Trump Cabinet picks undergo mock Senate hearings
Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees have spent much of the weekend locked in grueling mock hearings to prepare them for the scrutiny they will face before Congress.
The president-elect nominates his Cabinet members, but many of the positions require Senate approval, which can involve intense and varying questions.
The sessions to prepare the nominees are known as "murder boards" in which transition team members grill the prospective Cabinet members on all sorts of issues. The mock hearings often include harsh environments, including bright lights designed to mimic the camera-packed rooms they will be held in.
The mock hearings are similar to the debate prep that presidential candidates go through, but the rules are different for these Senate confirmation hearings.
While debate moderators typically attempt to be unbiased, many senators -- especially from an opposing party -- will aim to trick a nominee into making a fatal misstep.
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Given the number of the nominees who are millionaires or billionaires, their financial interests could be a prime target for questioning. Many of Trump's picks have never served in government either, which could prompt questions about inexperience and fitness for the jobs.
While most nominees tend to field the toughest questions from members of the opposing party, some Republicans expressed concerns over some of Trump's picks, perhaps most notably Rex Tillerson. Trump's nominee for secretary of state has reportedly been doing hearing prep since mid-December.
Trump's nominees need a simple majority to be confirmed. Republicans currently hold 52 of the 100 seats in the Senate, but three Republican senators have questioned whether he is the right fit for the job, signaling the possibility he may not clear the threshold.
At least seven confirmation hearings are scheduled to take place this week.