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Trump holes up in tower as transition takes shape

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Filmmaker Michael Moore walks in the lobby of Trump Tower, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, in New York.

NEW YORK >> President-elect Donald Trump is embarking on the massive undertaking of creating a new administration as a circus-like atmosphere unfolds around his building in Manhattan.

While he’s announced one decision — putting Vice President-elect Mike Pence in charge of the transition instead of Chris Christie — Trump must identify other people for top White House jobs and Cabinet posts. He was apparently trying to sort through names as he holed himself up in Trump Tower and protesters swarmed outside behind barricades protecting the building and ritzy stores along Fifth Avenue.

At one point, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore, a liberal critic of Trump who nevertheless had predicted his victory, entered the tower lobby with a camera crew in tow and asked to see Trump. “I just thought I’d see if I could get into Trump Tower and ride the famous escalator,” said Moore, who did just that until he reached the fourth floor and the Secret Service told him he could go no higher.

Moments later, Nigel Farage, the head of the “Leave” movement that won Britain’s vote to exit the European Union, also arrived and was allowed up.

Trump frequently links his campaign to the Brexit movement. Farage would not say if he was playing a role in Trump’s transition.

For Trump, who ran on a pledge to “drain the swamp” of Washington insiders, the transition team is strikingly heavy on those with long political resumes.

Another apparent contradiction emerged Friday as Trump, who repeatedly vowed to achieve the repeal of President Barack Obama’s health care law, said he would be open to maintaining portions of it.

Christie was a loyal adviser to Trump for much of the campaign, offered a key early endorsement and came close to being the businessman’s pick for running mate. But Trump ultimately went with Pence, Indiana’s governor and a former congressman with Washington experience and deep ties to conservatives, to take the transition forward.

Christie will still be involved in the transition, joining a cluster of other steadfast Trump supporters serving as vice chairmen: former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

In addition, three of Trump’s adult children — Don Jr., Eric and Ivanka — are on the transition executive committee, along with Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband. Kushner was an influential adviser in Trump’s campaign.

The children’s inclusion raised questions Trump’s ability to sever ties between the administration and the sprawling family business — after the billionaire repeatedly said during the campaign that his grown children would not follow him to Washington and instead run the Trump Organization.

Trump told The Wall Street Journal that after speaking with Obama at the White House, he was considering keeping the provision of the health law that allows children to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until they turn 26. He said previously he may also keep the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions.

Presidents-elect don’t often appoint their running mates to lead their transition team. Trump and Christie grew apart through the last stretch of the campaign.

Among the first decisions facing the president-elect is whom to choose as chief of staff, a key post that will set the tone for Trump’s White House and be a main conduit to Capitol Hill and Cabinet agencies.

Trump is said to be considering Steve Bannon, his campaign chairman and a conservative media executive, and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for the job. Neither has significant policy experience, though Priebus is well-liked in Washington and has ties with lawmakers.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, is also said to be in the mix for a senior job. Conway is a veteran Republican pollster who formed a strong rapport with the candidate after taking the helm of his campaign in the general election.

Giuliani, who emerged as Trump’s frequent travel partner and close aide, is on the short list for several positions, including attorney general.

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  • Sad article–typical rendering that the SA picks to publish. It is these groups that forced the working class, silent majority, to unite for Trump. The protesters in Ferguson supported by the Obama Administration–I still don’t see why there isn’t more press and PRESSURE on the 3 murders a day in Chicago–it’s a national disgrace and not once has the Obama Administration addressed it. We have a war in our own country that goes on like another day at the office just because it’s 100% Democratic shouldn’t defer our justice department or Obama from sending in Federal troops or the national guard!! These are civilians being killed just like in the middle east!!

  • Oscar-winning director Michael Moore’s latest documentary entitled “Michael Moore in Trumpland” is quite an eyeopener. He touches on topics ranging from climate change to U.S. foreign relations to corporate irresponsibility to the scapegoating of Millennials to a discussion about American values. The irony is that he intended for this documentary to sway voters to choose Clinton when the outcome was the polar opposite. Of course he also predicted that Trump would win the presidency, not because they would vote for Trump but rather for their voting against the system, anti-establishment votes–so he somehow knew that all the knowledge in the world wouldn’t be able to sway voters who were frustrated with the status quo.

  • Christie was the plug in the swamp. He had to be axed so the swamp could be drained. But we in Hawaii know how that goes. Drain the swamp in the morning and the afternoon high tide brings the muck back in.

    • and what does this comment have to do with the theme of this article??? is it to prove that you have working for you a filipino yardman – to show your “boss-ness”, oh thou person with an o-x-y-m-o-r-o-n for a name???? or is your yardman only making a suggestion because he has specific knowledge about the “thickness” of your wallet?

  • The reason Trump is trying to hire his kids is because he trust no one. Not Christie,Rudy or Pense. On the other side, the sitting Republicans do not trust Trump. We already heard about it.

    • NanakuliBoss, from where did you get the information that Trump is trying to hire his kids? He is using some of his children on the transition executive committee, but that is not hiring them to work in his administration.

      • ronin, only sane and sensible and intelligent people would come to agree with your conclusion after reading the article! as to where he got that idea from may not be easily verifiable, only concluded intuitively, from some dark place usually unseen during the daylight hours..

  • President-elect Obama barred lobbyists from participation in transition planning and Federal agency staffing recommendations. Trump, contrary to his campaign promises, is depending on lobbyists to staff the agencies that regulate their businesses. A Verizon lobbyist, for example, is staffing the FCC, and fossil fuel industry lobbyists are planting saboteurs in the EPA.

      • NY Times:
        “Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

        “Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

        “Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.”

        The Trump transition team also includes lobbyists from Altria, Visa, Coca-Cola, General Electric,, HSBC, Pfizer, Dow Chemical, and Duke Energy.

      • Really kaka, all you clowns are doing is ASSURING him a 2nd term. And who will be laughing then. You are all puppets having your stings yanked by the Democraps and the AP. So who’s the Butt now?

        • Meat read the article it’s self explanatory. He won’t be keeping his promises and you all were used. Not wasting my time on you tonight. Advice lay off the dope, booze or whatever choice of drug is your preference.

        • Didn’t you say YOU were drinking? Brah, you gotta do better than that. Maybe I’m wasting MY time.

        • Why you going already? We just getting started. Oh well, was fun brah, really. BTW enjoying my brews too. Maybe we can sudz together sometime. Naaahhhh.

      • Trying to walk back all your brave pre-election predictions by talking stink post-election – – now that it would take a front loader to get all the egg off your face – – is vastly amusing.

        By all means DOOOOOO carry on.

        • Keaukaka and his minions sure did a lot of talking. Now it’s time for them to eat kaka. Haha.

      • keaukaha,

        Do you recall a certain former Hawaii resident who ran on the slogan “Hope and Change?” Was there all that much of it in the last eight years? Seems like there are a lot of people still standing around waiting.

  • Trump followers won’t talk about his friendship with Putin just like how Michael Jackson followers won’t talk about his friendship with young boys.

  • Trump better enjoy the PH at Trump Towers. HE will be chained 24/7 to the White House. No secret rendezvous, no secret escape hatch. After January this chump will work for me. And I didn’t even vote for him. I love this country.

  • Shockwaves; going from the private sector to government/public service! The entire World is going to be observing every decision and action. Reality time is about to begin!

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