Sen. Chuck Schumer's plans to target eight of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees are "frankly sad," incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday morning.
"It's sad Sen. Schumer has chosen to politicize everything," Spicer told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on the "New Day" program. "Each of these individuals is an unbelievable agent of success and change, and [will] help this country move forward.
On Sunday, the New York Democrat issued a statement confirming the nominees would be targeted, reports The Washington Post.
"President-elect Trump is attempting to fill his rigged cabinet with nominees that would break key campaign promises and have made billions off the industries they'd be tasked with regulating."
Schumer said Democrats will "vehemently resist" any attempt by Republicans "to have a series of rushed, truncated hearings before Inauguration Day and before the Congress and public have adequate information on all of them."
Schumer, the incoming Senate Minority Leader, has informed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, that his party will hone in on:
- Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson.
- Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions.
- Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-SC, chosen to lead the Office of Management and Budget.
- Betsy DeVos, Trump's education secretary.
Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price, Trump's nominee for the Department of Health and Human Services and who will oversee changes to Obamacare, is also expected to come under attack, as are Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Puzder, Treasury nominee Steve Mnuchin, and EPA nominee Scott Pruitt, The Post reports.
The confirmation hearings will start next week, and Schumer has told McConnell he wants the eight nominees in question to undergo at least two days of hearings and in separate weeks, so that no more than two Cabinet picks can face hearings in the same week.
"In 2008, when President Barack Obama came in, the Republican-controlled Senate confirmed seven of his nominees before they took office and five the following week," Spicer told CNN Monday.
"So 13 members of president Obama's team were in place within five days of him taking office, seven before he got sworn in. That's the kind of way it should be looked at."
Spicer, also appearing on Fox News' "Fox and Friends," told that show that Trump's nominees show a cabinet that is the "most qualified and star-studded we have seen in modern history."
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Schumer should understand the difference between "opposing people on policy and allowing people to have the president to have constitutional right to choose his cabinet as long as they are qualified. Each one of these people is unbelievably qualified to serve and bring real change to various jobs," Spicer said.
Spicer said Trump's goal is to unify the country while bringing people together to move the country forward.
"You saw that when he met with tech titans from Facebook, Google, Amazon," said Spicer. "They are people who oppose him but at the end of the day, he understands the importance they play in creating jobs and moving economic growth forward."
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