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Trump Team Reviewing High-Level Cabinet Appointments

Donald Trump’s transition team is reviewing candidates to fill high-level positions in the administration but has not yet presented the the president-elect with any names, sources familiar with the process told NBC News.
Trump RNC
Trump delivers a speech at the RNC in Cleveland, Ohio on July 21, 2016.Alex Wong / Getty Images

President-elect Donald Trump's transition team is looking for a few good "outsiders" to serve in his Cabinet.

Led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, they are reviewing candidates to fill high-level positions in the administration but have not yet presented Trump with any names, sources familiar with the process told NBC News.

“This campaign was an outsider campaign, so it would be foolish to go ahead and place a bunch of D.C. insiders into D.C. roles — so it will be a mix,” a senior aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence said.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican rival who had been a fierce critic of Trump, urged the president-elect to surrounded himself with a strong team of advisers.

"Look, I've never been president but I've been governor and I know one of the most important things you need to do is put a great team around you," said Kasich, who was at the White House for the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers' meeting with President Obama. "The most important thing now is to pick a team with experience and wisdom."

The Trump transition team, which Republican National Committee sources said will officially move to Washington on Nov. 21, has already been putting together a list of possible candidates for top posts in the administration.

Currently, there is a working list of three to five names being considered for Cabinet positions, the sources say. But no one on the list has been contacted.

“I think all of that will be clarified very soon, then you won’t have to take any of it with vague background quotes,” another senior Pence aide said. “There should be a lot of clarity very soon. But we’re a day and a half into this.”

Ari Fleischer, former spokesman for President George W. Bush, tweeted that whoever gets the nod is in for an adventure.

Not likely to be on the list are some of the people Trump trusts most — family members like daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, who has been a key campaign adviser.

Trump is barred by federal law from appointing any relative to federal agency positions.

That, however, doesn't preclude them from having a say over who will serve in the Cabinet. Trump's senior staffers are expected to meet with them later Thursday to go over a recruitment list, sources told NBC News.

Pence will serve as the point person for Capitol Hill during the transition process and while serving as vice president, two of his aides said.

“I think you’ll see Mike having a very active role as a liaison to Capitol Hill with both Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan,” one aide said.

Pence served 12 years in Congress, including time in the GOP leadership, and on the executive committee of the Republican Governors Association.

Before traveling to Washington to meet with President Obama on Thursday, Trump spent Wednesday fielding phone calls from foreign leaders at his home in Trump Tower in New York City.

Pence has also spent that day on the phone with foreign leaders, though sources have declined to list which heads of state the pair has spoken to.