President-elect Donald Trump has moved his transition efforts from Trump Tower in Manhattan to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, as his family prepares for the Christmas holiday.
While in Florida, however, he continues to build his incoming administration, according to transition team spokesmen Jason Miller and Sean Spicer.
Miller said Trump was scheduled to meet with the following individuals Tuesday:
- IQ Management CEO Luis Quinonez, a potential VA secretary candidate
- JCR Group CEO Jovita Carranza, a potential trade representative candidate
- Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove, likely about the administration's plans to "repeal and replace" ObamaCare
Miller confirmed Carranza is a candidate for the trade representative position in the White House but balked at liberal media characterizations that the job was going to be rolled into the Commerce Department. He did, however, reaffirm the president-elect's announcement that Secretary of Commerce-designate Wilbur Ross would be leading the administration's overall trade policy.
In response to a question from Bloomberg, Spicer noted that Trump and his transition "landing teams" have been meeting with "leaders of every sector" as Jan. 20 approaches. He said a recent meeting with tech company leaders was a sign of those ongoing conversations, which he said would continue—likely on a quarterly basis—into the foreseeable future.
In response to a question from RealClearPolitics, suggesting the president-elect was getting the cart before the horse by nominating a Cabinet before the White House staff had been assembled, Miller said White House hires will likely be announced later this week. He said the transition team has been "working around the clock" to assemble a team he said would be "just as impressive as the Cabinet the president-elect has assembled."
Trump is not scheduled to meet with the press again before his planned January press conference to discuss his divestment from the Trump Organization. A time and date for that event has not yet been announced.
Meanwhile, Vice President-elect Mike Pence had a number of meetings planned in Washington, D.C., before he returns to Indiana to spend the Christmas holiday with family. In addition to former Secretary of Education Bill Bennett, he will meet with the Trump administration's national security team and Dr. Ben Carson.
Spicer said Trump has been meeting with his national security and intelligence advisers regarding Monday's events in Ankara, Turkey and Berlin, Germany. The president-elect issued the following statements regarding those:
"Today we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist. The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilized order and must be universally condemned."
Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today's horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday. ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners.
Miller could not confirm if the president-elect had spoken with President Obama about either event.
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