Confirmed: Donald Trump Picks Steven Mnuchin and Wilbur Ross for His Cabinet

Mnuchin will be Treasury Secretary, Ross will lead the Commerce Department.

President-elect Donald Trump has filled more top posts on his economic team — picking former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and financier Wilbur Ross to lead the Commerce Department.

Mnuchin is confirming that he and Ross are joining Trump’s Cabinet, pending confirmation by the Senate.

He tells CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview Wednesday that “we’re thrilled to work for the president-elect and honored to have these positions.”

Mnuchin says “sustained economic growth” is the chief priority of the incoming administration and he says “we can absolutely get to sustained 3 to 4 percent” in the gross domestic product.

He’s also outlining what he calls “the largest tax change” since President Ronald Reagan — cutting the corporate tax rate to 15 percent, a “big” middle-class income tax cut and simplifying taxes.

Mnuchin led Trump’s finance operations during the presidential campaign and became close to the president-elect and his family.

Ross is a billionaire investor who’s considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits.

Mr. Trump praised Mnuchin as a “world-class financier, banker and businessman” in a statement.

“Steve Mnuchin is a world-class financier, banker and businessman, and has played a key role in developing our plan to build a dynamic, booming economy that will create millions of jobs,” he said.“His expertise and pro-growth ideas make him the ideal candidate to serve as Secretary of the Treasury.”

In his own statement, Mnuchin said he was “honored” To have a role in the incoming administration.

“I understand what needs to be done to fix the economy,” he said. “I look forward to helping President-elect Trump implement a bold economic agenda that creates good-paying jobs and defends the American worker.”

Mnuchin spoke with reporters Wednesday at Trump Tower about his appointment and his priorities for the incoming administration.

“Our first priority is going to be the tax plan and the tax plan has both the corporate aspects to it — lowering corporate taxes so we make U.S. companies the most competitive in the world, making sure we repatriate trillions of dollars back to the United States, and the personal income taxes where we’re going to have the most significant middle income tax cut since Reagan,” he said. He added that the administration intends to implement the president-elect’s child care program, which Mnuchin predicted would be a “tremendous boon to the economy.”

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(Source:fortune.com;cbsnews.com)
Composite:Getty Images/ AP

Mitt Romney May Be Forced to Publicly Apologize to Trump in Exchange For Sec of State Bid

According to Fox News’ Ed Henry, President-elect Donald Trump may make things a little more difficult for Mitt Romney if he hopes to become our nation’s next Secretary of State.

As you may recall, back on March 3rd the former Massachusetts Governor and Republican nominee for President game an impassioned anti-Trump speech to a crowd in Salt Lake City. “Donald Trump is a phony, a fraud. He gets a free trip to the White House and all we get is this lousy hat,” Romney said famously.

But that was before Trump stunned the world to become President-elect of the United States. Hell, that back before Trump even won his own party’s nomination.

But politics can be tricky in this regard; flash forward to November, the Romney is reportedly under serious consideration to be tapped as the newest Secretary of State, a role that many believe is between Romney and Rudy Giuliani.

A senior transition official tells Henry that they are considering whether he has to issue a public apology for his past severe anti-Trump rhetoric. Romney called the real estate mogul a “phony and a fraud,” in that March address, continuing, “There is a dark irony in his boasts of his sexual exploits during the Vietnam War, while at the same time, John McCain — who he has mocked — was imprisoned and tortured.”

Trump in response called Romney “irrelevant,” and said that the former Massachusetts Gov “failed badly,” in his own quest for the Presidency.

Romney visited with Trump last week in Bedminster, New Jersey and said that the meeting was a “very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had.”

Earlier this week, Mike Huckabee appeared on Fox & Friends to call out Mitt Romney directly amid reports of his consideration. “When you go after the person that is the nominee of your party, who has been duly nominated by the voters, and then you’re savaging the voters, you’re not just savaging Donald Trump,” said Huckabee. “It would be a real insult to all those Donald Trump voters who worked really hard.”

