After a week filled with questions and rumors of turmoil behind the scenes of President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, his staff is now publicly laying out a more concrete timetable to get their work of ensuring a smooth handoff up to speed.
The Trump transition team will begin notifying the Obama administration of its designees to meet with current agency officials starting today.
That will start with national security. So-called “landing teams” assigned to the Department of Defense, the State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Justice will be submitted to the White House today and will soon begin their meetings with Obama administration officials, Sean Spicer, a spokesman for the president-elect, told reporters today.
The names of Trump’s representatives will be made public tomorrow on the Trump transition website, www.greatagain.gov.
These announcements come as Trump prepares to greet Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his Manhattan office later today. It’s Trump’s first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader since the election, as he continues to meet with government officials and others.
The president-elect will be briefed before his meeting with Abe by a team of policy and protocol advisers, Spicer said, “to make sure he’s properly prepared.” The meeting will be kept private, Spicer said, “because there is only one president at a time.” But current State Department officials are not believed to be involved in those briefings.
Trump has spoken over the phone with 32 world leaders, Miller said. When asked if secure communications have been set up for those conversations, he said that “appropriate precautions” are being taken but did not elaborate.
Others visiting Trump on Thursday include the head of the National Security Agency, Adm. Mike Rogers, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, retired Gen. Jack Keane and Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a possible choice for Treasury secretary.
Another Trump spokesman, Jason Miller, said some of those Trump is meeting with are potential Cabinet nominees, calling them “top-shelf people.”
Following his meeting with Trump, Hensarling said, “This was a wonderful conversation, and I stand ready to help the president in any capacity possible.” Hensarling chairs the House Financial Services Committee, where he’s been a strong opponent of the Dodd-Frank regulations imposed after the 2008 financial crisis.
Trump will hold more meetings in New York City on Friday morning and then head to his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., for further discussions.
Asked if Trump was close to making any decisions regarding his Cabinet choices, Miller said the focus is on putting together “the absolute best team,” and there is no “arbitrary” timetable for announcing Cabinet choices.
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