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Trump predicts all Cabinet picks will win confirmation

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    President-elect Donald Trump speaks with reporters after meeting French businessman Bernard Arnault at Trump Tower.

NEW YORK >> Facing a week of high-profile tests for his administration-in-waiting, President-elect Donald Trump predicted Monday that all of his Cabinet picks would win Senate confirmation even as Democrats charged that Trump’s team was ignoring standard vetting protocol.

“I think they’ll all pass,” Trump said of his would-be Cabinet, describing them as “all at the highest level” in between private meetings in his Manhattan sky rise.

Trump’s confidence comes as lawmakers in both parties eagerly await the submission of background material from Cabinet picks, including billionaires whose extensive personal financial dealings have never faced public scrutiny. Senate Democrats urged GOP leaders to slow their aggressive hearing schedule, which includes Trump’s picks for the nation’s top diplomat, lead law enforcement officer and head of homeland security, among others.

“Bear in mind President-elect Trump’s nominees pose particularly difficult ethics and conflict-of-interest challenges,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York said. “They come from enormous wealth, many have vast holdings and stocks, and very few have experience in government.”

Trump’s incoming press secretary Sean Spicer insisted Monday, “Everyone who has a hearing this week has their paperwork in.”

It’s unclear, however, whether each had submitted the extensive list of requirements that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell requested of President Barack Obama’s nominees eight years ago. Those include an FBI background check, detailed questionnaires and financial disclosure statements that include tax returns, according to a 2009 letter from McConnell that Schumer read Monday on the Senate floor.

“Everybody’ll be properly vetted as they have been in the past,” McConnell told reporters Monday after meeting privately with the president-elect in Trump Tower.

On Friday, however, Office of Government Ethics Director Walter Shaub said in a letter to congressional leaders that his office “has not received even initial draft financial disclosure reports for some of the nominees scheduled for hearings.”

Among the committees that haven’t yet received the forms was the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has scheduled a hearing this week for Betsy DeVos, Trump’s pick to lead the Education Department. The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee said it had also not received the forms for Trump’s pick for commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, though a spokeswoman said they’re expected soon.

Committee aides said they had received ethics forms for Sen. Jeff Sessions, Trump’s pick for attorney general; Rex Tillerson, Trump’s choice for secretary of state; James Mattis, his pick for defense secretary; Rep. Mike Pompeo, his choice for director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and Elaine Chao, his pick for transportation secretary.

Other confirmation hearings this week include retired Marine Gen. John Kelly for homeland security secretary and Ben Carson for housing secretary. Committees handling those nominations declined to comment on the record.

McConnell said he’s hopeful that up to six or seven of Trump’s picks, “particularly the national security team,” will be “in place on Day One.”

The Senate cannot vote on any Cabinet pick until after Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20.

Trump’s selections, meanwhile, have been going through extensive preparation in the days leading up to the hearings.

Transition officials said the nominees have spent more than 70 hours participating in full-blown mock hearings, with volunteers playing the role of senators asking questions.

“They’re listening, they’re learning, they’re preparing,” Spicer said.

As his Cabinet prospects prepare to disclose their personal business dealings, Trump insisted Monday that there is a “very simple, very easy” way to disentangle himself from his global business empire before he takes office.

The details, he said, would have to wait until Wednesday, when he holds his first formal news conference in nearly six months.

Trump has pledged to step away from the Trump Organization during his time in office, but amid warnings from government watchdogs and officials in both parties, he has yet to say specifically how he would do that.

Trump continues to own or control some 500 companies that make up the Trump Organization and has said he intends for his two oldest sons and company executives to run the business while he’s gone.

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Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Andrew Taylor in Washington contributed to this report.

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This story has been corrected to show that news conference will be Trump’s first in six months, not three.

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  • Confirming Jefferson Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General of the United States would be a travesty.

