Trump’s team to raise mil­lions for Jan. 20 events

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - WEATHER - By Steve Peo­ples

PALM BEACH, FLA. >> The scram­ble to shape his ad­min­is­tra­tion un­der­way, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s team has si­mul­ta­ne­ously be­gun turn­ing its at­ten­tion to rais­ing tens of mil­lions of dol­lars for fes­tiv­i­ties re­lated to his Washington in­au­gu­ra­tion.

Trump, who vowed dur­ing the cam­paign to “drain the swamp” of spe­cial in­ter­ests cor­rupt­ing Washington, has set $1 mil­lion do­na­tion lim­its for cor­po­ra­tions and no lim­its for in­di­vid­ual donors, ac­cord­ing to an of­fi­cial on the Pres­i­den­tial In­au­gu­ral Com­mit­tee with di­rect knowl­edge of ten­ta­tive fundrais­ing plans. At the same time, Trump’s in­au­gu­ral com­mit­tee will not ac­cept money from regis­tered lob­by­ists, in line with his ban on hir­ing lob­by­ists for his nascent ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Barack Obama set stricter lim­its on do­na­tions for his first in­au­gu­ra­tion, in 2009, hold­ing in­di­vid­ual donors to $50,000 each and tak­ing no money from cor­po­ra­tions or labor unions, as well as none from lob­by­ists and some other groups. Plenty of cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tives, though, gave in­di­vid­u­ally and of­ten at the max­i­mum amount. And he opened the spig­ots for his 2013 in­au­gu­ra­tion, set­ting no lim­its on cor­po­rate or in­di­vid­ual do­na­tions.

The new de­tails, con­firmed Thurs­day on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the of­fi­cial was not au­tho­rized to dis­close pri­vate de­lib­er­a­tions, came as Trump gath­ered with fam­ily at his Palm Beach es­tate on Thanks­giv­ing.

On the eve of the national hol­i­day, the pres­i­dent-elect of­fered a prayer for unity af­ter “a long and bruis­ing” cam­paign sea­son.

“Emo­tions are raw and ten­sions just don’t heal overnight,” Trump said in a video mes­sage on so­cial me­dia. He added, “It’s my prayer that on this Thanks­giv­ing we be­gin to heal our di­vi­sions and move for­ward as one coun­try strength­ened by shared pur­pose and very, very com­mon re­solve.”

Unity has emerged as a com­mon theme dur­ing Trump’s lim­ited pub­lic ap­pear­ances in the days since his stun­ning gen­eral elec­tion vic­tory, which fol­lowed a cam­paign sea­son in which he rained ex­tra­or­di­nary per­sonal at­tacks on his op­po­nents in both par­ties, the me­dia and his many Repub­li­can crit­ics.

Unity would also be a theme for the in­com­ing pres­i­dent’s Jan. 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion, the of­fi­cial said.

While Trump’s fundrais­ing plans have not been com­pleted, he is ex­pected to raise sig­nif­i­cantly more than the $43 mil­lion Obama raised for his 2013 in­au­gu­ra­tion. Tax­pay­ers cover the cost of of­fi­cial ac­tiv­i­ties such as the swear­ing-in, but out­side do­na­tions pay for the many re­lated balls and par­ties.

Trump has fo­cused most of his at­ten­tion in the two weeks since his vic­tory on build­ing a White House team from scratch.

He in­jected the first signs of di­ver­sity into his Cab­i­net-to-be on Wed­nes­day, tap­ping South Carolina Gov. Nikki Ha­ley to serve as U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions and char­ter school advocate Betsy DeVos to lead the De­part­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion. They are the first women se­lected for top-level ad­min­is­tra­tion posts. And Ha­ley, the daugh­ter of In­dian im­mi­grants, would be his first mi­nor­ity se­lec­tion af­ter a string of an­nounce­ments of white men.

The South Carolina gover­nor has lit­tle for­eign pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ence, yet Trump praised her as “a proven deal­maker.” DeVos, like Trump, is new to gov­ern­ment but has spent decades work­ing to change Amer­ica’s sys­tem of pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion.

Retired neu­ro­sur­geon Ben Carson on Wed­nes­day said “an an­nounce­ment is forth­com­ing” on his po­si­tion, which would make him the first black choice — pos­si­bly as sec­re­tary of hous­ing and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment. But he also sug­gested he’d be think­ing about it over the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day.

“I feel that I can make a sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tion par­tic­u­larly to mak­ing our in­ner cities great for ev­ery­one,” Carson wrote on his Face­book page.

Trump is also ex­pected to select bil­lion­aire in­vestor Wil­bur Ross Jr. to lead the Com­merce De­part­ment, a se­nior Trump ad­viser said on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the ad­viser was not au­tho­rized to dis­close in­ter­nal de­lib­er­a­tions. The 78-year-old Ross, who is white, is chair­man and chief strat­egy of­fi­cer of pri­vate-eq­uity firm W.L. Ross & Co., which has spe­cial­ized in buy­ing fail­ing com­pa­nies.

The picks come as Trump works to dis­so­ci­ate him­self from the alt-right, a move­ment of white su­prem­a­cists who con­tinue to cheer his elec­tion. His first ap­point­ments in­cluded chief coun­selor Steve Ban­non, who pre­vi­ously led a web­site pop­u­lar among the alt-right.

Trump on Thurs­day was with his fam­ily be­hind closed doors at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach es­tate. He’s spend­ing the Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day there af­ter a week of in­ter­view­ing po­ten­tial ap­pointees in New York, punc­tu­ated by an­nounce­ments of mem­bers of his national se­cu­rity team.

“It’s time to re­store the bonds of trust be­tween cit­i­zens, be­cause when Amer­ica is uni­fied there is noth­ing be­yond our reach,” the pres­i­dent-elect said in his Thanks­giv­ing mes­sage, which was posted on so­cial me­dia.

Trump will be sworn into of­fice in fewer than 60 days. Be­yond his Cab­i­net, he must fill hun­dreds of high­level ad­min­is­tra­tion posts.

He is ex­pected to stay in Florida through the week­end.

CAROLYN KASTER — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

In this Sun­day file photo, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump, left, stands with in­vestor Wil­bur Ross af­ter meet­ing at the Trump National Golf Club Bed­min­ster club­house in Bed­min­ster, N.J. Trump is poised to of­fer the po­si­tion of com­merce sec­re­tary to the head of a pri­vate-eq­uity firm, Wil­bur Ross.

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