Third day of Trump protests
US President-elect Donald Trump on Friday shocked the team responsible for preparing his new government in the midst of an environment marked by street protests.
Trump put his elected vice president; Mike Pence, in charge of the transition team, and placed his three adult children (Ivanka, Donald Jr and Eric) in the select group, as well as a cast of heavyweights from the Republican Party.
Trump appointed New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who now plays the underlining role of Pence.
The transition team is also comprised of former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Jeff Sessions, a defender of a ‘tough hand’ against immigrants.
Republican President Prince Priebus and Doctor Ben Carson (another party presidential ex-president) will also accompany Trump in his preparation for the White House.
“The mission of our team will be clear: to assemble the most qualified group of leaders capable of implementing our agenda in Washington,” Trump said in a statement.
Trump had formally initiated the complex process of power transition on Thursday with a one-and-a-half hour meeting in the White House Oval Office with outgoing President Barack Obama.
But on Friday he spent the day locked with his closest group of advisors at his offices in New York coordinating the definition of the team that will organize the transition to the new government.
In another major twist to his campaign rhetoric, Trump told the Wall Street Journal that the current public health model (known as “Obamacare”) could be “modified” rather than eliminated.
According to Trump, during the meeting at the White House President Obama asked him to consider keeping some parts of the program.
“I told him I would study his suggestions and, out of respect, I will,” Trump told the newspaper, after insisting in his campaign that the system had to be replaced.
Trump also tackled international issues, and spoke “for 7 or 8 minutes” with French President François Hollande in a conversation centered on issues of common interest to the two countries, the office of the French presidency reported.
Trump and Hollande “addressed common issues on which they agreed to clarify positions: the fight against terrorism, Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and the Paris agreement” on climate.
At the start of the campaign Christie was also a Republican presidential hopeful, though he quickly threw the towel and went on to endorse Trump’s candidacy.
At one point in the campaign Christie’s name was also considered the strongest to accompany Trump in the presidential formula, but he was also displaced from there when candidate Trump decided on Pence.
However, Trump’s efforts to convey an environment of normalcy in the country have not been entirely successful, and for the third consecutive day thousands of people took to the streets this Friday to protest against the president-elect.
In Miami, more than a thousand demonstrators on Friday shouted slogans against Trump, with banners calling for a ban on “racism” and eliminating “hatred,” an AFP journalist said.