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(Source:mediaite.com)
Photo: chicagotribune.com

Donald Trump to Add K.T. McFarland to His National Security Team

President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to name K. T. McFarland, an aide to three Republican White Houses and a frequent Fox News commentator, to the position of deputy national security adviser, as he continues to fill his foreign policy staff with aides who have hard-line views on the fight against terrorism.

Ms. McFarland, like Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the president-elect’s choice for national security adviser, has been highly critical of President Obama’s approach to combating terrorism, saying he has not acknowledged the threat that global Islamism poses to Western civilization.

The choice of Ms. McFarland was confirmed on Friday morning by a senior adviser in Mr. Trump’s transition effort.

Ms. McFarland’s selection comes as Mr. Trump and his team remain locked in a debate over appointing a secretary of state, the most important foreign policy job in the administration. Aides to Mr. Trump have said a decision on that post may not come until next week at the earliest.

The dispute centers on whether Mr. Trump should select Mitt Romney or Rudolph W. Giuliani for the cabinet position. It remains possible, Mr. Trump’s advisers said, that the job could go to someone else, like Gen. John F. Kelly, a Marine who led the United States Southern Command under Mr. Obama.

Rival camps within Mr. Trump’s orbit have split over the decision, tracing many of the same battle lines that divided the Republican Party in its bitter struggle over Mr. Trump’s nomination.

Some Republicans with Mr. Trump’s ear, like Newt Gingrich and Stephen K. Bannon, the president-elect’s chief strategist, have voiced concerns that Mr. Romney’s vehement opposition to Mr. Trump during the primary campaign raises questions of his loyalty.

Others, like Vice President-elect Mike Pence, have said privately that Mr. Giuliani might not be a wise choice, given the questions over his outside income, which would be likely to complicate his Senate confirmation.

Ms. McFarland, who will not require Senate confirmation, worked for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. From 1970 to 1976, she was an adviser to Henry A. Kissinger on the National Security Council. She also ran unsuccessfully in a 2006 Republican Senate primary race for the seat held by Hillary Clinton.

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(Source:nytimes.com)
Photo: Angel Chevrestt

Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Is Wilbur Ross

The President-elect is adding the billionaire investor to his cabinet, according to an official.

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Commerce secretary, a senior transition official said.

The official isn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and requested anonymity.

Reputed by Forbes to be worth nearly $3 billion, Ross would represent the interests of U.S. businesses domestically and abroad as the head at Commerce. His department would be among those tasked with carrying out the Trump administration’s stated goal of protecting U.S. workers and challenging decades of globalization that largely benefited multinational corporations.

With a Florida home down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat, the 78-year-old Ross played a role in crafting and selling the president-elect’s tax-cut and infrastructure plans. Ross has suggested that much of America is disgruntled because the economy has left middle-class workers behind and says Trump represents a shift to a “less politically correct direction.”

“Part of the reason why I’m supporting Trump is that I think we need a more radical, new approach to government— at least in the U.S. — from what we’ve had before,” Ross told CNBC in June, referring to Trump’s blunt tone and sweeping promises to reinvigorate economic growth.

The President-elect is adding the billionaire investor to his cabinet, according to an official.

Wilbur Ross, the billionaire investor considered the “king of bankruptcy” for buying beaten-down companies with the potential to deliver profits, is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Commerce secretary, a senior transition official said.

The official isn’t authorized to publicly discuss the matter and requested anonymity.

Reputed by Forbes to be worth nearly $3 billion, Ross would represent the interests of U.S. businesses domestically and abroad as the head at Commerce. His department would be among those tasked with carrying out the Trump administration’s stated goal of protecting U.S. workers and challenging decades of globalization that largely benefited multinational corporations.

With a Florida home down the road from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago retreat, the 78-year-old Ross played a role in crafting and selling the president-elect’s tax-cut and infrastructure plans. Ross has suggested that much of America is disgruntled because the economy has left middle-class workers behind and says Trump represents a shift to a “less politically correct direction.”

