Mike Pence In Full Control of Trump’s Transition Team
No more lobbyists!
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has taken control of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, which included letting go of all the lobbyists:
Trump had been under fire for having a transition team filled with lobbyists and other insiders, given his campaign pledge to “drain the swamp.” There had been roughly a dozen registered lobbyists working in and around the transition team, reports have said.
Those lobbyists included Rob Collins of S-3 Group, Mike Catanzaro at CGCN Group, Martin Whitmer of Whitmer & Worrall, J. Steven Hart at Williams & Jensen and tobacco company Altria’s Cindy Hayden, among others.
Pence took over from Gov. Chris Christie last week, who included all the lobbyists. A source close to the team said Pence let them all go because it “makes good on [Trump’s] vision of how he wants his government constructed.”
Christie’s team featured too many lobbyists, which drew criticism from those in Congress:
It had also drawn the attention of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who repeatedly attacked Trump during the campaign on behalf of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. On Tuesday, Warren called on Trump to replace more than 20 members of his transition team with ties to Wall Street firms and other corporations.
“If you refuse,” Warren wrote, “I will oppose you, every step of the way, for the next four years. I will champion the millions of Americans you will fail to protect. I will track your every move, and I will remind Americans, every day, of the actions you take that fail them.”
Now the Trump team has to hand over “names of individuals they have authorized to represent the transition effort across the government” to the Obama administration.
Pence will also work closely with Trump to select members of his cabinet, hoping to build a trusting relationship between Congress and Trump. As The Wall Street Journal reported, not everyone has accepted Trump’s choices, especially Mayor Rudy Guiliani for Secretary of State.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) did not approve of Guiliani’s call to bomb Iran in 2015 and he does not think Trump should give the job to former UN Ambassador John Bolton either:
The pair represents “the most bellicose interventionist wing of any party,” Mr. Paul told Reason magazine. “I can’t support anybody to be our secretary of state who didn’t learn the lesson of the Iraq war.”
But that’s not the only obstacle for Guiliani. The team needs to review his “paid consulting work for foreign governments” to make sure he does not have a conflict of interest:
Giuliani founded his own firm, Giuliani Partners, in 2001, and helped businesses on behalf of foreign governments, including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. He also advised TransCanada, which sought to build the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, and helped the maker of the painkiller drug OxyContin settle a dispute with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
There are concerns with his appearances with Iranian opposition group Mujahedin-e Khalq, “which the State Department designated as a terrorist organization from 1997-2012:”
Last year, Mr. Giuliani addressed MEK leaders in Paris and called for the overthrow of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his clerical regime. “The Ayatollah must go! Gone! Out! No more!” Mr. Giuliani told a crowd of thousands. “He and Rouhani and Ahmadinejad and all of the rest of them should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.”
The MEK paid Mr. Giuliani and other former U.S. officials to speak at its events, according to group leaders and U.S. officials who investigated the matter. Speaking fees ranged from $25,000 to $40,000 per appearance.
Not everyone opposes Guiliani:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said Tuesday he could work with Mr. Giuliani if he were tapped as secretary of state. “Rudy is an internationally known figure, he’s a personal friend, he has dealt with the unimaginable which was 9/11. He was a loyal supporter of President Trump; he should be rewarded in my view,” said Mr. Graham, who had opposed Mr. Trump in the campaign.
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Well I’m glad that is cleared up and Elizabeth Warren will no longer oppose Trump every step of the way.
I have to wonder about these rumors of Guilliani for SoS.
I think he could do the job, but he seems like a better fit for AG.
Or Homeland Security.
Or a lot of things. State is a weird choice.
Guilliani has explicitly stated that he does not want to be Attorney General.
Nobody better than Bolton. The ‘stache is connected and he gets it.
Send Rudy to the UN.
“I will track your every move.”
Indians are great trackers.
People fraudulently claiming to be one are probably not.
Fauxchaontas will need a guide.
Something on the so called distancing of Trump from Christie.
This was pointed out on a chow called “Chicago Tonight” where they had two members from the last transition. One from Bush’s side and one from Obama’s side.
There was a change in the methodology of presidential elections. I don’t know if it is a law or if it was just a convention but now the candidates must have a transition team in place during the election. Trump had one lead by Christie, Hillary had one lead by I don’t know.
Trump may have wanted Pence all along, but Pence could not at the time head the transition team because he was busy campaigning. No matter which candidate won, the head of the transition team would have been changed.
I don’t have much time right now to better research this but two links:
Which describes the GSA as funding transition teams for presidential candidates.
And a comment here:
A law enacted by the United States Congress in 2016 requires the incumbent President to establish “transition councils” by June of an election year to facilitate the eventual handover of power.
