Evan Puschak: “Instead of asking us to read, he forces us to hear.”
Chuck Todd tells Politico that after several appearances as a candidate on Meet the Press, Donald Trump would lean back in his chair and request that the control room replay his appearance on a monitor without sound.
Said Todd: “He wants to see what it all looked like. He will watch the whole thing on mute.”
He added: “He’s a very visual guy. He thinks this way, and look, it’s an important insight in just understanding him. The visual stuff is very real beyond just himself.”
“Did we think this clown, this buffoon with the funny hair, would ever become a world leader? Not once. Ever.”
— Former Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt, in an email published by Vanity Fair.
Sen. John McCain told Reuters that he personally backs Washington’s decades-old “one China” policy and that no one should “leap to conclusions” that President-elect Donald Trump would abandon it.
Said McCain: “I do not respond to every comment by the president-elect because it may be reversed the next day.”
Paul Krugman: “Remember all the news reports suggesting, without evidence, that the Clinton Foundation’s fund-raising created conflicts of interest? Well, now the man who benefited from all that innuendo is on his way to the White House. And he’s already giving us an object lesson in what real conflicts of interest look like, as authoritarian governments around the world shower favors on his business empire.”
“Of course, Donald Trump could be rejecting these favors and separating himself and his family from his hotels and so on. But he isn’t. In fact, he’s openly using his position to drum up business. And his early appointments suggest that he won’t be the only player using political power to build personal wealth. Self-dealing will be the norm throughout this administration. America has just entered an era of unprecedented corruption at the top.”
President Obama has spoken to President-elect Donald Trump “at least once” since the two men met earlier this month inside the Oval Office, Politico reports.
A spokesman said the White House would not provide a readout of conversations between the president and his successor, just as it has not when Obama has spoken privately to his predecessors.
“Is it wrong to be more sexually attracted to your own daughter than your wife?”
— Donald Trump, quoted by the Washington Post, which BuzzFeed reports was later edited out of the piece.
President-elect Donald Trump’s charitable foundation has admitted to the IRS that it violated a legal prohibition against “self-dealing,” which bars nonprofit leaders from using their charity’s money to help themselves, their businesses or their families, the Washington Post reports.
“Such violations can carry penalties including excise taxes, and the charity leaders can be required to repay money that the charity spent on their behalf.”
“Donald Trump’s popularity is rising in the days since his election, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll of registered voters. Forty-six percent of voters now have a very favorable or somewhat favorable opinion of the president-elect. Twelve percent have a somewhat unfavorable opinion and 34% have a very unfavorable opinion of him. It’s a dramatic uptick since the election.”
“Trump’s favorability has grown 9 points, 37% to 46%, compared to a Morning Consult poll right before the election — while his unfavorability has dropped 15 points, from 61% to 46%.”
President-elect Donald Trump was tweeting early Sunday morning with a fresh attack on the Broadway musical Hamilton, whose audience booed and cast admonished Vice President-elect Mike Pence on Friday night.
Wrote Trump: “The cast and producers of Hamilton, which I hear is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.”
He also tweeted that Saturday Night Live was “nothing funny at all.”
Dan Balz: “What has stood in the way of people running as an independent is that winning the presidency in a system that so clearly favors the two major parties is something of a hopeless cause. That’s a big reason former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg decided not to run several times when he seriously explored the idea.”
“Trump took the elements of an independent candidacy — the lack of clear ideology, the name recognition of a national celebrity and the personal fortune needed to fund a presidential campaign — and then did what no one seemed to have thought of before. He staged a hostile takeover of an existing major party. He had the best of both worlds, an outsider candidacy with crosscutting ideological appeal and the platform of a major party to wage the general election. By the time he had finished, he had taken down two political dynasties: the Bush dynasty in the primaries and the Clinton dynasty in the general election.”
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) issued a fiery warning to President-elect Donald Trump on the subject of torture, Politico reports.
Said McCain: “I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard. We will not torture people… It doesn’t work.”
Anyone who tries to resume torture, McCain said would find themselves in court “in a New York minute.”
Stephen Bannon told The Hollywood Reporter that conservative Republicans won’t like everything President-elect Donald Trump has planned.
Said Bannon: “Like [Andrew] Jackson’s populism, we’re going to build an entirely new political movement. It’s everything related to jobs. The conservatives are going to go crazy. I’m the guy pushing a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan. With negative interest rates throughout the world, it’s the greatest opportunity to rebuild everything. Ship yards, iron works, get them all jacked up. We’re just going to throw it up against the wall and see if it sticks. It will be as exciting as the 1930s, greater than the Reagan revolution — conservatives, plus populists, in an economic nationalist movement.”
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“President-elect Donald Trump is in advanced talks to settle litigation in New York and California involving allegations of fraud at the now-defunct Trump University, according to people familiar with the matter–an agreement that would resolve a major legal headache before he enters the White House,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Lawyers for all the parties have been working toward a settlement valued somewhere in the range of $20 million to $25 million.”
President-elect Donald Trump has settled on Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) for attorney general, Bloomberg reports.
“It wasn’t immediately clear if Trump has formally offered the job to Sessions… A Trump aide on Thursday night called Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a one-time Trump rival who was under serious consideration for the role, to tell him the job was instead going to Sessions.”
New York Times: “While Mr. Sessions is well liked in the Senate, his record as United States attorney in Alabama in the 1980s is very likely to become an issue for Democrats and civil rights groups expected to give it close scrutiny.”
President-elect Donald Trump will meet this weekend with one of his fiercest critics: 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney, a senior Republican source told CNN.
The two men are set to meet this weekend to discuss “governing moving forward” and potentially a role for Romney in Trump’s Cabinet.
CNBC says Romney will discuss the secretary of state position with Trump.