“Part of the reason why I’m supporting Trump is that I think we need a more radical, new approach to government— at least in the U.S. — from what we’ve had before,” Ross told CNBC in June, referring to Trump’s blunt tone and sweeping promises to reinvigorate economic growth.

Despite his embrace of populist rhetoric, Ross has enjoyed a patrician lifestyle. He frequently commutes between his offices in New York and home in Palm Beach, Florida, according to Haute Living magazine. He maintains an art collection worth more than $100 million that includes works by the Belgian surrealist Rene Magritte. A graduate of Yale University, he pledged a $10 million to help build its management school.

For 24 years as a banker at Rothschild, Ross developed a lucrative specialty in bankruptcy and corporate restructurings. He founded his own firm, W.L. Ross, in 2000 and earned part of his fortune from investing in troubled factories in the industrial Midwest and in some instances generating profits by limiting worker benefits. That region swung hard for Trump in the election on the promise of more manufacturing jobs from renegotiated trade deals and penalties for factories that outsourced their work abroad.

A specialist in corporate turnarounds, Ross buys distressed or bankrupt companies at steep discounts, then seeks to shave costs and generate profits. Some of those cost reductions have come from altering pay and benefits for workers. Since 2000, his firm has invested in more than 178 companies.

Ross most prominently created four companies through mergers and acquisitions that focused on steel, textiles, autos and coal. In some cases, Ross has sold the companies he packaged to even larger globe-spanning companies. In 2005, he sold the International Steel Group, which included the former Bethlehem Steel, to the Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.

And while his investments appear to have proved generally lucrative, they have also at times brought troubling publicity.

In early 2006, the Sago coal mine owned by Ross exploded, triggering a collapse that killed a dozen miners. Federal safety inspectors in 2005 had cited the West Virginia mine with 208 violations.

Ross said afterward that he knew about the safety violations but that the mine’s management had assured him that it was a “safe situation.”

“Oh, my God, it’s the worst week of my entire life,” Ross told ABC News days after the collapse.

If confirmed by the Senate as Commerce secretary, Ross would oversee nearly 47,000 employees and a budget of roughly $8 billion.

Among its responsibilities, the cabinet department provides data on the economy through the Census Bureau and monitors the environment through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

One former Commerce secretary, Donald Evans, noted that a prime responsibility is opening up markets around the world for U.S. companies and workers.

“What you are is ambassador to the world from America,” said Evans, who served under President George W. Bush. “It’s critically important when you go to other countries that, first and foremost, you care about them, the citizens of their country.”

That advice clashes somewhat with the promises made by Trump, who campaigned on the doctrine of putting “America first.” The president-elect told voters that Mexico, China and other countries had played U.S. trade negotiators for fools.

“Under a Trump administration, no American citizen will ever again feel that their needs come second to the citizens of foreign countries,” Trump said in April.

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(Source:fortune.com)
Photo: European Pressphoto Agency

 

 

 

Trump’s Newest Addition To Cabinet: Nikki Haley and Betsy DeVos

President-elect Donald J. Trump named two prominent Republican women to cabinet posts on Wednesday, recruiting Betsy DeVos, a prominent Republican philanthropist and educational activist, as education secretary, and Gov. Nikki R. Haley of South Carolina as ambassador to the United Nations.

Donald Trump is going with a former critic for a key foreign policy post, picking South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Wednesday to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

nikki_haley_1

Gov.Nikki R. Haley, Photo: NY Times

The president-elect has also picked Betsy DeVos, a businesswoman and charter school advocate from Michigan, to be his secretary of Education, DeVos said in a tweet posted early Wednesday afternoon.

And former Republican primary rival Ben Carson, mentioned as a possible pick for secretary of Housing and Urban Development, said on Twitter and Facebook that “I feel that I can make a significant contribution,” and an announcement is “forthcoming.”

