President-elect Donald Trump, whose career, campaign and cataclysmic election victory over Hillary Clinton nowhere could be described as typical politics, continues to break ground with his work to transition to the Oval Office in January.
NBC News reports he’s planning a meeting with former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney over the weekend, possibly about the position of secretary of state.
Critics have been up in arms over some of his potential selections, and establishment media outlets have been rushing to describe the transition planning as chaotic or disorganized, even though those inside the process have said things are running along smoothly and as expected.
It was David Axelrod, former senior adviser to President Obama, who told critics and worriers to quit.
“Lots of reasons to be concerned about [Donald Trump’s] transition but the pace of announcements isn’t one of them,” he wrote on Twitter.
Lots of reasons to be concerned about @realDonaldTrump transition but the pace of announcements isn’t one of them. That’s not a fair shot.
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 17, 2016
He pointed out that the Obama team “hadn’t made any major appoints at this point in 2008,” but still he doesn’t “remember being criticized for it.”
We hadn’t made any major appointments at this point in 2008. I don’t remember being criticized for it. https://t.co/3yXvA8g6bL
— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) November 17, 2016
Trump has announced his White House chief of staff and senior adviser, and has been meeting behind closed doors in New York’s Trump Tower with many candidates for positions, beginning with his cabinet members.
CNBC said Romney, who was defeated by Obama in the 2012 election, is to meet with Trump this weekend “to discuss the secretary of state position.”
The network cited a source close to the president-elect.
The two previously had strongly criticized each other, and Romney campaigned with Ohio Gov. John Kasich during the primary. Voters in Ohio, however, chose Trump.
Other names floated for secretary of state include New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.
The Wall Street Journal and others reported Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, was turning into a wild card in the staffing work, with the possibility that he might end up with responsibilities in a Trump administration.
The newspaper said Kushner is “likely” to take a White House job, citing “people familiar with the presidential transition.”
He was described as a “lighting rod” and appeared to be favored by White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon, who still was taking shots from the left because of his service with Breitbart News, the online newssite that, like WND, is regarded as an alternative to the left-leaning establishment media.
An issue with Kushner’s potential service is the large fortunes controlled by the family and how they would be handled during a period of government service.
Meanwhile, the Trump team was readying “landing teams” to be “storming the beaches of the federal government in the coming days and weeks,” according to Fox.
Those are aides who will interact with federal agencies during the transition period.
Fox News reported: “The first ‘wave’ will be assigned to national security matters, dealing with the departments of State, Justice and Defense and the National Security Council. This is expected to be followed by subsequent teams dealing with economic issues (covering the Treasury and other departments), domestic policy (covering Veterans Affairs, Health and Human Services and other agencies) and independent agencies.”
Campaign spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway told Fox that the transition team was on schedule and working to avoid making any decisions in a rush.
Other high-profile names expected to meet with Trump included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; Florida Gov. Rick Scott; Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R,Texas; Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.; Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark.; Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Ambassador John Bolton; and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
WND reported Wednesday on the continuing characterizations by the legacy media of the Trump transition in trouble.
The New York Times claimed “Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray.”
But, in fact, Trump said the preparations for the transition were going smoothly and Jason Miller, a senior 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.”
Democrats, too, were continuing their attacks.
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 rejected the criticism, tweeting 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.
WND reported last week after the election results that Trump’s transition team was bristling with conservatives.