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Trump to nominate Price as health secretary; Chao to transportation

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    In this Nov. 21 photo, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao arrives at Trump Tower in New York, to meet with President-elect Donald Trump. President-elect Trump has picked Elaine Chao as Transportation secretary.

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Elevators close on Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as he arrives at Trump Tower, on Nov. 16, in New York.

NEW YORK >> President-elect Donald Trump made two Cabinet selections today, choosing fierce Obamacare critic Georgia Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, and Elaine Chao, who served in the Cabinet of George W. Bush, to serve as the secretary of the Department of Transportation.

Trump announced his choice of Price, while the selection of Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was confirmed by a person with knowledge of the decision but not authorized to speak publicly.

Price is “exceptionally qualified” to lead an effort to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s health care law, Trump said in a statement. The president-elect’s transition team did not immediately respond to questions about the congressman’s past commitment to transform Medicare into a voucher-like system, a position at odds with Trump’s repeated campaign promises not to cut the popular health care program that serves an estimated 57 million people.

“Chairman Price, a renowned physician, has earned a reputation for being a tireless problem solver and the go-to expert on health care policy, making him the ideal choice to serve in this capacity,” Trump said.

Chao led the Department of Labor for several years under Bush.

The president-elect appeared to still be torn over his choice for secretary of state. He summoned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to New York for dinner Tuesday night to discuss the post for a second time. He was also meeting with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is getting new attention from Trump’s team. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, another contender.

Trump’s decision to consider Romney for the powerful Cabinet post has sparked a public backlash from some of his closest aides and allies. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has warned that it would be a “betrayal” to Trump supporters if he selected Romney, who was a severe critic of the president-elect during the campaign.

Even as he weighed crucial Cabinet decisions, Trump appeared distracted by outside issues — or eager to create distractions himself. He took to Twitter early Tuesday to declare that “nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag.” He warned that those who do should face “perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Trump offered no context for his message. The Supreme Court has ruled that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment.

The president-elect spent the weekend tweeting his opposition to recount efforts in up to three states led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and joined by Hillary Clinton’s team. He also falsely claimed that millions of people had voted illegally in the presidential election and provided no evidence to back up the charge.

Trump won praise from Republicans Tuesday for his pick of Price to serve as health and human services secretary. A six-term congressman and orthopedic surgeon, Price has been a leading critic of Obama’s health care law. If confirmed by the Senate, he would be a leading figure in Republican efforts to repeal the measure.

Incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Price “has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want” for programs that help seniors, women, families and those with disabilities. His nomination, Schumer said, is “akin to asking the fox to guard the henhouse.”

Trump’s team also announced Tuesday that Seema Verma has been chosen to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Jason Miller, a transition team spokesman, said at least one other Cabinet post would be announced in the afternoon. He did not elaborate.

Transition aides said Trump was likely at least a few days away from a decision on secretary of state. Romney has support from Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is heading the transition effort.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a loyal Trump ally, was initially seen as the leading contender to helm the State Department. But questions about his overseas business dealings, as well as his public campaigning for the job, have given Trump pause.

Trump is now said to be considering Giuliani to head the Homeland Security Department, according to those close to the transition process.

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  • EXCELLENT Choices! The Trump Team is moving ahead faster than any other Administration! Wow!
    This is what happens when you have a Professional Business man (VS a Community Organizer) running the store……He’s got a lot of wiping-up to do & He’s going after the greatest minds in our country to get that job done! By getting “The Good Ole USA” back on track again. America First!
    Good Job President Trump!

      • Pay Attention before spewing nonsense! Nonsensical comments are becoming a trait for Klastri. If you are looking for people who “Makes Things Up”,I suggest you contact Boots…He’s the real pro. Haaaaaaa!

        Wherever you get your news from? IT’S NOT WORKING Bro! Maybe just from the SA?& Before you start accusing people of Lying” You better check your sources first. Expand your mind!

        • You lied about “The Trump Team is moving ahead faster than any other Administration.” You can try to hide that if you want, but it will not make what you wrote suddenly true.

        • Agree, Carrier Corp this morning just announced it will remain in Indiana rather than move to Mexico to keep jobs in America.

  • Mr. Trump’s mental illness apparently flared up in an overnight Twitter rant, and he threatened the citizenship of people who burn the American flag.

    He’s dangerously unstable. Shame on his deplorable supporters for electing a psychotic.

        • Just look at all the blacks Obama had in his administration–few were qualified to run a paper route. And, some others didn’t know which restroom to use!! Trump’s doing what the silent majority wants.

  • Am I ever glad I am not a woman or minority and have Medicare thru an HMO. However, changes are probably going to happen to Medicare since I do not believe anyone in the incoming administration is on Medicare, or if they are, they are undoubtedly wealthy enough to purchase any type of health care they want, or pay cash. I am concerned about what repurcushions Hawaii might face since we have no elected republicans in our state legislature and the state voted for Clinton.

  • Are the Hawaii Repub Trump supporters going to let Chao know about the Oahu train to nowhere project and how close to half of the $1.2 BILLION in federal funds has already been spent and the project is completely out of federal compliance where Chao has every legal right and obligation to demand Hawaii return all of the federal funds? Did they also forward to Chao that by all objective measures the Oahu train project will NOT improve traffic problems, in fact it would INCREASE traffic problems on Oahu and that costs are completely out of control with no independent audit ever performed? Also given the project is in Hawaii where Obama was born, cancelling the project based on non-compliance would energize Trump’s base that he is cutting waste in government?