    If you are an attorney, please join us in becoming a Volunteer Attorney for the ACLU. We’re going to do everything possible to make life an unending misery for Mr. Trump if he moves forward with his unconstitutional and illegal campaign promises.

    The goal is misery every day for him, so he’s up every night in a maniacal tweeting binge.

      • Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! GOOD ONE!
        I know GoneGolfin at times it’s hard to swallow Klastri’s Psychotic RAGE! Guys on the edge of Reality! Yep,as they say: “The libs are in Total Disarray and Denial”. They are on a Mission to NO WHERE.

        • But despite what you mischaracterize as “rage” I’m still able to form coherent sentences and paragraphs, using the correct punctuation and real words.

          You are not. So you might rethink who is well and who is ill.

        • Don’t sweat the small stuff never have. At least and safe to say,that I have been MORE Right,than you have been more Wrong .And Boy have you been WRONG! Let that rattle your Brains for now. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Give it up Klas.

        • MoiLee – I did incorrectly guess the outcome of an election. You were correct on that prediction. But then again, you have been uniformly and remarkably wrong about everything else you write that depends on the use of critical thought and facts.

          That, plus I actually know how to write in English. So congratulations on your correct guess, and good luck on trying to make it in Trump World with no ability to communicate in writing.

        • Cricket–Is that the best you can do as a critical thinker? Better start thinking about doing better next time. Your critical thought and facts have taken a severe whipping.

        • sarge22 – What does the word cricket mean to you? If it refers to someone who is much, much smarter, more successful, and better educated than you, then thanks.

        • Wrong again. It’s someone who keeps whining/chirping after a loss that they can’t accept. Get the picture? Look in the mirror.

        • sarge22 – You cannot write anything that’s true. I fully accept the fact that Mr. Trump is going to be President. A Trump administration will be a complete disaster for the United States unless he is stopped by patriots every time he tries something illegal or unconstitutional.

          Thankfully, the ACLU and SPLC are getting thousands of new members (more than 500,000 since the election) who are much smarter than you, and who understand the threat Mr. Trump presents.

          Good luck making up things here. Pathetic.

    • Klastri: Please see your health care professional, assuming you were able to keep him like Barry Hussein said. It took a few minutes but I’ve reached a diagnosis for your current state. It’s right out of the DSM 5 and is known as Intermittent Explosive Disorder (IED). It’s characterized by explosive outbursts of anger, often to the point of rage, that are disproportionate to the situation at hand.

      I’m not a highly trained and competent lawyer like you but how are the PE’s campaign promises unconstitutional and illegal?

      • I’m sorry that I wasn’t more clear about something. Your opinions are worthless to me.

        Maybe that was clear enough. I hope so, because you can count on me to never respond to anything else you write. I can’t deal with liars.

    • It may not matter. Look at Trump’s track record, half of his cabinet will quit and the other half will be fired. Elaine Chao is the only untouchable. It won’t be good if this happens but that’s what I think will happen.

      • @KKKlastri
        and you are clearly to a 8 yo a racist IED psychotic!
        Putting together coherent sentences is opposite of your signature vindictive vitriolic outrageous accusations, assertions & predictions (btw which have never come to fruition.
        It is astounding to witness a person like you being around normal open minded reasonable people…but can with like minded people like you…Nancy pelosi would be a perfect match. You have placed the level of deceit at an all time high.
        The shoe is on the other foot now and you can’t accept that..you claim you do but we all know that has “been debunked” with your wild posts.

        Don’t forget to set your VCR for the history making Inauguration…January 20..#MAGA

        Reminder: Your O is giving his FAREWELL speech..wonderful moment…unfortunately I’ll miss it due to having more pressing things to do like watching ESPN etc.

  • I incorrectly thought after the initial disbelief and denial Waldo’s supporters would see the writing on the wall and unify around Mr. Trump in order to make America great again. Especially after Barry al-Hussein screw it up so thoroughly. Guess I read the tea leaves wrong because it seems some very unhinged and angry Waldoites just can’t muster up the maturity to “move on”.

