For Nikki Haley, the South Carolina governor chosen by Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, he said while signing, “I think Nikki is going to do a good job. A great job.”
For Rick Perry, the former Texas governor he picked to run the Energy Department, he said, “He did very well yesterday,” referring to Perry’s confirmation hearing before a Senate panel.
For Terry Branstad, the Iowa governor who will serve as Trump’s ambassador to China, he said, among other things, “China loves him, and he loves China. Good man.” And he noted more than once that Branstad was the longest-serving governor in American history.
Trump said that Tom Price, the surgeon picked to head the Department of Health and Human Services, was going to do “a terrific job.”
For Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire he chose for education secretary (who had a contentious hearing Jan. 17 before the Senate Education Committee), he said, while looking around: “Ah, Betsy. Education. Right?”
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said President Trump signed an executive order related to Betsy DeVos. Trump signed formal nomination papers for her and other members of his Cabinet and administration.