The best argument against Guiliani seems to be the Graham is for him. I’d prefer Bolton in any event.
I’ve heard that Pence has brought in many Hill staff to work the transition. That’s good, but there are many nooks and crannies of the Executive Branch that I would bet do not get a lot of attention from Hill staff.
“Trump said in an interview with CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday that selecting lobbyists was the only option he had.
In addition to the removal of lobbyists, former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), once seen as a candidate to lead the CIA, had also left the Trump transition team. Rogers had been told that those brought on by Christie were being let go, the Journal reported.
The same report said former Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Mich.) had been brought in as one replacement for Rogers.
Hoekstra is a registered lobbyist at Williams & Jensen, according to lobbying disclosure records, with clients including Visa, insurance company Anthem, Eli Lilly & Company, General Electric, the Security Traders Association, PhRMA, Dell and the American Business Group of Abu Dhabi, among others.”
I wonder if Ebell was chopped, too.
“Lobbyist” is not necessarily a dirty word in my lexicon. There are “lobbyists” who are simply go-to experts in certain fields, and they serve as important resources to legislators, who are NOT experts in fields they are making laws about.
Technically, strangely enough, I qualify as a lobbyist. At least in El Paso.
A couple of years ago I was advocating for the award of a contract from the County DFPS-CPS division on behalf of a non-profit that was not technically a client of mine, but to whom I had strong ties as an organization. The organization was a good fit for the task that needed to be done, and I was pushing everybody to keep it on the rails so that it didn’t just fall through the cracks.
It made for some very, very interesting confused looks from the County staff when I showed up one day, picked up the “lobbyist sign in” clipboard and sat down in the waiting room rather than asking for one of the Attorneys by name.
“Lobbyist” shouldn’t be a dirty word. Lobbying is so valuable and necessary a part of a free society that it’s specifically singled out in the first amendment for protection. (What did you think “petition the government for a redress of grievances” meant?) It’s corrupt politicians who solicit bribes from those who petition them, and then cynically throw the blame on the victims who have no choice but to pay up.
Christie is a big, fat liability. He brings nothing to the party, except maybe donuts.
Though he did bring Obama his 2012 election.
CC could be added to the Cabinet as the “Secretary of Partying Down!”
from the Simpsons’ “School of Hard Knockers,”
No need to criticize the man’s personal appearance. Not everyone is a Vogue model.
Christie is a liability, from Bridgegate to his canoodling with Obama in 2012. Smart thing for him to do is finish his term as governor (if he can do so without being impeached), then find something to do in the private or NGO sector for a couple years. He’s toxic right now.
“If you refuse,” Warren wrote, “I will oppose you, every step of the way, for the next four years….”
I like the idea of getting rid of the lobbyists, but Fauxcahontas is going to do that, anyway, and if DJT were to walk on water and heal the sick and injured with a touch, she would still oppose him, every step of the way.
I’m sitting at Reagan National Airport (love that name) waiting for a flight home. CNN is in near full-meltdown over the supposed “TURRRRRRMMMMMOOOOOIIIIIIILLLLLL!!!!” in the Trump transition team. Talking head after talking head yapping away like oversexed chihuahuas abut the impending disaster.
Now I don’t know myself, maybe the transition team hit a bump or two. But much like the Trump family dinner silliness, the media would be doing itself a huge favor if they pulled the plug for a day, went home, got a glass of chianti and then a good night’s sleep, and then came back tomorrow. Or even if they did like their predecessors of a few generations again and went to a cheap bar for multiple bourbons.
They won’t, of course.
Yes, what’s that about? How on earth did we get to where reporters not only see themselves but are seen by others as having some sort of right to follow a president around, so that it’s some sort of scandal when he tricks them? Talk about entitlement and privilege.
See my earlier note about how lobbying is specifically protected in the constitution: reporters are not. They have conspired to convince ignorant people that “freedom of the press” refers to them, “the press”. It doesn’t. They also arrogantly call themselves “the fourth estate”, though not one in ten of them could tell you what the first three are; here in the US we have only one estate, and they’re not it.
“…and I will remind Americans, every day, of the actions you take that fail them.”
Doesn’t Fauxcahontas know that smoke signals cause Global Warming™?
Fauxahontas is going to oppose Trump or any other Republican on everything he does. Don’t worry about her. And Christie is a Jersey putz, his usefulness has ended.
Being lectured on ethics by a woman who stole quotas from Native Americans…
What’s next? Bringing out Dan Rather as an authority on fairness in the media?
[yes, I know that happened recently. What strange times we live in]