president-elect, Trump has the opportunity to appoint his soon-to-be Cabinet, a 15-member team that will lead the various offices of the executive branch, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, and the Treasury, among others.
Trump may not announce his full Cabinet lineup until next year, but based on the widespread speculation, the important conversations have already begun. From the looks of many reports, Trump's Cabinet could include a number of familiar establishment-friendly figures. If that's the case, the combination of more traditional conservatives with outspoken Trump supporters could pose an interesting challenge for the Republican Party.
It doesn't get much more establishment-friendly than the chairman of the Republican National Committee. Reince Priebus walked a fine line during the GOP primaries as he balanced support for Trump with support for the other Republican candidates. Now, Priebus reportedly could become Trump's chief of staff, according to sources.
The former New York City mayor could be moving from Trump's current stomping ground to his new one. Rudy Giuliani has been one of Trump's most vocal supporters from early on in the campaign. Trump may value his loyalty enough to appoint Giuliani attorney general — that is, unless New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gets the job.
The senator from Alabama was one of Trump's most steadfast supporters from Congress. You know, the senator who reportedly said that Trump's 2005 hot mic tape didn't describe sexual assault. If Trump chooses him for a secretary position, he'd move over to the executive branch. Reports have suggested that Sessions could fill any number of secretary positions, including secretary of defense.
Randy Forbes, a representative from Virginia, lost his primary race earlier this year. He could stay in Washington, D.C., though, if Trump appoints him secretary of the Navy.
Definitely a familiar face around Washington, Newt Gingrich is rumored to be in the running for secretary of state. Gingrich was formerly the speaker of the House of Representatives, but lately, he has become known for his bold statements about the election. Trump and his advisors will have to decide if those bold statements give Gingrich the ability to serve as an effective diplomat.
It's important to remember that the Cabinet conversations could still be in their early stages. Trump's campaign spokesperson told NBC News that Trump hadn't been involved in the transition planning so far, as he remained "entirely focused on the campaign and the American people." Now that the campaign has ended, it seems that the American people want to know who the president-elect will surround himself with.