Tuesday 6 December 2016

Family affair: Trump appoints children and son-in-law to presidential transition team

Steve Holland and Luciana Lopez

Published 11/11/2016 | 22:37

Donald Trump watches election results with family and supporters. Photo: PA
Donald Trump watches election results with family and supporters. Photo: PA
The family together in June (from left) Eric, Lara Yunaska Trump, Donald, Barron, Melania, Vanessa Haydon Trump, Kai Madison Trump, Donald Jr, Donald John Trump III, Jared Kushner, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump.

President-elect Donald Trump put vice presidential running mate Mike Pence in charge of a White House transition team that also includes three of his grown children on Friday as he began the work of filling top administration jobs.

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Pence replaces New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Trump's campaign said, who remains as a vice chair of the transition effort as he deals with the fallout from the 'Bridgegate' lane closure scandal that has damaged his political standing.

The announcement came shortly after Trump aides convened at the real-estate mogul's Trump Tower in New York City to begin weighing candidates for some of the 4,000 jobs he will have to fill shortly after he takes office on Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump relied on a small circle of loyalists and family members during an insurgent presidential bid that frequently took on Republican party insiders. Those people will continue to play a prominent role in the transition, according to the announcement.

Trump's daughter Ivanka and sons Eric and Donald Jr., along with son-in-law Jared Kushner, were named as transition team members even though they will be overseeing his sprawling business empire. Trump's company said the arrangement would not violate conflict-of-interest laws.

The overhaul marks a further disappointment for Christie, an early Trump endorser who was once viewed as a top candidate for attorney general. Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani is now the leading contender for that job, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

Marchers approach a freeway onramp guarded by police during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard
Marchers approach a freeway onramp guarded by police during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard
Police detain a demonstrator during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
People take part in a protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump at the Washington Square park in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in a protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump at the Washington Square park in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People take part in a protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump at the Washington Square park in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Protesters lock arms during a standoff with a police car along the pipeline route during a protest against the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in St. Anthony, North Dakota, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Stephanie Keith
People take part in a protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump at the Washington Square park in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Paul Watts, of Graffiti Removal Services, works for free on clean up after a protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
People take part in a protest against Republican president-elect Donald Trump at the Washington Square park in the neighborhood of Manhattan in New York, U.S., November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Paul Watts, of Graffiti Removal Services, works for free on clean up after a protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola TEMPLATE OUT
A pedestrian walks by a boarded up business after a protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Pedestrians walk by a boarded up business after a protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
A motorist who was caught in the middle of a riot threatens a demonstrator with detergent during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
A motorist who was caught in the middle of a riot threatens a demonstrator with detergent during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
Demonstrators push over a fence during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard
A demonstrator sits in the street during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard
A demonstrator sprays graffiti during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard
A demonstrator performs a burnout during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Cole Howard ES
A demonstrator sets a news rack on fire as another wields a baseball bat (R) during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
Demonstrators break a shop window during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
Police block a freeway entrance during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 11, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
Smoke rises during a protest against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/William Gagan
Interstate 84 eastbound into the city is shut down as a result of protests against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States, in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

Giuliani said he was happy to advise Trump but declined to say whether he will serve in his administration.

"I can see already how he is going to be a great president and I'm glad I could play a small role in it," he told reporters as he left Trump Tower.

Since Trump's surprise defeat of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's election, dozens of possible appointees have been floated, from grassroots conservative heroes like Sarah Palin to seasoned Washington hands like David Malpass.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus is a strong candidate for White House chief of staff, according to sources close to the campaign. Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, a conservative provocateur, is also being considered for the job.

(L-R) Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) shows Melania Trump, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and Vice-President Mike Pence the Mall from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(L-R) Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) shows Melania Trump, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, and Vice-President Mike Pence the Mall from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) shows Melania Trump (R) and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump (C) the Mall from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(L-R) Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Congressional pages react after U.S. President-elect Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) walked past them to meet at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) (L) shows Melania Trump and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump the Mall from the Speaker's Balcony on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
U.S. President-elect Trump (2nd R), his wife Melania Trump (R), Vice President-elect Mike Pence (4th R) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (3rd R) walk together to meet in McConnell's office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence (2nd L) smiles as he and President-elect Trump (2nd R) walk with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (R) to McConnell's office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trumpwalk to a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump (C) walks with his wife Melania Trump, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump (2nd R) walks with his wife Melania Trump, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump walks onto a balcony at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
(From L to R) Melania Trump, US President-elect Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Vice President-elect Mike Pence meet at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump (2nd R) walks with his wife Melania Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / YURI GRIPASYURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump (C) walks with his wife Melania Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / YURI GRIPASYURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images
Melania Trump listens to her husband US President-elect Donald Trump speak to the press at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMMNICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (L), walks with President-elect Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Earlier in the day president-elect Trump met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2L), walks with President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trump, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (L), at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2L), walks with President-elect Donald Trump, his wife Melania Trump, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence (L), at the U.S. Capitol for a meeting November 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
US President-elect Donald Trump (C) walk with Vice President-elect Pence (L) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R) R-KY on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / YURI GRIPASYURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images
US President-elect Donald Trump (C) walks with his wife Melania Trump and Vice President-Elect Pence (2nd L) before a meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(L) R-KY on Capitol Hill in Washington,DC on November 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / YURI GRIPASYURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images
President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama listens to President-elect Donald Trump speak to members of the media during their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. President Barack Obama (R) meets with President-elect Donald Trump to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, U.S., November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
Journalists gather on the driveway in front of the West Wing in anticipation of the arrival of President-Elect Donald Trump at the White House. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Trump has a relatively small pool of candidates to work with, as many Republicans condemned his racially inflammatory rhetoric over the course of the campaign and some of his positions, such as his attacks on free trade, run against party orthodoxy.

