File photo taken on July 16, 2016 shows Donald Trump speaking at a campaign event in New York, the United States. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
by Matthew Rusling
WASHINGTON, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- As President-elect Donald Trump gears up to take control of the White House, his short list of cabinet candidates is composed of hardliners. Experts say it looks like his administration is shaping up to be one that will take a tough approach to foreign policy and terrorism.
Trump, a New York real estate billionaire and former reality TV star, defeated his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, whom analysts, the media and political prognosticators all expected to win in the Nov. 8 presidential election. Since then the incoming leader has been scrambling to build a team, in the lead-up to January's inauguration.
"Trump has picked hardline individuals so far in his transition. Most of the people have extreme viewpoints and are more conservative than the Republican Party itself," Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.
"His choices signal that he will take a tough stance on many foreign policy and security issues. He will confront radical Islam and be much tougher on the IS (Islamic State)," he said.
Julian Zelizer, professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, echoed those thoughts, saying that so far the indications seem to be that he would run a conservative Republican administration.
Speaking about Trump's candidates for national security advisor, secretary of state, defense secretary and homeland security chief, Zelizer described them as "very extreme."
"The (Attorney General) pick is anti-voting rights and anti-immigration rights. The (National Security Council) advisor is a hardliner in terms of how to fight terrorism," said Zelizer.
This picture taken on November 22, 2016 shows ann employee displaying a rubber mask of US President-elect Donald Trumpat the Ogawa Studios mask factory in Saitama, north of Tokyo. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
Dan Mahaffee, an analyst with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, told Xinhua that he believed that a Trump Administration would be making some picks to really shake up things in Washington, as well as to balance his cabinet with a wide range of skill sets and backgrounds.
"So far we have only really seen his picks for National Security Advisor, Attorney General, and CIA Director," said Mahaffee.
"Those picks of Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, Sen. Jeff Session, and Rep. Mike Pompeo suggest a very hard-line approach on national security issues, criminal justice, immigration, and the CIA's approach to intelligence and covert operations," he said.
As for Trump's economic team, that information has not yet come out.
"While there is speculation that there will be the voices of leading business officials, Wall Street experts, and others in economic posts, that is also still largely speculative in terms of who the exact cast will be," said Mahaffee.
Thus far, in terms of economic policy issues, Trump has been addressing the issues directly through statements to the public, including his YouTube video -- where he discusses cutting regulation, withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, renegotiating trade deals, and focusing on bilateral deals where he thinks the United States can get a better outcome, Mahaffee noted.
"While there will be important players brought in to work on those issues, it appears the framework within which those people will work has already been set," he said.