Judge Halts Recount in Michigan

A federal judge “suspended a recount of the Nov. 8 presidential election that started three days ago and has yet to reveal fraud or significantly alter the results,” the Detroit News reports.

Jill Stein “failed to show she was an aggrieved candidate as defined by state law and entitled to a recount, the judge said. He concluded Stein’s request to test the election system’s vulnerability to fraud lacked evidence.”

RNC Christmas Party Will Be at Trump’s Hotel

“The Republican National Committee will host its Christmas Party this year at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the newest property of its newfound leader,” the Huffington Post reports.

“The event is said to be a more exclusive and celebratory affair this year owing to the unexpected election victories enjoyed by the party this November. But in moving the proceedings to Donald Trump’s downtown D.C. hotel, which only opened this past fall, the committee risks furthering the perception that the president-elect is leveraging his newfound political power for private gains.”

Trump Plans to Keep Stake In Businesses

President-elect Donald Trump “is considering formally turning over the operational responsibility for his real estate company to his two adult sons, but he intends to keep a stake in the business and resist calls to divest,” the New York Times reports.

“Under a plan now being considered by the Trump family and its lawyers, Ivanka Trump, Mr. Trump’s elder daughter, would also take a leave of absence from the Trump Organization, in the surest sign that she is exploring a potential move to Washington with her husband, Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner is discussing an as-yet undetermined role advising his father-in-law, and Ms. Trump plans on being an advocate on issues in which she has a personal interest, like child care.”

Trump Admits He Was Prepared to Lose the Election

“One month after his upset victory, Donald Trump described the emotional roller coaster ride he experienced on Election Night — and confessed he was prepared to accept defeat — in a lengthy speech Wednesday morning at a private fundraiser in New York City,” CNN reports.

“Two attendees who were in the room described the President-elect’s mood as light-hearted, as he reveled in his unexpected win. But these sources also said Trump extended olive branches to his past critics, including President Barack Obama, his former rival Hillary Clinton, as well as the “Never Trump” crowd.”

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

“We got results that would not have been possible without a negotiating partner like Joe Biden. Obviously, I don’t always agree with him, but I do trust him, implicitly. He doesn’t break his word, he doesn’t waste time telling me why I’m wrong… There’s a reason ‘Get Joe on the phone’ is shorthand for ‘Time to get serious’ in my office.”

— Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), in a moving tribute to Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump Could Make Helicopter Entrance

President-elect Donald Trump said he might arrive to his inauguration by helicopter, according to the New York Times.

“The president-elect said he was paid a visit a day earlier by Mark Burnett, the executive producer of The Apprentice, the reality show that helped make the president-elect a household name. Mr. Trump told the crowd that Mr. Burnett proposed reinventing the inauguration with a helicopter taking off from New York City.”

Udall Won’t Run for New Mexico Governor

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), who had considered running for governor of New Mexico in 2018, announced that he will forgo a gubernatorial campaign and remain in the U.S. Senate, the Albuquerque Journal reports.

Said Udall: “This is not the time to weaken our position in Washington. President-elect Trump has proposed policies with respect to health care, constitutional rights, immigration, privatizing public lands, and foreign policy that could be devastating to the citizens of New Mexico.”

Kennedy Moves Towards Bid for Illinois Governor

Chris Kennedy (D), son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, is interviewing potential pollsters and consultants as he moves toward a possible 2018 gubernatorial run in Illinois, Politico reports.

“Top Illinois Democrats who have met with Kennedy say they would welcome his candidacy but were not sure if he’ll actually make the run, given his flirtations with higher office in the past.”

Trump Picks Kelly for Homeland Security

President-elect Donald Trump “has settled on Gen. John F. Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general whose son was killed in combat in Afghanistan, as his choice for secretary of homeland security, placing defense of American territory from terrorism in the hands of a seasoned commander with personal exposure to the costs of war,” the New York Times reports.

“The president-elect plans to roll out the appointment next week, along with his remaining national security positions, including secretary of state.”

Ellison Agrees to Quit Congress If Elected DNC Chair

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he will vacate his Congressional seat if he wins the chairman job at the Democratic National Committee.

“Ellison conceded Wednesday that a full-time chair is what the party wanted after the losses of the 2016 presidential and Congressional elections. He said he came to the decision after difficult soul-searching and hearing from the more than 400 voting members of the DNC who said they wouldn’t vote him as long as he was a sitting member of Congress.”