Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Trump drama rolls on: Disputes, falsehoods hit transition

NEW YORK — The drama, disputes and falsehoods that permeated Donald Trump's presidential campaign are now roiling his transition to the White House, forcing aides to defend his baseless assertions of illegal voting and sending internal fights spilling into public.

On Monday, a recount effort, led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and joined by Hillary Clinton's campaign also marched on in three states, based partly on the Stein campaign's unsubstantiated assertion that cyberhacking could have interfered with electronic voting machines. Wisconsin officials approved plans to begin a recount as early as Thursday. Stein also asked for a recount in Pennsylvania and was expected to do the same in Michigan, where officials certified Trump's victory Monday.

But amid the rancor, Trump chose Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., an orthopedic surgeon who has been one of Capitol Hill's fiercest critics of President Obama's health care law, to be secretary of health and human services late Monday, a person briefed on the decision confirmed. The public announcement of Trump's selection of Price, a six-term congressman who chairs the House Budget Committee and is regarded as a policy wonk, is expected to be made as early as today.

As HHS secretary, Price would become the Trump administration's point person on dismantling and replacing the Affordable Care Act, one of Trump's major campaign promises.

As for the election results, Trump has angrily denounced the recounts and now claims without evidence that he, not Clinton, would have won the popular vote if it hadn't been for "millions of people who voted illegally." On Twitter, he singled out Virginia, California and New Hampshire.

There has been no indication of widespread election tampering or voter fraud in those states or any others, and Trump aides struggled Monday to back up their boss' claim.

Spokesman Jason Miller said illegal voting was "an issue of concern." But the only evidence he raised was a 2014 report and a study on voting irregularities conducted before the 2016 election.

Trump also met Monday with other candidates for top Cabinet posts, including retired Gen. David Petraeus, a new contender for secretary of state. Trump is to meet today with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, who is also being considered more seriously for the diplomatic post, and Mitt Romney, who has become a symbol of the internal divisions agitating the transition team.

Petraeus said he spent about an hour with Trump, and he praised the president-elect for showing a "great grasp of a variety of the challenges that are out there."

A former CIA chief, Petraeus pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information relating to documents he had provided to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair. Tampa socialite Jill Kelley, whose complaint to the FBI about harassing emails, first brought the story to light.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is heading the transition effort, is said to be among those backing Romney for secretary of state. Romney was fiercely critical of Trump throughout the campaign but is interested in the Cabinet position, and they discussed it during a lengthy meeting earlier this month.

Other top Trump allies, notably campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, have launched a highly unusual public campaign to warn the president-elect that nominating Romney would be seen as a betrayal by his supporters. Conway's comments stirred speculation that she is seeking to either force Trump's hand or give him cover for ultimately passing over Romney.

The wrangling over the State Department post appears to have slowed the announcements of other top jobs. Retired Gen. James Mattis, who impressed Trump during a pre-Thanksgiving meeting, was at the top of the list for defense secretary, but a final decision hadn't been made.

Trump was also considering former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for Homeland Security secretary, according to those close to the transition process.Those close to the transition who spoke with the Associated Press insisted on anonymity in commenting because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the private process.

Trump drama rolls on: Disputes, falsehoods hit transition 11/28/16 [Last modified: Monday, November 28, 2016 10:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Homeland security chief defends Kushner's alleged proposal for 'back channel' to the Russians as 'a good thing"

    National

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a "good thing" for the U.S. government.

    Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House on Jan. 30. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]
  2. After hard charging on health care in 2016, Marco Rubio is slow, careful

    Blogs

    As a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio pitched an Obamacare replacement and tore into Donald Trump for not having one. "What is your plan? What is your plan on health care? You don't have a plan," the Florida senator aggressively challenged in a February 2016 debate.

  3. Report: Florida counties part of liver disease cluster

    Research

    STUART — Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.

  4. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida

    Crime

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  5. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes

    National

    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]