Trump sha­pes Whi­te Hou­se

Times of Suriname - - ENGELS -

USA - Pre­si­dent-elect Do­nald Trump was weig­hing con­ten­ders for other top jobs in his ad­mi­ni­stra­ti­on af­ter choosing Was­hing­ton in­si­der Rein­ce Prie­bus as Whi­te Hou­se chief of staff and fire­brand out­si­der Step­hen Ban­non as se­ni­or coun­se­lor.

Less than a week af­ter his ups­et win over De­mo­crat Hil­la­ry Clin­ton in last Tues­day’s pre­si­den­ti­al elec­ti­on, Trump’s choi­ce of Prie­bus, the Re­pu­bli­can Na­ti­o­nal Com­mit­tee chair­man and friend of Hou­se of Re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ves Spea­ker Paul Ry­an, could help him re­pair his strai­ned re­la­ti­ons with mem­bers of the Re­pu­bli­can Par­ty es­ta­blish­ment. But Trump al­so na­med Ban­non, the com­ba­ti­ve for­mer head of the right-wing web­si­te Breit­bart News, as his stra­te­gist and se­ni­or coun­se­lor. The sta­te­ment said Ban­non and Prie­bus would be “wor­king as equal part­ners to trans­form the fe­de­ral govern­ment.” The choi­ce of each man could an­ger a seg­ment of Trump’s sup­por­ters. Hard­line Trump bac­kers who we­re coun­ting on Trump to keep his cam­paign pro­mi­se to “drain the swamp” of bu­si­ness-as-usu­al Was­hing­ton in­si­ders may be dis­ap­poin­ted he has na­med Prie­bus to the chief of staff po­si­ti­on, which ser­ves as a ga­te­kee­per and agen­da-set­ter for the pre­si­dent. Mo­re tra­di­ti­o­nal Re­pu­bli­cans may be wa­ry of the pick of rab­ble­rou­ser Ban­non for a top Whi­te Hou­se job. Trump, in a sta­te­ment, said Ban­non and Prie­bus we­re both “high­ly qua­li­fied lea­ders” who hel­ped him win the Whi­te Hou­se ra­ce. Pre­si­dent Barack Oba­ma, whom Trump will suc­ceed on Jan. 20, plans to hold a news con­fe­ren­ce be­fo­re lea­ving on an in­ter­na­ti­o­nal trip. The De­mo­cra­tic pre­si­dent, who has pled­ged a smooth tran­si­ti­on with Trump des­pi­te their sharp po­li­ti­cal dif­fe­ren­ces, is su­re to be as­ked by re­por­ters about Trump’s ap­point­ments. De­mo­crats shar­ply cri­ti­ci­zed the Ban­non ap­point­ment. Re­pre­sen­ta­ti­ve Adam Schiff twee­ted: “Se­lec­ti­on of Steve Ban­non for se­ni­or WH role un­sur­pri­sing but alar­ming. His alt-right, an­ti-Se­mi­tic & mi­so­gy­nis­tic views don’t be­long in WH.”

Sin­ce the elec­ti­on, Trump has sof­te­n­ed one of his ma­jor cam­paign pro­mi­ses, the vow to build a wall along the US bor­der with Mexi­co. In an in­ter­view with the CBS pro­gram 60 Mi­nu­tes that ai­red on Sun­day, Trump said he would ac­cept fen­cing in­stead of a brick-and-mortar wall. “But cer­tain are­as, a wall is mo­re ap­prop­ri­a­te. I’m very good at this, it’s cal­l­ed con­struc­ti­on, the­re could be so­me fen­cing,” the New York re­al es­ta­te de­vel­o­per said.

In the 60 Mi­nu­tes in­ter­view, Trump al­so sought to play down the di­vi­si­ve na­tu­re of his can­di­da­cy and said Ame­ri­cans alar­med by his elec­ti­on had no­thing to fear. “Don’t be af­raid. We are go­ing to bring our coun­try back. But cer­tain­ly, don’t be af­raid,” he said. The pre­si­dent-elect and his tran­si­ti­on team must now turn to other key de­ci­si­ons, choosing mem­bers of his Ca­bi­net and the heads of fe­de­ral agen­cies. (Reuters.com)

Cam­paign CEO Step­hen Ban­non (m) de­parts the of­fi­ces of Re­pu­bli­can pre­si­dent-elect Do­nald Trump at Trump To­wer in New York.(Pho­to: Reuters.com)

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