Trump says nominees doing a ‘great job’ of expressing their views

Donald Trump
FILE- In this Dec. 21, 2016, file photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks to members of the media at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. Trump is questioning the effectiveness of the United Nations, saying it's just a club for people to "have a good time." His post on Twitter Monday, Dec. 26, is the president-elect's latest comment since the U.N. Security Council voted Friday to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is shrugging off the contradictions that have emerged this week between his own views and those expressed by his Cabinet nominees at their Senate confirmation hearings.

Nominees for defense secretary, secretary of state and CIA director are among those who’ve separated themselves from Trump on a series of issues — including relations with Russia, Muslim immigration and torture.

And Senate Democrats say they find the nominees more palatable than Trump himself. Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois says, “I’m puzzled because many of them sound reasonable.”

Trump tweeted today that he wants the nominees to “be themselves and express their own thoughts.” He says they’re “doing a great job.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions, picked for attorney general, told senators he’s against any outright ban on immigration by Muslims, in contrast to Trump’s onetime call to block entry by Muslims.

And Republican Congressman Mike Pompeo of Kansas, the nominee to head the CIA, affirmed his opposition to torture and said he would refuse any Trump order to torture. During the campaign, Trump suggested bringing back waterboarding and more.