Throughout the final weeks of his presidential campaign, Donald Trump ran on a promise to "drain the swamp" in Washington, D.C. But on Tuesday, the president-elect seemed to ditch at least part of his commitment.
Sources with Trump's transition team revealed Tuesday that he had selected Elaine Chao, wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to be his transportation secretary. Chao, who served eight years as labor secretary under President George W. Bush, was the first Asian-American woman to hold a presidential Cabinet position, according to Politico.
Chao also served on Trump’s Asian Pacific American Advisory Council during the campaign.
The Trump transition team is expected to formally announce Chao as the next transportation secretary Tuesday afternoon.
Trump's latest Cabinet choice is curious, given that he repeatedly promised to "drain the swamp" during his campaign for president. However, since being elected, Trump has named several "establishment-types" to positions of power in his administration. For example, shortly after his victory, he appointed as his chief of staff Reince Priebus, who by the very nature of his previous role as Republican National Committee chairman is the epitome of the Republican establishment in Washington.
Trump also named South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to be United Nations ambassador. While popular, Haley is perceived by some as just one more establishment figure.
And 2012 Republican nominee for president Mitt Romney will meet with Trump for the second time Tuesday evening. The former Massachusetts governor, who was arguably one of Trump's fiercest critics throughout the campaign, is reportedly being considered as Trump's secretary of state.
Not all of Trump's picks are seen as members of the establishment, however. Former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon was appointed chief White House strategist just days after the election and Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price was announced as Trump's pick for Health and Human Services secretary Tuesday morning.
If confirmed, Chao will undoubtedly play a major role in the crafting of the administration's infrastructure bill. Trump has frequently cited the rebuilding of America's infrastructure as one of his top priorities, referring to the country's roads, bridges and airports as "third world."