Meetings with Cabinet potentials resume

Mr Trump greeting Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey on Sunday.
Mr Trump greeting Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster in New Jersey on Sunday.PHOTO: WASHINGTON POST

NEW YORK • US President-elect Donald Trump has resumed meetings with potential candidates for his administration as his transition office announced additional liaison groups that will work with federal agencies ahead of his January inauguration.

On Mr Trump's agenda at his namesake Manhattan tower were one-time primary rival Rick Perry, the former Texas governor; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a Trump loyalist; Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who has been mentioned as a potential secretary of the Department of the Interior; former labour secretary Elaine Chao; and former senator Scott Brown, a possible candidate for veterans' affairs.

Also meeting Mr Trump was Democratic Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who broke with much of her party's establishment to back Mr Bernie Sanders over Mrs Hillary Clinton during the Democratic nomination race.

The next round of personnel announcements "could come this week, it could come today, but we're not in a rush to publish names just because everybody is looking for the next story", Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway told reporters.

Mr Trump returned to New York after spending the weekend receiving a parade of visitors at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Those he met on Sunday included former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Mr Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state. He also interviewed potential candidates for treasury secretary.

For the Homeland Security Department, the Washington Post reported that Mr Trump was considering retired Marine Corps General John Kelly, who was head of the US Southern Command, and Mr Francis Townsend, who was President George W. Bush's adviser on homeland security and counterterrorism.

Ahead of the inauguration, the transition team announced more so-called landing teams that will begin meeting top officials at federal agencies to begin the process of handing over the keys to a Trump administration. 

There are some 4,000 executive branch jobs that the new administration will be filling with political appointees.

Meanwhile, the transition operation also continued to confront questions on how Mr Trump will handle potential conflicts of interest between his sprawling business empire and his new role as the chief executive of the federal government.

Last week, he held a meeting with three business partners building a Trump property south of Mumbai.

A new Washington Post analysis of financial filings shows that at least 111 Trump companies have done business in 18 countries and territories, including eight filings launched during the presidential campaign that appear tied to a potential hotel project in Saudi Arabia.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2016, with the headline 'Meetings with Cabinet potentials resume'. Subscribe