Senator John McCain has been one of President Donald Trump’s harshest Republican critics, even going so far as to say that America’s position in the world was stronger under President Obama—a solid burn from a man who found Obama’s foreign policy was responsible for confusion and unrest, espcially in the Middle East.
But McCain’s wife may be taking a different, more subtle tack on reforming a hapless foreign policy: working to improve the situation from the inside. According to reports, Cindy McCain is headed for a job in the US State Department, helping to coordinate the administration’s message on human rights.
Mrs. McCain, a media and business force in her own right, is Trump’s top pick for “U.S. ambassador-at-large for human rights,” a position “which would focus on anti human trafficking efforts, refugees, and humanitarian-aid matters,” according to the Daily Beast.
Trump needs a cool hand on these issues—particularly refugees—in light of recent legal losses over his so-called “Muslim ban,” which fell most recently in the Ninth Circuit, with Justice’s citing the President’s own Tweets to interpret the law.
And McCain is experienced: she’s been at the forefront of American efforts to combat human trafficking, using the McCain Institute to help guide policy on the issue, and has traveled the world speaking on the issue, stressing its importance and its prevalence.
John McCain actually used his wife’s work as one reason he wouldn’t cast a ballot for Trump in the Republican Primary. “Cindy, with her strong background in human rights and respect for women fully agrees with me on this,” he told reporters at the time.
Cindy herself has often publicly criticized the Trump administration over their handling of the Syrian refugee crisis and the broader issue of immigration. “This is crisis mode, and I’m disappointed in how the United States has responded to this,” she told media last summer. “We are at risk here of truly losing a generation of Syrian young people to a scourge of human trafficking—among others things—that’s taking place as a result of this.”
But that could be why Trump made it his personal mission to get Cindy on his team. According to the Daily Beast, all of Trump’s overtures to John McCain were part of an effort to establish a relationship with Cindy, and Trump personally asked Cindy to join his administration, even offering to create the new position for her.
A formal announcement is expected in a couple of weeks.