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Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn heap praise on Trump Cabinet picks


In a joint appearance Friday at a conservative policy event in downtown Austin, U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz and John Cornyn lavished praise on President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks, with Cruz saying he expects the Republican majority in the Senate to confirm them all.

“These Cabinet appointments are phenomenal,” Cruz said, describing the Trump Cabinet as prospectively “the most conservative in decades.”

Cornyn, who as the Senate majority whip is responsible for corralling Republican votes, said he hadn’t yet talked to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio. The Florida Republican aggressively questioned Rex Tillerson, the ExxonMobil CEO who is Trump’s choice for secretary of state, at his confirmation hearing this week, and Rubio could effectively scuttle the Texan’s nomination.

Cornyn said Rubio still has to work through his thinking on whether to support Tillerson, but added that “I hope that he does, because I think Tillerson would be a very good secretary of state.”

The joint appearance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Annual Policy Orientation for state lawmakers — in which Texas’ two senators were questioned in a relaxed give-and-take by foundation President and CEO Brooke Rollins — revealed how, in ways that couldn’t have been foreseen, Trump’s election has brought harmony to Texas GOP politics, and a symbiotic relationship between Texas Republicans and the Trump White House.

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