TRUMP TRANSITION WATCH: Discussing violence in Germany and Turkey
“President-elect Donald Trump is planning to meet with his incoming national security adviser in the aftermath of a rattling day of violence around the world,” writes the AP. “Trump appeared to jump ahead of investigators in blaming Islamic terrorists for deadly incidents Monday in Turkey and Germany and vowing anew to eradicate their regional and global networks. He called the brazen shooting of Russia's ambassador to Turkey "a violation of all rules of civilized order." He added that a "radical Islamic terrorist" had assassinated the diplomat, Andrei Karlov.”
The Washington Post has the latest on the Trump team’s denials that the president-elect’s children are selling access to their father.
“Donald Trump’s aides are considering a business arrangement that critics say would allow him or his appointees to sidestep conflict-of-interest laws governing the incoming administration and large investments in private-sector business,” writes POLITICO. “Aides responsible for setting up ethics firewalls have held discussions with officials at the Office of Government Ethics about establishing what’s known as a “discretionary trust,” according to two sources briefed on the talks.”
From the New York Times: “How Rex Tillerson Changed His Tune on Russia and Came to Court Its Rulers”
The AP looks at how Tillerson is bringing together Bushworld and Trumpworld.
“Donald Trump’s choice for ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has helped raise millions of dollars for a prominent West Bank settlement, a connection that could complicate the president-elect’s promised effort to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Mr. Friedman and his family have longstanding connections to the settlement, Beit El, a large and politically active settlement that has benefited from extensive support from the U.S. Mr. Trump’s personal foundation also has donated to the settlement, whose name is sometimes spelled Bet El.”
TRUMP AGENDA: Take him symbolically, not literally
From the Wall Street Journal: “The most expensive fossil-fuel power plant ever built in the U.S. could soon get a financial lifeline thanks to President-elect Donald Trump, who has signaled interest in clean-coal initiatives as a way to preserve mining jobs.”
POLITICO, on how congressional Republicans worry about criticizing Trump: “It’s little wonder that Capitol Hill Republicans have papered over their not-insignificant policy differences with Trump, shying away from any statement about the president-elect that might possibly be construed as critical. They’re terrified of arousing the ire of their tempestuous new leader — or being labeled a turncoat by his army of followers.”
The new adverb strategy from Trump backers: “don’t take him literally, take him symbolically,”
DEM WATCH: How Dems plan to fight back against Tillerson
From NBC’s Amanda Sakuma: “In the final stretch of his term President Barack Obama is implementing new environmental protections that stand to thwart Donald Trump's agenda on oil and gas extraction in ways that may prove difficult for the president-elect to roll back.”
The Washington Post on Democrats’ plans to fight back against Tillerson’s nomination: “Democrats do not believe they stand much chance of stopping Tillerson from being confirmed. But they plan to press the top diplomat-designate to commit to full divestiture from Exxon and detail how he would pursue a different approach to the world as secretary of state, in what one Senate Democratic aide who requested anonymity to candidly discuss strategy called a “very thorough, tough vetting.” As they have with Trump, Democrats plan to focus sharply on potential conflicts of interests deriving from Tillerson’s finances, as well as his unorthodox views on critical foreign policy matters.