  • Todays Episode.
    “The Shoe Is On The Other Foot”.

    Shoe’s on The Left: 2009
    I don’t know why the Dems are Grumbling, back in 09 they confirmed all of Obama’s Cabinet Picks! It’s not like the Republicans could do or say anything about it!And they DIDN”T cry about it! They moved on!
    What was it? I think Obama’s had Seven cabinet picks.And yes,they were all confirmed!

    Shoe’s On The Right Foot:2017

    Now it’s the Republicans turn! PE Trump has his Cabinet picks; Now the Democrats has to eat some “Humble Pie” and accept the results. Stop crying about it ,you had your chance back then,now it’s our turn!MAGA!

    I find this to be true,only time will tell!
    Was it Steve Forbes,this Morning on Foxnews saying: The Democrats are NOT as Frightened of PE Trump,they are more frightened that Trump will succeed in Making America Great Again!
    Think about it. If this theory is correct,we could see the next 16 (at least)years of Republican ruling the WH. IMUA!

    • @ MoiLee
      You’re on the money!
      Add to that the Dems are in TOTAL DISARRAY!!
      They looking at potential leaders in Muslim Racist Keith Ellison…FAKE Pocahontas Warren…Hairplugs Schumer…Botox Pusilosi…Wash-n-Wear Wasserman Schultz…Feel Da Bern…Chelsea…YIKES!
      No wonder they TENSE…in PANIC mode!

      #MAGA coming January 20

  • Here’s hypocrite Mitch McConnell’s 2009 letter to Harry Reid about the confirmation process for Obama’s nominees. Of course, Republicans will not follow this process as they try to ram through Trump’s unvetted nominees.

    “The senate has the Constitutional duty to provide its Advice and Consent on Presidential nominations, a duty which we take seriously. In consultation with our Ranking Members, we reaffirm our commitment to conduct the appropriate review of these nominations, consistent with the long-standing and best practice of committees, regardless of which political party is in the majority. These best practices serve the Senate well, and we will insist on their fair and consistent applications.

    “Therefore, prior to considering any time agreements on the floor on any nominee, we expect the following standards will be met:
    1. The FBI background check is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a hearing being noticed.
    2. The Office of Government Ethics letter is complete and submitted to the committee in time for review and prior to a committee hearing.
    3. Financial disclosures statements (and tax returns for applicable committees) are complete and submitted to the committee for review prior to a hearing being selected.
    4. All committee questionnaires are complete and have been returned to the committee. A reasonable opportunity for follow-up questions has been afforded committee members, and nominees have answered, with sufficient time for review prior to a committee vote.
    5. The nominee is willing to have committee staff interviews, where that has been the practice.
    6. The nomine has had a hearing.
    7. The nominee agrees to courtesy visits with members when requested.
    8. The nominee has committed to cooperate with the Ranking Member on requests for information and transparency.

    “There will be additional requirements, honoring the tradition of the Senate, for Judicial nominees. These common sense standards and long standing practices will ensure that the Senate has had the opportunity to fairly review a nominee’s record and to make an informed decision prior to a vote.”

    • You’re right of course. This crowd spent eight years doing everything possible trying to undermine Mr. Obama – more than one imbecile on here calls him Barry Hussein – and now they expect everyone to magically join them in worshiping Mr. Trump.

      Good luck with that. A racist, bigoted psychotic who assaults women, (and brags about it) then mocks the disabled, will never be my President. Mr. Trump is going to have a very rough ride.

    • If the nominee does not provide the data needed for a Senator to fully evaluate the nominee, then the Senator has an obligation to not confirm.

      Trump is not going to be a king.

      • The idio- cannot respond to questions except through his twitter rants. I’m not worried because it’s just a matter of time before the ceiling collapses on the D.C. Mafia.

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