  • A school-choice advocacy group headed by billionaire Betsy DeVos, Trump’s “excellent” choice for education secretary, owes the state of Ohio more than $5.3 million for election law violations — a record fine that is now nearly a decade past due.

  • Regarding:
    “He also falsely claimed that millions of people had voted illegally in the presidential election and provided no evidence to back up the charge.”

    Media: As far as “falsely claimed…”
    Report the news… not biased opinion.

        • That’s the problem. Trump and his supporters thought of this election as a way to get the spoils of war. It’s about governing. None of you get that.

          Mr. Trump is already forming the government to enrich himself personally. You haven’t seen anything yet.

          His investment portfolio was filled with pharmaceutical company stocks prior to the election, and now – conveniently – he chose Tom Price (pharma’s very best friend in Congress) to be HHS secretary. He’s renovating the swamp and adding gold furniture – not draining it.

  • Looks like he is revitalizing the swamp instead of draining it. All you Chump supporters got scammed big time. He picks McConnel’s wife as his transportation secretary and is considering Mitt for his sos. What a kick in the bal-s to newt, Rudy and huckabee who kissed his as- the whole time and are not in the immediate picture right now. Remember Mitt called him a con man and a fraud. Mitch wouldn’t endorse him and kept his tongue up his as- up until the election was over. What a bunch of political who-es.

      • I am not depressed just entertained by the denial that all of you Chump supporters are in. Believe me I would rather be a Hilliary supporter than a Chumpster. We won the popular vote by more than two million votes and Jill Stein has initiated a recount in three states. This has driven the Chump ape shi-. Can’t stop tweeting which shows the pressure is getting to him. At this point he might consider appointing the Pope to his cabinet because he is struggling. Just a matter of time before you realize that the Chump and Donald Duck are both a figment of adolescent imaginations.

        • You know that losing the popular vote is getting to the idi-t because he is tweeting about it. They need to have him spaded. He can’t concentrate unless he has the scent of pus-y on his fingers.

        • Sounds like you the idiot kaka. You losers are worried about his tweets? Really. Where were you clowns when Odummy and the Democraps were busy F—ing things up? Now you guys are worried about tweets. 8 years of Trump ahead. Raahhjahhh dat.

        • Hey Kaka, I managed to get my hands on a copy of the Newsweek’s Special Edition magazine entitled “Madam President” (I really do). Maybe you and Kalastri can fight over it. LOL.

    • It is a smart move and Reince Preibus is thinking far ahead while Kelly Ann Conwey is not thinking. In four years, Trumps greatest threat is for Romney to run and given the intense Demo hate of Trump for the anti-Trump crowd to vote for Romney over Trump. If Romney is Sec of State under Trump he cannot challenge Trump and instead has to wait four more years then run for President. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Newt and Guiliani are totally washed up and zero threat to Trump in four years but they and Conway were the loyal soldiers that helped Trump get elected. However they are wash ups and Preibus understands McConnel and his wife, Romney, Nikki Halley are Trumps most serious threat and best to placate them now and have them work under Trump which is a smart move for Trump’s future. Trump will somehow pay off Newt, Carson, Christie, Guilani, Conway BUT for the prize high profile appointments Preibus would rather use them for people like Romney, McConnel (& his wife), even felt out Tulsi Gabbard. Tulsi is the wild card as she was kicked out of the Demo party for supporting Bernie and not Hillary, but now that Hillary is a total loser and wash up, who on the Demo side will challenge Trump in 4 years? Gabbard might be that person given even Repubs and Trump is kind of wooing Gabbard as they see her as a threat in 4 years. Demos might have to eat crow and try to get Tulsi back into the thick of the Demo party cause they have no one else.

  • both very bad picks. price is a racists and perpetuated a scam that scammed doctors in giving money to the republican party. another bigot pick. chao was an awful transportation secretary under bush 43, and now will be awful again. plus she is married to another racial bigot – mcconnel. trumpy is picking these racial bigots and inept people. guess, the only qualification you need is to be a racial bigot.

  • Trump said the system is rigged, the he would break up the banks and tax Wall Street, that hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder,” Clinton was too cozy with the banks, and Tim Kaine, was “owned by the banks.” His final campaign commercial bashed Goldman Sachs and George Soros.

    Now, Trumpkins, meet Trump’s Treasury Secretary — Steve Mnuchin, a second-generation Goldman Sachs partner who partnered with George Soros to start a hedge fund that bought IndyMac, a failing California bank that went on to make billions while foreclosing on homeowners during the financial crisis. The Nation reported that “the Mnuchin group paid FDIC $1.5 billion for the bank, far less than the value of IndyMac’s assets. The FDIC was so desperate to unload IndyMac that Mnuchin and his colleagues were able to obtain, as part of the purchase deal, a so-called “shared loss” agreement from the FDIC which reimbursed these billionaires for much of their costs for foreclosing on people unlucky enough to have mortgages from IndyMac. Within a year, the group that the Los Angeles Times called a ‘billionaires’ club of private financiers’ had paid themselves dividends of $1.57 billion. In other words, the FDIC took much of the risk by subsidizing the bank’s troubled assets, while Mnuchin and his colleagues pocketed the profits.”

    So much for “draining the swamp.” It looks like Trump and his billionaire pals are fat and happy alligators, gleefully splashing about in the swamp like children at a water park.

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