“I don’t vote, so that’s an easy answer.”
— David Petraeus, quoted by The Hill, when asked if he voted for Donald Trump.
Washington Post: “Campaign-trail accounts have long been a staple of publishing, and many have become classics of the genre, including Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960, Joe McGinnis’s The Selling of the President 1968, and Richard Ben Cramer’s What It Takes, a history of the 1988 campaign.”
“Given this year’s saturation coverage of the race, Hillary Clinton’s penchant for privacy, Donald Trump’s banishment of some reporters, and the dominance of social media, editors say that the challenge will be to offer fresh information, extraordinary insights or a new way of recounting recent history.”
Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has lost Austria’s presidential election to Alexander Van der Bellen, former head of the Greens, the BBC reports.
“The elections had been seen as a sign of how well populist candidates might do in upcoming elections in the EU, though the post is ceremonial. The result is sure to be welcomed by establishment parties and officials in the EU.”
Incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus was asked by CBS News how he handles president-elect Donald Trump’s statement that million of people voted illegally “when you know that that’s not true.”
Said Priebus: “I don’t know if that’s not true,” adding that “there are estimates all over the map” on undocumented immigrants voting in election. “It’s possible.”
He elaborated: “I think the president-elect is someone who has pushed the envelope and caused people to think in this country. He’s not taking conventional thought — on every single issue and has caused people to look at things that maybe they have taken for granted.”
“Trump was an entrepreneur and a businessman. He is already a statesman, he is the head of the United States of America, one of the world’s leading countries. Because he achieved success in business, it suggests that he is a clever man. And if he is a clever man, then he will fully and quite quickly understand another level of responsibility.”
— Russian President Vladimir Putin, quoted by Reuters.
“More than 20 million Americans could lose health insurance from the repeal of Obamacare. But not everybody would suffer. And among those who stand to gain are the richest people in America,” the Huffington Post reports.
“That’s because Obamacare didn’t just change insurance arrangements. It also raised taxes on corporations and individuals. Repealing the law would mean repealing those taxes, with significant benefits going to millionaires and multimillionaires. President-elect Donald Trump might even be one of them.”
Associated Press: “According to two people close to the transition, Trump is moving away from two of the front-runners for the job, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP nominee. Giuliani’s international business ties and public campaigning for the job are said to have rankled Trump. And while Trump has met twice with Romney, he’s said to be aware of the risks of angering his supporters by tapping a Republican who was among his fiercest critics.”
“Former CIA director David Petraeus is still in the mix, though both people close to the transition said Trump’s prolonged decision-making process has left the door open to other options.”
“One of the sources said Trump was open to expanding his short list of secretary of State prospects. Among the possibilities: Jon Huntsman, a former Republican Utah governor who also served as the ambassador to China and speaks Mandarin.”
Stan Collender: “The Trump administration is seriously thinking about not submitting a budget to Congress next year.”
“Although the Congressional Budget Act requires the president to submit the fiscal 2018 budget to Congress between January 2 and February 6, Trump could easily say that it was the responsibility of the outgoing Obama administration to comply with the law before the new president was sworn in on January 20.”
“But while the new president not sending a budget to Congress might not be illegal, it would clearly be unprecedented.”
The Green Party has dropped its bid for a statewide recount of votes cast in Pennsylvania during the presidential election, according to court documents.
Wall Street Journal: “Recounts will still proceed in a handful of Pennsylvania precincts, but it is far from the statewide recount that Ms. Stein initially was hoping for. She is also pushing recounts in Wisconsin and Michigan after a prominent computer scientist laid out a case that the election results may have been hacked. Legal challenges have also been filed in state and federal court to halt those recount efforts as well.”
New York Times: “As the gathering began, Howard Dean, a former committee chairman who had been Mr. Ellison’s most prominent rival, announced that he was withdrawing his bid. But before making that announcement via video recording, Mr. Dean argued that the committee must be “rebuilt from the ground up” and that only a full-time chairman could accomplish that task.”
“More than two hours later, as the forum came to a close, Mr. Ellison offered an unexpected response. He revealed that he was considering resigning his seat in Congress, in answer to those on the committee who want the next chairman to focus exclusively on remaking a party shut out of power in Washington and many state capitals.”
New York Times: “When Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, called Donald Trump shortly after the Nov. 8 election, they talked about domestic policy and infrastructure. But when Ms. Pelosi raised the specific subject of women’s issues, the president-elect did something unexpected: He handed the phone over to another person in the room — his 35-year-old daughter, Ivanka.”
“David Petraeus’s performance on a Sunday talk show is shaping up as a high-stakes test of how he’d handle mounting concerns about his prospective nomination to be secretary of state,” Politico reports.
“Trump’s team will closely review Petraeus’s appearance on ABC’s ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos’ to see how he handles questions about his past that are bogging down his prospects for nomination and could prevent his confirmation, said the people with knowledge of the process.”