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Trump Predicts Senate Will Confirm All His Cabinet Selections

  • Ken Bredemeier

President-elect Donald Trump talks with reporters at Trump Tower in New York, Jan. 9, 2017.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump predicted Monday that the Senate will confirm all of his Cabinet choices, even as the government's ethics chief says some of the nominees have yet to disclose key information about their financial holdings.

Trump made the prediction in New York, where he continued to meet with business and political leaders, 11 days ahead of his inauguration as the country's 45th president.

"I think they'll all pass," Trump said, describing them as "all at the highest level."

FILE - Donald Trump sits with U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, Oct. 7, 2016.

FILE - Donald Trump sits with U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, Oct. 7, 2016.

The first Senate confirmation hearings on the Trump appointments begin Tuesday, with more scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, Trump's nominee for attorney general, the country's top law enforcement official, and retired Marine General John Kelly, picked to be homeland security chief, face hearings Tuesday.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met with Trump and then told reporters all the Cabinet nominees "will be properly vetted as they have been in the past." He said he is hopeful that six or seven Cabinet members — "particularly the national security team" — will be confirmed by the time Trump assumes power January 20.

WATCH: McConnell Talk About his Meeting with Trump

Sessions is likely to face tough questions from Democrats about his relations with blacks and his past efforts fighting immigration reform. Thirty years ago, the Senate rejected his nomination to be a federal judge because of allegations he had made racially insensitive remarks, a charge Sessions denied.

He was the first senator to endorse Trump's presidential bid at a time when political Washington thought the billionaire real estate mogul turned politician had no chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination, let alone a four-year term in the White House.

Trump called the 70-year-old Sessions "a high-quality man."

Mum on Russia, business empire

The president-elect declined to answer questions about last week's U.S. intelligence report that Russia meddled in the presidential election to help his stunning upset of Hillary Clinton.

Later, in a second brief appearance at Trump Tower, the president-elect brushed aside detailed answers about how he plans to separate his worldwide business empire — with ownership or control of about 500 companies — from conflicts he could encounter as he oversees the U.S. government.

"We'll talk about it on Wednesday," Trump said of his scheduled news conference. "All I can say is it's very simple, very easy."

FILE - Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 14, 2016.

FILE - Jared Kushner, son-in-law of of President-elect Donald Trump walks from Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 14, 2016.

He also declined to answer questions about the role his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will play in his administration, although aides are telling media outlets he will be a senior adviser to the new president.

Schedule of hearings

In addition to Sessions and Kelly, at least six other Trump Cabinet nominees face confirmation hearings this week.

Former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson, nominated as secretary of state; Elaine Chao, McConnell's wife who was named as the transportation chief; Congressman Mike Pompeo, picked as the Central Intelligence Agency director; and Betsy DeVos, the charter school advocate Trump selected as education secretary, are all scheduled for Wednesday hearings.

On Thursday, Defense Secretary-designate James Mattis, a retired Marine general; business investor Wilbur Ross, named as commerce secretary; and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, picked as the housing and urban development chief, are set for their confirmation hearings.

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