New York -  President-elect Donald Trump Friday tapped arch-conservative Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions to be attorney general and hawkish congressman Mike Pompeo, a strident opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, as his CIA director.

The incoming commander in chief also appointed retired lieutenant general Michael Flynn, who believes Islamist militancy an existential threat, for the post of national security adviser.

ABC-News, quoting sources, reported Friday that the controversial general has accepted Trump’s offer,

He is a Democrat who was critical of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic presidential rival, during the election campaign. His name was suggested as a possible running mate to Trump before the selection of Mike Pence.

In numerous speeches and interviews before the election, and in a book published in August, General Flynn laid out a view of the world that sees the United States as facing a singular, overarching threat that can be described in only one way: “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Flynn was fired from his post as head of the Defence Intelligence Agency by President Obama in 2014.

Trump and General Flynn both see themselves as brash outsiders who hustled their way to the big time. They both post on Twitter often about their own successes, and they have both at times crossed the line into outright Islamophobia.

They also both exhibit a loose relationship with facts: General Flynn, for instance, has claimed that Shariah, or Islamic law, is spreading in the United State. His dubious assertions are so common that when he ran the Defense Intelligence Agency, subordinates came up with a name for the phenomenon: They called them “Flynn facts.”

The news about his appointment came as Trump made his most direct foray into foreign policy since the election, meeting with Japan’s prime minister Shinz? Abe .

Flynn has advised Trump on national security issues for months. As national security adviser, he would work in the White House and have frequent access to the president. The post does not require Senate confirmation.

U.S. Congressman Adam Schiff, a Democrat, ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, expressed gratitude for Flynn’s contributions to national security , but also expressed concern at the reported job offer.

“I am deeply concerned about his views on Russia, which over the last twelve months have demonstrated the same fondness for the autocratic and belligerent Kremlin which animate President-elect Trump’s praise of Vladimir Putin,” Schiff said in a statement. “The incoming President would be better served by someone with a healthy skepticism about Russian intentions, and willing to be guided by the unequivocal intelligence we have of Russian’s malignant policies towards the U.S. and our allies.”

“Gen Flynn has also made inflammatory remarks regarding Islam, and not always distinguished between a faith practiced by millions of Americans and important allies around the world, and the perversion of that faith by the likes of ISIS and Al Qaeda,” he said. “These statements only feed jihadi propaganda by reinforcing their false narrative that the West is at war with all of Islam.”

Flynn’s appointment does not need approval from the senate.

But that of Sessions as attorney general does, and he’s got baggage: racially charged comments he made in the 1980s and which once cost him a chance for a job for life as a federal judge.

Back in 1986 Sessions said that a prominent white lawyer was a “disgrace to his race” for defending African-Americans. Sessions acknowledged saying this in testimony to the US Senate at the time, but he insisted he did not mean it.

Trump has also picked Mike Pompeo, a hawkish Republican and a former Army officer, to lead the CIA, media reports, citing officials close to Trump’s transition team, reported.

The three-term congressman has no tangible intelligence experience, although he has served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He has also served on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Select Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist Attack in Benghazi.

In 2013, Pompeo declared that Muslim leaders who do not personally denounce acts of terror committed in the name of Islam are “potentially complicit.”

“When the most devastating terrorist attacks on America in the last 20 years come overwhelmingly from people of a single faith and are performed in the name of that faith, a special obligation falls on those that are the leaders of that faith,” Pompeo said in a speech on the House floor, The Hill reported.

“Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts, and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.”

He is also an outspoken supporter of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programmes, especially the mass collection of metadata. In an editorial in the Wall Street Journal last year, Pompeo called for a “fundamental upgrade to America’s surveillance capabilities” and to repeal the reforms to government surveillance implemented after the Edward Snowden revelations.

“Collection of the contents of specific targets’ communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act has been dumbed down,” Pompeo wrote, “with onerous requirements to secure the authorizing court order. The intelligence community feels beleaguered and bereft of political support.”

Pompeo has been one of the biggest critics of President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

If confirmed by the Senate, Pompeo would take control of a spy agency that has been remade in the years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, with a relentless focus on manhunts, counterterrorism and targeted killing operations. Over the past year, the CIA has undergone a bureaucratic reorganization under its director, John Brennan, an effort

Pompeo would decide whether he wants to continue

Trump also announced Friday that he plans to nominate Senator Jeff Sessions, a Republican, as attorney general as his transition continues to build momentum.

“The president-elect is a man of action, and we’ve got a great number of men and women with great qualifications look forward to serving in this administration, and I am just humbled to be a part of it,” Vice President-elect Mike Pence told reporters in New York. “Our agency teams arrived in Washington D.C. this morning, and I am very confident it will be a smooth transition that will serve to lead this country forward.”

In a statement, Trump called Sessions one of his most trusted campaign advisers and cited his “world-class legal mind.”

“Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him,” Trump said.

Sessions, 69, was Trump’s first endorser in the Senate and quickly became the then-candidate’s chief resource on policy, but his hard-line views on immigration are expected to make his nomination controversial among human rights groups and Democrats.

The fourth-term senator has been dogged by accusations of racism throughout his career.

In 1986, he was denied a federal judgeship after former colleagues testified before a Senate committee that he joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were “okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.”

“If you have nostalgia for the days when blacks kept quiet, gays were in the closet, immigrants were invisible and women stayed in the kitchen, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions is your man,” Congressman Luis Gutierrez, a Republican, said in a statement. “No senator has fought harder against the hopes and aspirations of Latinos, immigrants, and people of colour than Sen. Sessions.”

Sessions served as a US Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama and as Alabama’s attorney general. In a statement, he said there was “no greater honour” than to lead the Justice Department.

“I will give all my strength to advance the Department’s highest ideals,” he said. “I enthusiastically embrace President-elect Trump’s vision for ‘one America,’ and his commitment to equal justice under law. I look forward to fulfilling my duties with an unwavering dedication to fairness and impartiality.”

He has been holding interviews and meeting with Congress and the president as he prepares to transition into the White House.

Several Senate Democrats pledged a rigorous confirmation review, but some conservatives suggested it would be politically damaging to Democrats if they attempt to block Trump’s nominees.

Pompeo, 52, was elected to the House in 2010 as part of the first wave of so-called tea party lawmakers. A US Military Academy and Harvard Law School graduate, he has a varied background. He served as a US Army cavalry officer before founding an aerospace company, serving as president of an oil-field equipment manufacturing firm and — in a brief, little-known chapter of his early career — was an attorney with the Washington, D.C. mega-law firm Williams and Connolly.

He currently serves on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and is a close ally of Pence. “He has served our country with honour and spent his life fighting for the security of our citizens,” Trump said of Pompeo in a statement. Pompeo, who graduated first in his class at the US Military Academy, would make a good CIA director, said one former CIA official who recently spoke with Pompeo but declined to be named because his conversation with the congressman was private.