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Trump Returns to Campaigning in Louisiana Stop

  • Wayne Lee

President-elect Donald Trump throws a hat into the audience while speaking at a rally at Baton Rouge (La.) Metropolitan Airport, Dec. 9, 2016.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday at a rally in the southern state of Louisiana, campaigning for Republican candidate John Kennedy in the nation's final Senate race to be decided in this cycle.

Trump told supporters in the state capital, Baton Rouge, that "we need John in Washington," and urged them to turn out to vote Saturday.

Kennedy, currently the state treasurer, is in a runoff election against Democrat Foster Campbell for the Senate seat vacated by Republican David Vitter, who is retiring. The two men were the top finishers in last month's general election, but neither won a majority of the vote since there were more than 20 candidates in the race.

A win for Kennedy would keep the party's majority in the upper house of Congress at 52 seats to 48.

FILE - Rudy Giuliani, vice chairman of the Trump presidential transition team, speaks at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, Nov. 14, 2016.
FILE - Rudy Giuliani, vice chairman of the Trump presidential transition team, speaks at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Washington, Nov. 14, 2016.

In New York on Friday, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani said he'd taken himself out of consideration for a place in the Trump Cabinet.

Giuliani, long a Trump supporter, was considered a front-runner in the race for secretary of state but would have faced tough questions about his overseas business ties.

Trump responded to Giuliani's announcement by saying he would have been an "outstanding" Cabinet secretary, but that he respected Giuliani's decision not to seek a government job.

Trump has yet to choose his nominee for secretary of state. Even with Giuliani's withdrawal, there are multiple candidates for the position.

Separately, reports Friday said Trump most likely would name senior Goldman Sachs banker Gary Cohn to head the White House Council of Economic Advisers, where he would be expected to coordinate the president's economic policy.

In the past, Trump has bitterly criticized the Goldman Sachs firm for engaging in economic activity that he said had hurt middle-class workers, and for furthering what he called a "global power structure" that favors the wealthy.

Also Friday, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, met with Trump in New York and said he was excited about "getting to work and hitting the ground running in 2017" when the new administration takes over in Washington.

U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to reporters after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 9, 2016.
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan speaks to reporters after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York, Dec. 9, 2016.

Ryan distanced himself from Trump at various times during the presidential campaign, after disagreeing with controversial public comments by the New York real estate magnate. Now, however, Ryan says their relationship has improved and that he speaks almost daily with the incoming president.

Meanwhile, the Indiana union leader who drew an angry response from Trump after criticizing the president-elect's characterization of his efforts to keep hundreds of jobs in the United States, rather than transferring them to Mexico, suggested a face-to-face meeting with Trump on the jobs issue.

United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis, Dec. 9, 2016.
United Steelworkers Local 1999 President Chuck Jones speaks during a news conference in Indianapolis, Dec. 9, 2016.

"If Trump is sincere about keeping jobs in the country — and you guys have heard him numerous times, that's what his goal is — we'll sit down, we'll work out something to keep these damn jobs here," Chuck Jones, head of United Steelworkers Local 1999, told reporters. The national leader of the United Steelworkers has supported Jones in the dispute with Trump.

In another development Friday, producers of U.S. television's "Celebrity Apprentice," the latest version of a popular reality show that catapulted Trump to nationwide prominence years ago, disclosed that he would continue to be credited on screen as an executive producer of the program even after he becomes the nation's commander in chief.

A "Celebrity Apprentice" representative would not disclose whether or how much Trump would be paid for his work as a producer after he enters the White House, but the president-elect has said he retains an ownership stake in the show and intends to keep it as an investment.

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