Accessibility links

Trump Denies Reports Transition in Turmoil

  • VOA News

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, speaks to media at Trump Tower, Nov. 16, 2016, in New York.

Jason Miller, a senior adviser to President-elect Donald Trump, speaks to media at Trump Tower, Nov. 16, 2016, in New York.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is denying press reports his transition team is in turmoil over arguments over who will get top national security appointments in his administration.

Things are "going so smoothly," Trump wrote Wednesday on Twitter. "Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are."

The comment followed U.S. news media accounts that his transition was in turmoil after his aides pushed out two of his national security advisers from the transition group.

Trump singled out The New York Times for its report on his transition efforts, saying that one of the world's leading newspapers "is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me." He said the newspaper's "story is so totally wrong on transition."

The Times also reported that the State and Justice departments, as well as the Pentagon, have yet to hear from anyone from the Trump team, more than a week after the election.

WATCH: Newt Gingrich on transition turmoil

Vital contacts

Such contacts during the transition period are not just routine, they are vital so that officials can hand off detailed briefing packages to their successors in time for the new government to take power on January 20.

Trump also tweeted that reports he is trying to get "top-level security clearances" for three of his adult children — Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump, and possibly her husband, Jared Kushner — is "a typically false news story."

All four, who helped advise Trump during the campaign, have also been helping the president-elect with key appointments.

Some of the transition talks have centered on whether to name former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as secretary of state. The 72-year-old Giuliani has little foreign policy experience. However, he was a staunch advocate for Trump throughout his campaign, often appearing on television news shows to defend him.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, center, smiles as he leaves Trump Tower, Nov. 11, 2016, in New York.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, center, smiles as he leaves Trump Tower, Nov. 11, 2016, in New York.

There are questions about Giuliani's overseas investments, particularly in Venezuela and Qatar, that might prove to be conflicts of interest.

"Rudy Giuliani fixed New York City,” said U.S. Congressman Blake Farenthold from Texas. “If he can fix our foreign relations, that would be great. If you disqualified anybody who had business dealings abroad from a cabinet post, that's a pretty long list of people you would disqualify."

Trump aides have described Giuliani as the narrow choice as secretary of state, with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley as other possibilities.

Steven Mnuchin, national finance chairman for Republican president-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 15, 2016.

Steven Mnuchin, national finance chairman for Republican president-elect Donald Trump, arrives at Trump Tower in New York, Nov. 15, 2016.

Other news reports say Trump is considering Steven Mnuchin, a Wall Street financier and Trump's campaign finance chief, as treasury secretary.

As he arrived Wednesday at Trump Tower in New York, Mnuchin said Trump's economic priorities include tax and trade reform and plans to boost job growth by fixing the country's deteriorating infrastructure.

"You got the Republican Party coming together, you got Trump going through the list of people that are coming to visit Trump Tower and the folks that they've announced already are pretty popular,” Farenthold said. “Obviously, nobody likes everybody."

FILE - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the RNC winter meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2014.

FILE - Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus is seen at the RNC winter meeting in Washington, D.C., Jan. 24, 2014.

Appointments

Trump has made two White House appointments so far. He named Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, as his chief of staff, a selection applauded by many Republicans.

Trump's choice of Stephen Bannon as his chief strategist has drawn widespread criticism from Democrats, some Republicans, and civil rights groups.

Bannon was the Trump campaign's chief executive. He formerly led Breitbart News, a website that has printed white nationalist and anti-Semitic vitriol. But some of those who know Bannon deny he is an anti-Semite.

WATCH: De Blasio on his meeting with Trump

Current New York Mayor Democrat Bill de Blasio, often a Trump critic during the campaign, said he met with Trump for an hour Wednesday, telling the president-elect "why people [in New York] are so deeply concerned" about this election.

De Blasio said he told Trump that New Yorkers, who voted overwhelmingly for rival Hillary Clinton, oppose his plans to deport up to 3 million undocumented immigrants with criminal records and to rescind controls on Wall Street that were enacted in the aftermath of the country's steep recession in 2008 and 2009.

The mayor said he had "respectful, candid" talks with Trump, but declined to characterize Trump's reaction to his comments.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden pose for a photograph with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, after they had lunch at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Nov. 16, 2016.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden pose for a photograph with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, after they had lunch at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Nov. 16, 2016.

Biden-Pence meeting

Meanwhile in Washington on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, hosted incoming Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, for lunch at their official home on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory. Biden said he hopes the Pence family will enjoy the house as much as he does.

When a reporter asked him if he thinks the Trump administration will be ready on day one, Biden said, "No administration is ready on day one. We weren't ready on day one. I've never met one that's been ready on day one. But I'm confident on day one everything will be in good hands and they'll be able to handle everything that comes before them."

Katherine Gypson on Capitol Hill contributed to this report.

Who Is in Trump's Inner Circle?

Show comments

XS
SM
MD
LG