Trump's campaign spent relatively little time on transition planning during the campaign, and even his Republican supporters had been bracing for a loss.

A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police after shouting his views, and disrupting an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump winning the American election, outside the U.S. embassy in London, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
People protest on the University of Connecticut campus against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Storrs, Conn. (AP Photo/Pat Eaton-Robb)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Protesters walk in the middle of traffic lanes after Donald Trump's election victory, Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 in downtown, Portland, Ore. Portland police made no arrests during Tuesday night's post-election protest. (Stephanie Yao Long//The Oregonian via AP)
Berkeley High School students assemble on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage TEMPLATE OUT
A young man wearing a Berkeley High Class of 2016 shirt wipes away ters during a protest in response to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Berkeley High School students begin to march after assembling in front of Sproul Hall on the UC Berkeley campus in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Alice Bynum (C) stands with other Berkeley High School staff members and holds a sign while attending a protest about the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Two young women hold up a sign reading "nasty women unite" in protest to the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States in Berkeley, California, U.S. November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage
Placards lay on the floor during an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. Picture rotated 180 degrees. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group is restrained by police during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A supporter of the far-right English Defence League group expresses his views to media during a protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Demonstrators protest against the election of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump in front of the White House in Washington November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
People hold placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES
A woman holds a placard at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S. Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A man holds placards at an anti-racism protest against U.S. President-elect Donald Trump outside of the U.S Embassy in London, Britain, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker/File Photo
A protester faces a police line in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Police officers walk past an overturned newspaper rack during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
Madeline Lopes, left, and Cassidy Irwin, both of Oakland, march with other protesters in downtown Oakland, Calif., early Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
An Oakland police officer checks out damage after a window was broken by protesters at a car dealership in downtown Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A trash fire burns during protests in Oakland, Calif., late Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016. President-elect Donald TrumpÄôs victory set off multiple protests. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group via AP)
A woman yells as she takes part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
University of California, Davis students protest on campus in Davis, California, U.S. following the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Max Whittaker

"I was on Romney's transition team, and it was a well-oiled machine months before the election. Now there's a scramble," said one Republican source, referring to the party's 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

With a Republican-controlled House and Senate, Trump has the ability to follow through on his campaign promises to cut taxes, tighten immigration, scale back climate change rules and repeal President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare.

Interstate 84 eastbound into the city is shut down as a result of protests against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States, in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola
Interstate 84 eastbound into the city is shut down as a result of protests against the election of Republican Donald Trump as President of the United States, in Portland, Oregon, U.S. November 10, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Dipaola

An Obama administration rule requiring retirement advisers to act in their clients' interests could also be on the chopping block.

But House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan and other congressional Republicans may balk at his protectionist trade policies and expensive transportation spending plan.

Trump's most loyal supporters could play a prominent role in his administration. Campaign sources say Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions could serve as Defense Secretary, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich might be named as Secretary of State and retired General Michael Flynn could serve as national security adviser.

Those three, along with Giuliani and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, were named as vice chairs of the transition team on Friday.

Trump appears to be leaning toward seasoned Republicans for many economic and financial policy. David Malpass, a former Treasury and State Department official, and Paul Atkins, a former Securities and Exchange Commission official, are guiding the transition team on economic issues.

"This is one area where the most Republican orthodoxy will come out," said Brandon Barford, a former Republican congressional staffer.

Some advisers, like former Nucor Corp. chief executive Dan DiMicco, and economist Peter Navarro, have echoed Trump's fierce criticism of China trade policy. But another adviser, former CIA director James Woolsey, wrote in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper on Friday that the Trump administration would accept China's rise as long as it did not challenge the regional balance of power.

Reuters

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