White House

Duncan Hunter for secretary of defense? Californians floated for Trump administration

FILE - In this April 7, 2011 file photo, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
FILE - In this April 7, 2011 file photo, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. AP

California Rep. Duncan Hunter’s name is being tossed out as a potential secretary of defense in the Trump administration.

Other California names floated for possible cabinet posts are William Evers, a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution who is reportedly in the running for education secretary, and venture capitalist Robert Grady, a partner at San Francisco-based Gryphon Investors.

Grady’s name has been mentioned both as a potential energy secretary and secretary of the interior. He’s a former White House official in the administration of George H.W. Bush and advised key Trump supporter New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

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The Trump campaign is silent about who is on a shortlist for cabinet positions. But media organizations such as Buzzfeed and Politico have published names from anonymous sources, and while the accuracy of such leaked lists is open to question, they’re heightening speculation about the picks.

The names of Hunter, Evers and Grady appear on both the Buzzfeed and Politico lists. Hunter, R-Alpine, endorsed Trump back in February, an unusual move at the time when most of his Republican congressional colleagues were supporting Marco Rubio for the nomination.

Hunter was recently dogged by revelations that he used his campaign fund for personal expenses, and said last week he’d repay $49,000 to his campaign fund.

Other names being mentioned along with Hunter for secretary of defense include retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.

Two other Californians – Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Visalia – have been named to the executive committee of Trump’s Presidential Transition Team.

“In this role, I will advise President-elect Trump on the appointments of his Cabinet members and on appointments to other top positions in the new administration,” Nunes said in a written statement. “I look forward to helping to assemble an energetic and forward-looking team that will capably lead our country toward more economic growth, greater opportunity, and a safer homeland for all Americans.”

Sean Cockerham: 202-383-6016, @seancockerham

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