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Donald Trump’s Cabinet Picks Still Not Entirely Known

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

By his own account, President-elect Donald Trump has worked out a few agreements after a parade of weekend visitors who could land major appointments in his administration.

There were hints but no decisions to announce. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee in 2012, was “under active and serious consideration” for secretary of state, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said. Trump himself said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defense secretary.

“We’ve made a couple of deals,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club before returning to New York. He gave assurances that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” into the government. “You’ll be hearing about them soon.”

More meetings are on Trump’s Monday schedule. His transition team said former Texas governor and GOP presidential rival Rick Perry was expected to meet with Trump on Monday.

Among the visitors to the white-pillared clubhouse Sunday were Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, and retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, the former commander of U.S. Southern Command.

The businessman who is now the president-elect also apparently was considering options to lead the Commerce Department, meeting with Ross. “Time will tell,” Ross told reporters when asked if he wanted a post.

It was hard to tell if some of the visitors were on the job hunt. Hollywood powerbroker Ari Emanuel and BET founder Robert Johnson came through over the weekend as did health care billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. Trump made a show of each guest, greeting them formally at the door, shaking hands, and smiling for the cameras and telling the press how “great” they were.

“King of Hollywood,” Trump said, as he ushered Emanuel in the door Sunday.

Between conversations, Trump revealed he was making transition plans for his family. He told reporters that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, would move to Washington when the school year ends.

Trump also turned to Twitter to share some of his thinking. In between criticism of Saturday Night Live, the hit musical “Hamilton,” and retiring Democratic leader Harry Reid, he wrote that, “General James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, who is being considered for secretary of defense, was very impressive yesterday. A true General’s General!”

The comments were indications that Trump is looking outside his immediate circle as he works toward rounding out his foreign policy and national security teams. On Friday, he named a loyalist, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and 2012 GOP presidential contender, and Trump exchanged bitter insults during the campaign, and Mattis has not been considered a Trump confidante. The appointment of more establishment figures could offer some reassurance to lawmakers and others concerned about Trump’s hard-line positions on immigration and national security and his lack of foreign policy experience.

Trump told reporters Sunday that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

But even as Trump and his team discussed pressing issues facing the country and how to staff the incoming administration, the president-elect’s Twitter feed suggested other issues too were on his mind.

His targets Sunday included Sen. Reid. Trump tweeted that incoming Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, another media-savvy New Yorker, was “far smarter” than Reid and “has the ability to get things done.”

Trump also complained that Saturday Night Live, which thrives on making fun of politicians, is “biased” and not funny. The night before, actor Alec Baldwin portrayed Trump as Googling: “What is ISIS?”

Trump also insisted again that the cast and producers of “Hamilton” should apologize after the lead actor addressed Pence from the stage Friday night, telling the vice president-elect that “diverse America” was “alarmed and anxious.” Pence said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that he wasn’t offended.

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(Source:fortune.com)
Photo:NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Donald Trump Wraps up Weekend Interviews Potential Cabinet Members

President-elect Trump continued his round of weekend meetings Sunday, with former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie among those who met with Trump and members of his transition team.

Others whom Trump met with Sunday include: Ari Emanuel, brother of Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and former chief of staff to President Obama; conservative writer John Gray; private equity firm founder Wilbur Ross; Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson; and David McCormick president of global investment firm, Bridgewater Associates, who held senior positions in the George W. Bush administration.

Trump told reporters that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defence secretary, president-elect Donald Trump and vice-president-elect Mike Pence said

 

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Donald Trump and James Mattis, Photo:Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

Trump also was making plans for transitioning his family. He told reporters Sunday that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, would move to Washington when the school year ends.

Trump started filling key administration positions on Friday, picking Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo to head the CIA, signalling a sharp rightward shift in U.S. security policy as he begins to form his Cabinet. Trump also named retired Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.

Trump’s initial decisions suggest a more aggressive military involvement in counterterror strategy and a greater emphasis on Islam’s role in stoking extremism.

He referred to those who came to meet with him as “patriots” in a tweet Sunday morning.

 

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