Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trump Transition Team Planning First Months in Office

There's some concern that top policy experts, former government officials, and military personnel, etc., won't serve in a Trump administration, and hence the transition is hampered by a dearth of qualified candidates. (And there's speculation that the Trump camp may have "blacklisted" potential foreign policy / national security recruits.) Indeed, word is that the transition team had yet to call the Pentagon by this afternoon (although I didn't save that tweet; I'll update with it later if I see it.).

In any case, all the academic foreign policy experts are buzzing about this, these of course being the same people who'd never serve in a Trump administration.

Actually things didn't seem so dire at this Wall Street Journal piece, from early today, "Donald Trump Transition Team Planning First Months in Office: Donald Trump’s transition team has had smaller staff than previous Republican nominees":
In his first days in office, Mr. Trump has said, he plans to announce he will reopen the North American Free Trade Agreement, and will withdraw consideration of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He plans to order his commerce secretary to identify, and then remedy, all foreign trade “abuses that unfairly impact American workers.” He plans to lift restrictions on tapping energy reserves, approve the Keystone XL pipeline and cancel billions in payments to United Nations climate-change programs.

The New York businessman has vowed to cancel President Obama’s promise to protect from deportation undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children, and start deporting as many as two million undocumented immigrants with criminal records.

The first 100 days of the Trump administration “will focus on three to five structural reforms from day one, including controlling the southern border,” Mr. Gingrich said. “It will almost certainly include very dramatic civil-service reform to allow us to fire people who are incompetent or corrupt or breaking the law.”

Several of Mr. Trump’s early initiatives could likely be accomplished through executive orders and regulatory changes, which would make it easy for him to execute because he can bypass Congress. But he could also seek congressional input to foster a better relationship with lawmakers, and his senior staff will have to decide soon on what agenda to set.
The Trump transition team is working on two floors of an office tower about a block from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue. The team working on appointments meets on the eighth floor.The group includes New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the transition chairman; Rich Bagger, a former New Jersey state senator who was formerly Mr. Christie’s staff chief and is executive director of the transition; and former Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner, the transition team’s principal domestic policy adviser.

On the seventh floor are offices of The five main policy teams are being overseen by Ron Nicol, a former Navy officer and longtimeadviser to the Boston Consulting Group. The economics team is headed by William Walton, the head of a private-equity firm, and David Malpass, who was chief economist at Bear Stearns and a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from New York in 2010.

The national security team is headed by former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Mich.). Retired Army Lt. Gen. J. Keith Kellogg heads the defense team, while former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell is in charge of domestic issues. The management and budget team is headed by Ed Meese, who served as attorney general under President Ronald Reagan, and Kay Coles James, who served in both Bush administrations.

A sixth team, run by Ado Machida, a former domestic policy aide to then-Vice President Dick Cheney, is devoted to reviewing President Barack Obama’s executive actions, as well as regulation overhauls and immigration. The immigration team is made up of staffers with ties to Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican who has long called for tougher immigration laws, and includes a unit dedicated to figuring out how to build Mr. Trump’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border...
Ed Meese! The dude's still hangin'!

And see, "Trump’s Transition Team Works to Form Cabinet: Jeb Hensarling, a foe of financial regulation is floated as a candidate for powerful Treasury secretary role, as process heats up."