Trump nominates two new DOD officials

Trump nominates two new DOD officials
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President Trump will nominate Robert Story Karem for assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs and Kari Bingen for principal deputy under secretary of Defense for intelligence, according to a Tuesday White House statement.

Karem was a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney from February 2005 to January 2009, a legislative aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (R-Ky.) and a national security adviser to former and current House Majority Leaders Eric CantorEric CantorEric Cantor offering advice to end ‘immigration wars’ Trump's olive branch differs from the golden eras of bipartisanship After divisive rally, Trump calls for unity MORE (R-Va.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

He also was a foreign policy adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R) 2016 presidential campaign and worked at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

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Bingen, meanwhile, has served in several congressional staff positions and is currently the policy director for the House Armed Services Committee. She also was a space policy analyst for the Aerospace Corporation.

The two, who now need to be confirmed by the Senate, have already received praise on Twitter from several former defense officials under President Obama.

Derek Chollet, who was assistant secretary of Defense for international security affairs from 2012 to 2015, wrote that Karem is “smart, savvy, & skilled. Great pick!”

“Not often I say this, but terrific news from Trump Admin,” he wrote.

Loren Schulman, a former Defense Department and National Security Council staffer now at the Center for a New American Security, said the two were “excellent picks,” for the Pentagon.

Trump so far has only seen one Pentagon nominee — Defense Secretary James Mattis— make it through the confirmation process and has 52 additional positions still needing nominations or Senate approval.