Monday 26 August 2019

Impatient President-elect promises: 'We're going to do spectacular things'

Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at Capitol Hill. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Donald Trump meets with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at Capitol Hill. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Nick Allen, Ruth Sherlock and Roland Oliphant

President-elect Donald Trump promised yesterday to do "spectacular" things for America and to prioritise cutting taxes, abolishing ObamaCare and beefing up immigration controls.

After meeting Paul Ryan, the Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Trump said he would begin work "very rapidly" after his inauguration.

"We are going to lower taxes. I think we are going to do some absolutely spectacular things for the American people. We can't get started fast enough, whether it's healthcare or immigration," he said.

Mr Trump began plotting his first major appointments with allies such as Sarah Palin under early consideration.

His "transition team" was understood to be considering Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York, for attorney general or national security adviser, while Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, was tipped for a foreign policy post.

As Mr Trump met President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has become a close confidante, was seen on the White House south lawn with Denis McDonough, Mr Obama's chief of staff, leading to suggestions he could take over that post.

It was reported that a senior person on the transition team contacted Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan, to see if he would be interested in being treasury secretary. A source said yesterday there was a "less than 1pc" chance of him accepting.

A list of 41 names being considered for top jobs by the transition team has emerged.

Read more: First Look: President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania are shown around their new home - the White House

Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman, is also named as a possible chief of staff. Dr Ben Carson, who ran against Mr Trump for the Republican nomination, is a possible secretary of education or secretary of health, while Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, is a potential homeland security secretary.

Ms Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential nominee, is listed as a possible secretary of the interior.

Mr Trump's team launched a new website,, with a notice that he was looking to fill 4,000 slots for presidential appointees, including Cabinet positions and ambassadorships, a signal that he intends to recruit from the private sector. It said: "Any individual who wishes to serve the administration should utilise this online application in order to participate."

Once in office, Mr Trump will set about trying to fulfil his pledge to slash income tax and put more money in the pockets of working people. He will also cut corporation tax and regulation to allow them to start small businesses.

The billionaire wants to fix America's crumbling infrastructure, potentially put tariffs on Chinese goods, restore manufacturing industries and bring home profits held abroad by big business. His economic plan for America predicts 25 million new jobs over the next decade, and that the economy will grow by 4pc a year, more than double last year's figure.

Mr Trump will implement a $1trl infrastructure project, which alone could create 13 million jobs. That will be partly paid for by a $167bn investment from the private sector, in turn offset by tax credits.

The President-elect also wants to overhaul America's increasingly complex tax code, reducing the seven tax brackets to three. The highest tax bracket would fall from 39.6pc to 33pc. It has been estimated by some analysts that his reforms will add up to $7bn to the already spiralling national debt.

Towards the end of the campaign Mr Trump put his plan to "rip up Obamacare" centre stage, but making good on that pledge may be easier said than done.

Republicans have 51 seats in the Senate, far off the 60 needed to overturn it. Instead, he may try to dismantle key elements of the Affordable Care Act, which extended medical insurance to 25 million more people.

Mr Trump created shock waves during the presidential campaign with his call for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States". But yesterday that particular proposal had been purged from his website.

Instead, there was a more ambiguous promise to suspend visas "to any place where adequate screening cannot occur". That policy has morphed into "extreme vetting", in which people from countries with a history of terrorism applying for visas would be subjected to enhanced security checks.

Irish Independent

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