Trump plans next moves as protests spread

The Myanmar Times - - World -

DON­ALD Trump hud­dled with ad­vis­ers in­side his Man­hat­tan res­i­dence plot­ting his next moves as thou­sands of demon­stra­tors be­sieged Trump Tower and marched through other US cities in a fourth day of protests on Novem­ber 12.

Pres­i­dent-elect Mr Trump ap­peared to be mak­ing some head­way in form­ing a new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Cam­paign man­ager Kellyanne Con­way told re­porters his ap­point­ment of a White House chief of staff was “im­mi­nent” and that Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee chair Reince Priebus was among the can­di­dates for the key post.

Mr Trump has sought to strike a con­cil­ia­tory tone since his shock elec­tion last week, an­nounc­ing he no longer in­tended to com­pletely scrap Barack Obama’s sig­na­ture health­care law, Oba­macare.

“This will prove to be a great time in the lives of ALL Amer­i­cans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!” he tweeted.

Mean­while, a swelling crowd of more than 5000 peo­ple marched to­wards Trump Tower in Man­hat­tan amid cries of “Trump is NOT my pres­i­dent”.

In Los An­ge­les, as many as 10,000 peo­ple turned out for a march in the city’s down­town af­ter a night of protests that ended in sev­eral hun­dred ar­rests. Thou­sands more marched peace­fully in Chicago.

Trump Tower has been the epi­cen­tre of fu­ri­ous ac­tiv­ity as the Trump team fleshes out his cabi­net picks and works to fill hun­dreds of other top govern­ment jobs.

“He’s re­ceiv­ing many vis­i­tors,” Ms Con­way told re­porters. “Th­ese are ex­cit­ing times.”

Among those seen en­ter­ing the tower on Novem­ber 12 were Nigel Farage, whose UK In­de­pen­dence Party backed the Brexit vote that stunned Bri­tons just as Mr Trump’s vic­tory did many Amer­i­cans.

Al­though Mr Trump’s elec­tion has set off alarm bells in many world capitals, it has been warmly wel­comed by Europe’s surg­ing far-right move­ments.

Around the world, Mr Trump’s ev­ery move is be­ing scru­ti­nised for clues to how the po­lit­i­cal novice will gov­ern and change the sta­tus quo.

His U-turn on Oba­macare – which can­di­date Trump had branded a “dis­as­ter” – was prompted by his White House meet­ing with the out­go­ing pres­i­dent a day ear­lier.

Mr Trump told The Wall Street Jour­nal he may main­tain some of the pro­gram’s more pop­u­lar el­e­ments, such as a ban on in­sur­ance com­pa­nies deny­ing cov­er­age be­cause of so-called pre-ex­ist­ing health con­di­tions.

This marked one of sev­eral moves by Mr Trump away from his more sweep­ing cam­paign po­si­tions.

Asked by The Jour­nal whether he would, as threat­ened, name a spe­cial prose­cu­tor to in­ves­ti­gate Hil­lary Clin­ton over her use of a pri­vate email server as sec­re­tary of state, Mr Trump de­flected, say­ing his pri­or­i­ties were “health­care, jobs, bor­der con­trol, tax re­form”.

Trump sur­ro­gate Newt Gin­grich also cast doubt on whether Mr Trump would make Mex­ico fund his pro­posed bor­der wall – an­other ral­ly­ing cry.

“He’ll spend a lot of time con­trol­ling the bor­der. He may not spend very much time try­ing to get Mex­ico to pay for it, but it was a great cam­paign de­vice,” Mr Gin­grich said.

De­spite his more mea­sured tone, the Repub­li­can has yet to re­spond to mount­ing calls to re­as­sure Amer­i­cans who fear a xeno­pho­bic crack­down un­der his author­ity.

The South­ern Poverty Law Cen­ter (SPLC), which mon­i­tors hate groups, tracked more than 200 in­ci­dents of elec­tion-re­lated ha­rass­ment in the three days fol­low­ing the elec­tion.

More than 47,000 peo­ple have signed an SPLC pe­ti­tion urg­ing Mr Trump to clearly dis­tance him­self from hate groups.

More Amer­i­cans are wear­ing safety pins to sym­bol­ise sol­i­dar­ity with those his words have tar­geted, like Mus­lims, Lati­nos and women.

The prac­tice be­gan in Bri­tain fol­low­ing the Brexit vote with its strong anti-im­mi­grant un­der­tones.

Asked whether he thought his rhetoric had gone too far, Mr Trump told The Jour­nal, “No. I won.”

But he added that he would now take a more pos­i­tive ap­proach.

“I want a coun­try that loves each other,” he said.

In a CBS in­ter­view yes­ter­day, Mr Trump cred­ited his use of so­cial me­dia – he claims 28 mil­lion fol­low­ers on Twit­ter and other plat­forms – for help­ing him win the elec­tion.

“When you give me a bad story or when you give me an in­ac­cu­rate story ... I have a method of fight­ing back,” he said.

Mr Trump also spoke warmly of the elec­tion night call he re­ceived from Ms Clin­ton con­ced­ing his vic­tory, prais­ing her as “very strong and very smart”. –

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