Trump Packs Tran­si­tion Team With Loy­al­ist, Fam­ily

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United States Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump be­gan lay­ing the ground­work on Fri­day to take of­fice on Jan­uary 20, 2017, gath­er­ing the most loyal ad­vis­ers from his in­sur­gent cam­paign and three of his chil­dren to plot his tran­si­tion strat­egy. Mr Trump put Vice-Pres­i­den­t­elect Mike Pence in charge of his White House tran­si­tion team, while de­mot­ing his for­mer tran­si­tion chief, tar­nished New Jersey Gover­nor Chris Christie, to one of the six vice-chair posts. Daugh­ter Ivanka and sons Eric and Don­ald Jr and son-in-law Jared Kush­ner ac­counted for a fourth of the 16-mem­ber ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee, which was filled with politi­cians and ad­vis­ers who stuck with Mr Trump dur­ing his roller­coaster first run for pub­lic of­fice.

Aides hud­dled in the real-es­tate mogul’s Trump Tower in New York City to be­gin pri­ori­tis­ing pol­icy changes and con­sid­er­ing Cabi­net picks and other can­di­dates for the 4000 po­si­tions he will need to fill shortly after he takes the reins of the White House. A mem­ber of the Trump tran­si­tion team told Reuters there were more than 100 peo­ple now in­volved in de­vel­op­ing “white pa­pers” on what reg­u­la­tions to roll back after Jan­uary 20. Some en­vi­ron­men­tal mea­sures and a rule re­quir­ing re­tire­ment ad­vis­ers to act in their clients’ in­ter­ests could be among the first on the chop­ping block, an in­dus­try lob­by­ing source said. Mr Trump promised dur­ing his cam­paign to cut taxes, clamp down on im­mi­gra­tion and re­peal Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture Af­ford­able Care Act, pop­u­larly known as Oba­macare. But in in­ter­views with the Wall

Street Jour­nal and CBS “60 Min­utes” on Fri­day, he said he was open to keep­ing some pro­vi­sions of Oba­macare. James Woolsey, a for­mer CIA di­rec­tor who has ad­vised Mr Trump on for­eign pol­icy, said sev­eral of Mr Trump’s cam­paign prom­ises were “ad­vo­cacy of a gen­eral di­rec­tion” that may re­quire com­pro­mise - in­clud­ing his sig­na­ture pledge to build a wall on the bor­der with Mex­ico. Mr Woolsey told CNN that bor­der se­cu­rity could be achieved with a com­bi­na­tion of fence and wall. “I don’t think we ought to fall on our sword about the dif­fer­ence be­tween a wall and fence. Maybe this will be cheaper be­cause it’s mainly fence, but it’s a good fence. I wouldn’t have any prob­lem with that my­self,” he said.

Mr Trump, a bil­lion­aire real es­tate mag­nate, also moved on Fri­day to ex­tri­cate him­self from his sprawl­ing busi­ness em­pire, which will be over­seen by his three grown chil­dren on the tran­si­tion team. His com­pany said it was vet­ting new busi­ness struc­tures for the trans­fer of con­trol to the three and the ar­range­ment would not vi­o­late con­flict-of-in­ter­est laws. But govern­ment ethics ex­perts said the move would fall short of blind trust stan­dards and was un­likely to pre­vent po­ten­tial con­flicts of in­ter­est. Mr Trump said that Mr Pence who has strong ties to Repub­li­can lead­ers in Congress - will build on work done by Mr Christie and has the mis­sion of as­sem­bling “the most highly qual­i­fied group of suc­cess­ful lead­ers who will be able to im­ple­ment our change agenda in Wash­ing­ton.” Mr Christie, once viewed as a top can­di­date for at­tor­ney-gen­eral, is deal­ing with po­lit­i­cal fall­out from the ‘Bridge­gate’ lane clo­sure scan­dal. For­mer New York mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani is now the lead­ing con­tender for the top law en­force­ment job, ac­cord­ing to two sources fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sions. Mr Trump’s cam­paign spent rel­a­tively lit­tle time on tran­si­tion plan­ning dur­ing the cam­paign, and even his Repub­li­can sup­port­ers had been brac­ing for a loss to Demo­cratic ri­val Hil­lary Clin­ton in Tues­day’s elec­tion.

US Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, with his fam­ily.

U.S. Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump and Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence (left).

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