(CNN)Day by contentious day, President-elect Donald Trump is building a White House Cabinet and staffing a new government. But if his first round of choices are any indication, he's going forward without a blueprint -- relying on instincts and personal relationships over any grand design scheme or ideology.
Trump vs. Trump's Cabinet
Trump's nominees range from a treasury secretary who spent nearly two decades at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street giant Trump the candidate frequently ripped as a den of corruption and cronyism, to a potential defense department chief who opposes the use of torture tactics his would-be boss called for during the campaign. His choices to lead the EPA and Department of Education support policies that would render their own agencies toothless or see them eliminated.
During the campaign, Trump pledged to "drain the swamp" -- or keep the familiar Washington, DC, insiders outside the halls of federal power. But wealthy, connected donors and bankers are grabbing up influential positions in the new administration. Rather than lobbyists, Trump has been seeking to hire their bosses.
Here is a rundown of the nominees, some for Cabinet positions and others for administrative jobs, and how they mix with Trump's public policy pledges.
Trump: If he's not a fan, then Trump certainly has nicer things to say about the Russian government, and its strongman President Vladimir Putin, than most in politics and the US government.
"The man has very strong control over his country," Trump said admiringly in September, and often muses on improving bilateral relations with Moscow. And if that didn't complicate matters enough, there's now bipartisan concern, based on secret assessments provided by the CIA, that Russia sought to aid Trump and damage Hillary Clinton during the campaign.
Rex Tillerson: After flirting with Putin critic Mitt Romney for weeks, Trump shifted his affections toward ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, whom he selected on Tuesday. Tillerson has done extensive business with the Kremlin and was awarded the the Order of Friendship by the Russian president in 2013.
That came two years after the oil executive and Putin negotiated a mega-billion dollar deal that would have opened up Russia's arctic ice fields to joint exploration. But new US sanctions, imposed in response to Moscow's meddling in Crimea and Ukraine, froze the project indefinitely.
Romney's relationship with the Russians is less chummy. He was skewered for it at the time, but the 2012 GOP presidential nominee called Russia "without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe."
That Tillerson, who is expected to face a serious confirmation fight, and Romney were ever in the running for the same job is odd and suggests Trump's foreign policy is either inchoate, inscrutable -- or both.
Trump: A questionnaire circulated by his transition team set off concerns the new administration would target staffers who opposed Trump's climate skepticism.
The document requests the names of department employees and contractors who have attended outside climate change meetings and any writings derived from those gatherings.
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry: Like Trump, Perry is wishy-washy on climate questions. He is a supporter of the fossil fuel industry and pledged during his brief 2016 campaign to revive construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, but during his time as governor also invested in renewable energy projects.
Perry is no fan of the department he would run. He campaigned in 2012 on a promise to shutter it, along with Commerce and Education, though during a now infamous debate stage gaffe, could not -- Oops! -- recall its name.
Trump: "I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over (Ted Cruz). Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton," he said during the campaign,
And in an election eve ad, a video clip of Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein rolls as Trump, in a voiceover, talks of defeating "a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities."
Steve Mnuchin: A former partner at Goldman Sachs, he worked at the company for 17 years before briefly joining a hedge fund and then buying a subprime lending company which would be questioned by regulators over predatory foreclosure practices. He has also worked with the liberal billionaire George Soros, a bogeyman to many on the right, who see his fingerprints -- often without or in opposition to any evidence -- on every protest of policy push. Soros, like Blankfein, also had a cameo in that final campaign video.
Trump: Repeatedly pledged to bring back torture during stump speeches, in which he described a stark but vague plan of action against ISIS.
In February, Trump said: "Torture works. OK, folks? You know, I have these guys -- "Torture doesn't work!" -- believe me, it works. And waterboarding is your minor form. Some people say it's not actually torture. Let's assume it is. But they asked me the question: What do you think of waterboarding? Absolutely fine. But we should go much stronger than waterboarding."
Trump has also spoken in wild, if detail-light terms, about fighting ISIS. "I know more about ISIS than the generals do, believe me," he said at a campaign event. "I would bomb the s--t out of them."
James Mattis: Despite courting controversy in 2005 when he told servicemembers "it's fun to shoot some people," the recently retired marine general has also spoken at length about the ISIS threat. In 2014, he delivered a nuanced analysis to Congress on the group's growth and how they should be combated. He urged against ruling out "boots on the ground" but also said the Obama administration needed to be more specific about its goals.
As Trump himself said following a conversation with Mattis, the military man does not support torture techniques. "I met with him at length and I asked him that question," the President-elect told the New York Times. "I said, 'What do you think of waterboarding?' He said -- I was surprised -- he said, 'I've never found it to be useful.' He said, 'I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.'"
Trump: Says he wants to repeal Obamacare, but with a number of caveats.
In an interview with "60 Minutes" after the election, Trump said he wanted to keep provisions that guarantee coverage to people with pre-existing conditions -- "It happens to be one of the strongest assets. It adds cost, but it's very much something we're gonna try and keep" -- and allow parents to keep their children on their policies until the age of 26.
He also guaranteed that the law would be "repealed and replaced" with no gap between the two -- not a "two day" or "two year period where there's nothing."
Tom Price: Also wants to repeal Obamacare, but has no interest in keeping any specific element or simply amending the original. Price, though, unlike many of his Republican House col