Trump shapes his cab­i­net as Stein presses for re­counts

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

PALM BEACH, FLA. >> Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump con­nected with for­eign lead­ers and con­sid­ered new Cab­i­net-prospects Fri­day as he gath­ered with fam­ily for a long Thanks­giv­ing week­end at his Mar-a-Lago es­tate.

As the in­com­ing pres­i­dent looks ahead, Green Party pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jill Stein made progress on her push to force re­counts in three Mid­west­ern bat­tle­ground states that fu­eled Trump’s stun­ning vic­tory. Stein an­nounced on her web­site that she has raised enough money to fund re­counts in Wis­con­sin and Penn­syl­va­nia and was pur­su­ing ad­di­tional fund­ing to do the same in Michi­gan.

While the re­counts are un­likely to change the elec­tion re­sult, they could com­pli­cate Trump’s calls for na­tional unity as he tries to move past what may have been the nas­ti­est pres­i­den­tial con­test in the mod­ern era.

Yet there were signs of dis­cord even within the pres­i­dent-elect’s small in­ner cir­cle as Trump weighed his choices for sec­re­tary of state. The op­tions for the na­tion’s chief diplo­mat in­clude for­mer New York City Mayor Rudy Gi­u­liani, who lacks for­eign pol­icy ex­pe­ri­ence, but was in­tensely loyal to Trump, and 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney, who ag­gres­sively op­posed Trump’s can­di­dacy but is largely re­garded as more qual­i­fied.

Trump spokes­woman Kellyanne Con­way pub­licly high­lighted the con­tro­versy, tweet­ing on Thurs­day that she had been “re­ceiv­ing a del­uge of so­cial me­dia & pri­vate con­cerns re: Rom­ney Some Trump loy­al­ists warn against Rom­ney as sec of state.”

In a sec­ond Twit­ter post from her ver­i­fied ac­count, Con­way re­ferred to for­mer sec­re­taries of state Henry Kissinger and Ge­orge Schultz, both Cab­i­net of­fi­cers in pre­vi­ous Repub­li­can ad­min­is­tra­tions, as men who “flew around the world less, coun­seled POTUS (pres­i­dent of the United States) close to home more. And were loyal. Good check­list.”

Trump was ex­pected to make two staffing an­nounce­ments on Fri­day, spokesman Ja­son Miller said, although nei­ther is ex­pected to be a Cab­i­net-level po­si­tion. The pres­i­den­t­elect has meet­ings sched­uled with eight prospec­tive ad­min­is­tra­tion hires sched­uled for Mon­day, a group that in­cludes a hand­ful of busi­ness lead­ers along with David Clarke, the Wis­con­sin sher­iff who is an ag­gres­sive op­po­nent of the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment.

Trump and Vice Pres­i­dent-elect Mike Pence also have meet­ings sched­uled on Mon­day in New York with Ok­la­homa At­tor­ney Gen­eral Scott Pruitt, Rep. Lou Bar­letta, R-Pa., for­mer Se­cu­rity and Ex­change Com­mis­sion com­mis­sioner Paul Atkins, World Wide Tech­nol­ogy chair­man David Stew­ard and Gen­eral Growth Prop­er­ties CEO San­deep Mathrani.

Be­yond sec­re­tary of state, two pos­si­ble ap­point­ments loom: re­tired neu­ro­sur­geon and for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Ben Car­son as sec­re­tary of hous­ing and ur­ban de­vel­op­ment and bil­lion­aire in­vestor Wil­bur Ross Jr. as com­merce sec­re­tary.

The most re­cent Trump Cab­i­net-level picks to be an­nounced were South Carolina Gov. Nikki Ha­ley to serve as U.S. am­bas­sador to the United Na­tions and char­ter school ad­vo­cate Betsy DeVos to lead the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment.

Trump is also con­tin­u­ing to con­nect with for­eign dig­ni­taries, ac­cord­ing to spokesman Sean Spicer. Since ar­riv­ing at his Palm Beach es­tate on Wed­nes­day, the pres­i­dent-elect has spo­ken to the prime min­is­ters of Greece, Hun­gary and Swe­den, along with the pres­i­dents of Panama and Slove­nia.

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