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Wake Up To Politics - November 21, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

60 Days until Inauguration DayI'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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Transition Central

  • Weekend Review: Trump Continues to Meet with Potential Appointees, More Announcements Coming President-elect Donald Trump spent the weekend meeting with potential appointees at is golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. A steady stream of Republicans and Democrats were paraded in front of reporters for a handshake with Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence before they retreated inside the building.
  • Among the visitors to Trump's clubhouse were retired Gen. James Mattis, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, investor Wilbur Ross, retired Gen. John Kelly, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and former D.C. Public Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee.
  • Many of those individuals are under consideration for a range of Cabinet posts, or were brought to Bedminister to advise Trump. Mattis and Romeny were the two meetings that generated the most buzz, with the former being the only prospect Trump tweeted about. "General James 'Mad Dog' Mattis, who is being considered for Secretary of Defense, was very impressive yesterday," Trump posted on Sunday. "A true General's General!" In addition, Trump's meeting with Romney was interesting, as the former Massachusetts governor was once the President-elect's fiercest Republican critic. On Sunday, Pence said that Romney was "under active and serious consideration" for Secretary of State.
  • Trump has spent most of his transition behind closed doors, either at Trump Tower in New York or at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster. The President-elect will spend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago property in Palm Beach, Florida. Despite reports that he might choose to live at one of his properties full-time as President, in brief comments to reporters, Trump confirmed on Sunday that he will move to the White House. However, he said his wife Melania and their 10-year-old son Barron will join him "very soon, after he's finished with school."
  • During the weekend, Trump would occasionally answer a few questions as he greeted the net person on his schedule. However, in a break with tradition, Trump has yet to hold a press conference since winning the presidential election nearly two weeks ago. Instead, the President-elect has made his views known over Twitter, a continuation of his habits during the campaign.
  • Trump tweeted ten times over Saturday and Sunday: four were shots at the musical Hamilton, where his running mate Mike Pence was booed over the weekend ("This should not happen...Apologize!"); two were about the Trump University case he settled on Saturday ("I did not have the time to go through a long but winning trial on Trump U. Too bad!"); two were about the transition ("numerous patriots will be coming to Bedminster today"); one was about incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer ("far smarter than Harry [Reid]"); and one was about NBC's Saturday Night Live ("totally one-sided, biased show - nothing funny at all").
  • So far, Trump has announced one Cabinet nominee: Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions was tapped to become Attorney General on Friday afternoon. Additional appointees that have been announced are: Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, CIA director; retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, national security adviser; Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, chief of staff; and former Breitbart head Steve Bannon, chief strategist and senior counselor.
  • The President-elect has another full day of meetings planned, although the only announced meeting is with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The transition team has already announced plans to unveil Trump's economic "landing team" on Monday, the individuals who will meet with Obama Administration officials in the Commerce and Treasury Departments.
  • As for more Cabinet announcements, Trump is keeping his cards close to his chest, with more announcements are possible today. "We've made a couple of deals," the President-elect told reporters in Bedminster, saying that he planned to bring "incredible people" into his administration.
  • "You'll be hearing about them soon," Trump promised.

White House Watch

  • The President's Schedule President Barack Obama returned from his final foreign trip in office at about 2:30am this morning, and will have no public events throughout the day.

Capitol Hill News

  • Congressional Schedule After spending the entire month of October and the first two weeks of November on recess, Congress convened for the first time since the election last week. After holding four lame-duck sessions (Monday through Thursday), both houses of Congress are once again leaving town this week.
  • The Senate will not return until Monday, November 28; the House until Tuesday, November 29.
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation", St. Louis Public Radio, the Political Junkie podcast, and on StoryCorps; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki"; and read about Gabe in Politico, the Washington Post, Independent Journal, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Salon, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light.