In a bid to kick off the process of a smooth transfer of power, US President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has contacted the Department of Defence and the State Department along with National Security Council of the White House.
“The State Department is now in contact with the President-elect’s transition representatives. We look forward to supporting their work and preparations, in keeping with the President’s priority of ensuring a smooth transition,” State Department Spokesman John Kirby said yesterday.
Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said representatives of the President-elect’s transition team contacted the department a short time ago to arrange initial briefings. “We expect the first will take place on Friday. As (Defence) Secretary (Ashton) Carter has said, we will do everything we can to help ensure a seamless and efficient transition,” Cook said.
The Trump Transition team made the move to contact the outgoing Obama administration for a smooth transition, a week after President Barack Obama met Donald Trump. Meanwhile, Trump continues with his meetings and consultations as part of his effort to build up his team. More than a week after winning the election, he is yet to announce a major cabinet appointee.
Among others, Trump met Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. During their meeting with Kissinger, Trump discussed China, Russia, Iran, the European Union and other events and issues around the world, said a statement issued by the presidential transition team.
“I have tremendous respect for Dr Kissinger and appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me,” said Trump. “While nothing has been finalised and he is still talking with others as he forms his cabinet, the President-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Senator Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabama’s Attorney General and US Attorney,” the transition team said after Trump met Sessions.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence addressed a meeting of the House Republican Conference, during which he shared an update on the Presidential Transition, which he is chairing. He said substantial progress is being made with decisions on key appointments and, solicited feedback and suggestions from Conference members on additional appointments and communicated a desire to receive additional input.
Pence reaffirmed the commitment of the Trump administration to pursue a legislative strategy focused on tax reform and tax relief, in addition to repealing and replacing Obamacare, securing border, rebuilding infrastructure and other priority items to create jobs and increase security. Meanwhile, media reports said Trump is planning to meet his bitter critic and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney who was highly critical of him this summer.
“I think it is good that the President-elect is meeting with people like Romney. There are a lot of talented people that he needs good relationships with. I think Romney would be quite capable of doing a number of things. But he will be one of those, I am sure, that’s reviewed. Donald Trump will make that decision,” Sessions told reporters.
Trump will spend the next weekend in Bedminster in New Jersey, said his spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham. Trump is soon expected to leave on a victory tour. “We are working on a victory tour now, it will happen in the next couple of weeks,” said George Gigicos, the campaign’s advance team director. It is expected after Thanksgiving and likely to be in States that Trump won and the swing states they flipped over, he added.
Anthony Scaramucci, a member of the transition team executive committee, denied reports about any differences in the transition team. “It is really not true. I think sometimes what happens is when people are left outside of the tent they get a little bit bitter, and they go out to the press, and they leak this information to the press, which is just not true. What we are seeing is a very orderly group of people working on behalf of the American people,” Scaramucci said.
“His number one goal is to get A++ people into the administration to work on behalf of the American people. In a process like this, certain people want certain jobs. There are certain people, who are a lot older than me, who are very, very qualified for these jobs, and so there is what I would call a drafting process and a rigorous review of these people. Yes certain people want certain jobs, that is an obvious thing,” he added.
Responding to a question, Scaramucci said Trump is very not tensed. “You got to remember something about why we won, we won with one sixth of the personnel of the other side because we focused on the word we. It is not about me. Trump wants to bring people around him that are going to work in that collaboration.
“There are stove pipes in Washington, we want to bust those silos, we want people that are just committed to serving the country and helping Trump with his monumental task of being the American president,” said Scaramucci, founder and Co-Managing Partner of investment firm SkyBridge Capital. The transition said the President-elect yesterday spoke with three other foreign leaders, this taking the total to 32.