TRUMP TRANSITION WATCH: Lagging in diversity
The AP notes how Trump is lagging his predecessors when it comes to diversity in his cabinet.
“President-elect Donald J. Trump on Thursday named David Friedman, a bankruptcy lawyer aligned with the Israeli far right, as his nominee for ambassador to Israel, elevating a campaign adviser who has questioned the need for a two-state solution and has likened left-leaning Jews in America to the Jews who aided the Nazis in the Holocaust,” writes the New York Times.
NBC’s investigative team delves into why the Obama administration didn’t do more about the Russian hack before the presidential election.
And Obama told NPR that the United States will respond to Russia’s cyber-campaign in due time.
The New York Times: “The American government divides the cybersecurity world into two categories: attacks directed or sponsored by governments, and those conducted by criminals. But Russian hacking defies easy categorization, American officials say, because the Russian government tacitly supports many private hackers and occasionally taps them for freelance government work. That has complicated investigations and upended the normal diplomatic order.”
“Russian hackers tried to penetrate the computer networks of the Republican National Committee, using the same techniques that allowed them to infiltrate its Democratic counterpart, according to U.S. officials who have been briefed on the attempted intrusion,” writes the Wall Street Journal. “But the intruders failed to get past security defenses on the RNC’s computer networks, the officials said. And people close to the investigation said it indicated a less aggressive and much less persistent effort by Russian intelligence to hack the Republican group than the Democratic National Committee.”
And don’t miss this: “The U.S. and its NATO allies are taking no chances amid a build-up of military force on Europe's eastern frontier with Russia. Three years after the last American tank left Europe, they are being brought back "as part of our commitment to deterrence," Gen. Frederick "Ben" Hodges told NBC News.”
The Washington Post writes that “the intervention of a high-powered gaggle of establishment Republican leaders — none of them longstanding allies of Trump — appears to be leading the effort to save Tillerson’s nomination.”
Pundit Larry Kudlow is Trump’s leading choice for the Council of Economic Advisers, writes The Washington Post.
POLITICO: “Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, Donald Trump's pick to head DHS, has struck a decidedly measured tone on some of the issues that helped propel the president-elect to victory. And that's why Democrats and even some Republicans are counting on him to be a check on the new administration's most radical proposals to secure the border, remove undocumented immigrants from so-called sanctuary cities or profile Muslims. They also hope he will rein in the hardliners they fear Trump may tap to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Customs and Border Protection and the other law enforcement agencies that make of the vast department of 300,000 employees.”
TRUMP AGENDA: Counterpuncher-in-chief?
POLITICO asks whether Trump will stop his counterpunching once he’s in the White House.
The New York Times sums up the bitter divisions in North Carolina politics.
DEM WATCH: Perez is in
Tom Perez is officially in the race for DNC chair.
Leigh Ann Caldwell outlines how Democrats hope to fight Jeff Sessions’ nomination.
POLITICO notes how Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren have nabbed committee posts that could bolster potential 2020 bids.