After the failure of its campaigning to get Democrat Hillary Clinton elected president, the New York Times ran this headline: “Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray.”
The newspaper claimed Donald Trump’s victory surprised even him, and now “his team was improvising the most basic traditions of assuming power.”
But, in fact, Trump said the preparation for the transition of power Jan. 20 “is going so smoothly.”
And Jason Miller, a senior Trump communications adviser, told CNN, “There’s a clear structure in place, and I think some of this palace intrigue, really, where I think this comes from, usually, is folks who aren’t up for jobs who might be maybe a little bit bitter.”
The campaign reportedly was looking to leaders such as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ambassador John Bolton, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions to fill key posts. And while Trump has said only he knows the finalists, the basic structure is being assembled and expectations are that major announcements will begin in a few days.
However, that has not stopped Democrats, still stunned and reeling from the 2016 Electoral College loss by the Clinton mega-machine, who were continuing to campaign against Trump.
In fact, after a political war in which the Washington Post repeatedly compared Trump to Hitler, the newest extreme position was adopted by Salon, which called Trump’s routine changes of staff a “Stalinesque purge.”
Trump fired back, tweeting that the Times “is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.”
Australia, New Zealand, and more. I am always available to them. @nytimes is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
The anyone-but-Trump sentiment also now includes targeting those who are working with the president-elect.
Apparently believing that a Republican whose victory was an overwhelming rejection of Democratic policies in Washington still should listen to them, 169 House Democrats told Trump to rescind the appointment of Stephen Bannon as White House strategist and counselor.
“Millions of Americans have expressed fear and concern about how they will be treated by the Trump administration and your appointment of Mr. Bannon only exacerbates and validates their concerns,” they said in a letter.
Bannon was slammed by the Democrats as “a purveyor of anti-Semitism, misogyny and racism,” who accused him of “xenophobia.”
The Democrats wrote, “Leading white nationalists like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke, American Nazi Party Chairman Rocky J. Suhadya, Richard Spencer, Peter Brimelow, and Brad Griffin have praised the news of Mr. Bannon’s appointment.”
But the letter failed to acknowledge the dedicated support for the Clinton campaign that came from the Communist Party USA.
One Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, demanded an explanation of the role of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, in the transition effort.
The Times did admit that there’s a long history of rocky transitions in Washington.
“Mr. Trump is hardly the first president-elect to preside over a disorderly takeover,” the newspaper commented. “The 1988 transition from Ronald Reagan to George Bush was particularly nasty, because many Reagan administration aides assumed – wrongly, as it turned out – that they would be in line to keep their jobs in a government that remained in Republican hands.”
Then, too, the report said: “Bill Clinton’s transition in 1992 was marred by a staff shakeup that upended a carefully planned process: Mr. Clinton replaced his transition chief Mickey Kantor, who had been Mr. Clinton’s campaign chairman, with Warren Christopher, who would become secretary of state. It was also hobbled by Mr. Clinton’s campaign promise to slash White House staff by 25 percent.”
Even Obama “had to replace his head of personnel several times.”
Meanwhile, Trump and his team, including Bannon, were getting support from unusual quarters.
Alan Dershowitz, a civil liberties lawyer and what the Washington Times calls a “prominent liberal,” says he doesn’t see evidence of the anti-Semitism many Democrats are claiming they see in Bannon.
Dershowitz said people should be “very careful” about accusing others of being anti-Semitic.
“The evidence certainly suggests that Mr. Bannon has very good relationships with individual Jews,” the Harvard law professor told Breitbart News reporter Aaron Klein. “My former researcher, [Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large] Joel Pollak, is an Orthodox Jew who takes off the Jewish holidays, who is a committed Jew and a committed Zionist, and he has worked closely with him. He has been supportive of Israel.
“So, I haven’t seen any evidence of personal anti-Semitism on the part of Bannon,” he said. “I think the larger problem – and it’s a very complicated one today – is how you assess a person who himself might not have negative characteristics, but who has widespread appeal to people who do. And I think that problem exists on the right and the left.”
There have been changes in the Trump team since the election, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence replacing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as head of the transition team.
Also, there are reports Kushner is emerging as an influence in staffing decisions. Trump has mostly been in his Manhattan skyscraper residents, mulling over candidates, jobs and responsibilities.
He did take time Tuesday night for a family dinner at a steakhouse, but he enraged establishment media by failing to tell them ahead of time and allow them to accompany him.
Media critics have accused him of trying to get security clearances for his adult children, but the campaign rejected the claim, and even critics admit Trump already has a general sense of what he wants in his administration.
A Fox News commentator noted that at the same point, only a week after the election, when Obama was preparing to take office, he was still “looking for his birth certificate.”
One of the new names to appear in the discussion was Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who once discussed a registry for immigrants from Muslim nations.
There also were reports Sessions was beginning to take a bigger role.
USA Today reported the Trump team is taking a “methodical” approach to making decisions and will not rush.
Miller said, “We’re going to make sure that they’re people that we are confident will pass confirmation and they’re going to be people that we think can implement the president-elect’s vision.”
Trump wrote on Twitter late Tuesday: “Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions.”
There also was a new effort by Pence to remove lobbyists from the transition team.
The American public also was gaining confidence in the president-elect.
A Gallup poll found 51 percent of U.S. adults say they are “more confident” in President-elect Donald Trump’s ability to serve as president based on his statements and actions over the past few days.
Gallup noted the percentage “more confident” in Trump a few days after his election is similar to ratings when Bill Clinton and George W. Bush won their respective elections in 1992 and 2000.
The polling organization said that even 19 percent of Clinton voters said the same.
WND reported last week after the election results that Trump’s transition team was bristling with conservatives.
WND also reported a supporter of Trump from early in his candidacy, WND author and Oxford professor Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, was being referred to the Trump transition team as a candidate for either ambassador to the United Nations or to the United Kingdom.
And regarding a petition on the White House website demanding the removal of Myron Ebell from Trump’s team?
The White House removed it.
Critics had claimed the director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute had to be eliminated because of his rejection of the global warming agenda.