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Trump rejects reports of infighting among his transition team

By Lalit K Jha
Last updated on: November 16, 2016 16:11 IST
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US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday refuted reports of infighting among advisers in his transition team over key Cabinet appointments, saying a “very organised” process is taking place to select the finalists.

“Very organised process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!” Trump said in a tweet.

Trump’s tweet came as media reported that differences have come up within his camp on finalising his Cabinet.

A week after Trump, 70, was elected in a historic election, the president-elect is yet to name a member of his Cabinet.

So far, he has named Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as his chief of staff and his campaign CEO Stephen Bannon as chief strategist.

The CNN reported that Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner is at the centre of the “infighting” inside his transition team.

Trump has already replaced New Jersey Governor Chris Christie with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence as head of the transition team.

Christie was New Jersey attorney general when Kushner’s father was tried and jailed in the state for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering in 2004.

The Wall Street Journal reported the vice president-elect Mike Pence on Tuesday ordered removal of all lobbyists from the transition team.

Former Congressman Mike Rogers, who was considered for the post of CIA Director, was among those ousted from the presidential transition team’s national security unit.

Rogers said he parted ways with Trump’s transition team, removing an establishment national security voice from the planning process of the next president’s cabinet.

Rogers was told on Monday on the phone that he was out, according to a source familiar with the transition. The source said this was part of an effort to replace the transition team members associated with Christie, who previously headed up the transition team’s efforts until being replaced by Pence.

“Sometimes in politics ... there are people who are in and people who are out. And the people who have been asked to move on have some relationship with Chris Christie,” Rogers told CNN.

Pence on Tuesday provided to the White House the necessary paper work that would facilitate smooth transition. 

The Trump transition team must now provide the Obama administration with the “names of individuals they have authorised to represent the transition effort across the government”, Brandi Hoffine, a White House spokesperson said.

Photograph: Reuters

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