Trump picks from Wall St., D.C.

3 nom­i­nees strongly tied to es­tab­lish­ment

Baltimore Sun - - TRUMP TRANSITION - By Steve Peo­ples, Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Julie Pace

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is tap­ping a trio of nom­i­nees with deep ties to Wash­ing­ton and Wall Street to fill out his Cabi­net, in­clud­ing for­mer Gold­man Sachs ex­ec­u­tive Steven Mnuchin as trea­sury sec­re­tary.

A tran­si­tion of­fi­cial said the pres­i­dent-elect and Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence will travel to In­di­ana on Thursday for an event with Car­rier, the air con­di­tion­ing com­pany. Dur­ing the cam­paign, Trump re­peat­edly used the news of Car­rier’s plans to move some busi­ness to Mex­ico as crit­i­cism of Demo­cratic trade poli­cies. Car­rier tweeted, “We are pleased to have reached a deal with Pres­i­dent-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy.”

On Tues­day, Trump also chose Georgia Rep. Tom Price to over­see the na­tion’s health care sys­tem, pick­ing a fierce Oba­macare critic who has cham­pi­oned ef­forts to pri­va­tize Medi­care. And he se­lected another vet­eran Re­pub­li­can, Elaine Chao, to lead the Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion.

Trump’s team also an­nounced that Seema Verma has been cho­sen to be ad­min­is­tra­tor of the Cen­ters for Medi­care and Med­i­caid Ser­vices.

Mnuchin, 53, l ed Steve Mnuchin, right, has been tapped for sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury. Among Don­ald Trump’s other picks are, from top right, Elaine Chao for Trans­porta­tion, Rep. Tom Price for Health sec­re­tary and Seema Verma for Medi­care and Med­i­caid. Trump’s fi­nance op­er­a­tions dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign but he has no gov­ern­ment ex­pe­ri­ence, which could prove a hur­dle in nav­i­gat­ing the tricky pol­i­tics of Wash­ing­ton.

Mnuchin is ex­pected to be joined on Trump’s se­nior eco­nomic team Wil­bur Ross, the re­puted Com­merce Sec­re­tary pick. The billionaire in­vestor is con­sid­ered the “king of bank­ruptcy” for buy­ing bea­t­en­down com­pa­nies with the po­ten­tial to de­liver prof­its.

Price, picked to lead the Depart­ment of Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, helped craft House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to pri­va­tize Medi­care — which Trump op­posed in the cam­paign. Chao, who served un­der Ge­orge W. Bush, is mar­ried to Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell.

The selections came as Trump spent Tues­day with ad­vis­ers in Man­hat­tan, rac­ing through meet­ings as high-pro­file va­can­cies loom — none big­ger than sec­re­tary of state. For­mer Mas­sachusetts Gov. Mitt Rom­ney, on the short­list for the na­tion’s chief diplo­mat, was to have a pri­vate din­ner with Trump.

At the same time, Green Party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jill Stein de­liv­ered $3.5 mil­lion to the state of Wis­con­sin to guar­an­tee a re­count in one of the states that fueled Trump’s un­ex­pected vic­tory.

Trump has as­sailed the Green Party ef­fort as a scam and sep­a­rately has made un­sup­ported claims of voter fraud in other states.

Mean­while, Price’s se­lec­tion raised ques­tions about the in­com­ing pres­i­dent’s com­mit­ment to Medi­care, among other pop­u­lar pro­grams he re­peat­edly vowed to pre­serve be­fore the elec- tion. The Georgia con­gress­man led GOP ef­forts on Capi­tol Hill to trans­form Medi­care into a voucher­like sys­tem.

Trump did not ad­dress Price’s po­si­tion on Medi­care in a state­ment re­leased by his tran­si­tion team. The team did not re­spond to sub­se­quent ques­tions about it.

Trump, in a 2015 in­ter­view pro­moted on his cam­paign web­site, pledged not to cut ex­pen­sive pro­grams that Repub­li­cans have fought for years to cut.

He later em­braced the GOP con­cept of turn­ing Med­i­caid over to the states with a fixed amount of fed­eral “block grant” fund­ing

sweep­ing Medi­care ini­tia­tive would have to go through Congress with some Demo­cratic sup­port, which would be un­likely.

Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders charged that Price “has a long his­tory of want­ing to do ex­actly the op­po­site of what Trump cam­paigned on.”

Like Price, Chao is well­known in Wash­ing­ton, hav­ing led the Depart­ment of La­bor for sev­eral years.

Her record as la­bor sec­re­tary sug­gests she would bring a light hand to safety en­force­ment as trans­porta­tion sec­re­tary.

Both Price and Chao would re­quire Se­nate con­fir­ma­tion.

The pres­i­dent-elect also met with Ten­nessee Sen. Bob Corker, chair­man of the Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee, hav­ing met with for­mer CIA di­rec­tor David Pe­traeus the day be­fore re­gard­ing the sec­re­tary of state job.

Even as he weighed cru­cial Cabi­net de­ci­sions, Trump ap­peared dis­tracted by out­side is­sues — or eager to cre­ate dis­trac­tions him­self. He tweeted that “no­body should be al­lowed to burn the Amer­i­can flag.” He warned that those who do should face “per­haps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Trump of­fered no con­text for his mes­sage. The Supreme Court has ruled that flag burn­ing is pro­tected by the First Amend­ment, and Re­pub­li­can House Ma­jor­ity Leader Kevin McCarthy said Tues­day he doesn’t sup­port Trump’s ap­proach.

DREW ANGERER/GETTY

DREW ANGERER/GETTY DREW ANGERER/GETTY

CAROLYN KASTER/AP

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