Democrats slam Trump amid ethics fears

AFPWASHINGTON (AFP-Jiji) — The top Democrat in the U.S. Congress blasted Donald Trump on Monday for seeking hasty confirmation of cabinet nominees without sufficient ethics and security vetting, as the president-elect expressed confidence that “they’ll all pass.”

The confirmation hearings for Trump’s top picks were emerging as flash points between the incoming administration and critics including minority Democrats in Congress who want more time to thoroughly study and vet the nominees.

Trump’s choice for U.S. attorney general, Senator Jeff Sessions, will be in the hot seat beginning Tuesday, as will homeland security secretary designate John Kelly, a retired Marine general.

Four more hearings begin on Wednesday, including that of secretary of state pick Rex Tillerson. The Republican-led Senate coordinated with the Trump team to cram in nine confirmation hearings this week despite Democrats’ calls to slow the process.

“Confirmation is going great,” Trump told reporters in an unexpected appearance Monday in the lobby of his New York building.

But the rush has drawn flak from ethics officials.

“The announced hearing schedule for several nominees who have not completed the ethics review process is of great concern to me,” Walter Shaub Jr, director of the Office of Government Ethics, wrote to Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

The schedule has created “undue pressure” to rush the reviews, he said, noting that several nominees had “potentially unknown or unresolved ethics issues” as they headed into their hearings.Speech

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