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Long IslandPolitics

It’s the dawning of the age of Trump

President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania wave to

President-elect Donald Trump and wife Melania wave to the crowd after his victory speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan in the early morning hours on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Credit: AFP/Getty Images / Jim Watson

The Trump era begins

Their back-and-forth has gone like this: “Unfit.” “Incompetent.” One spent years questioning the legitimacy of the other’s U.S. birth.

On Thursday, it will be President Barack Obama’s and President-elect Donald Trump’s job to try to get past all that and stay focused on plans for the transfer of power when they meet at the White House.

Trump made big promises for his first 100 days and has less time than that before he moves in.

The afternoon after his election, Trump met on transition planning with top advisers, including Steve Bannon, Steven Mnuchin, son-in-law Jared Kushner, sons Donald Jr. and Eric, Chris Christie, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, Politico reported.

Trump stayed out of sight after his victory speech, but took a call from an Orlando radio station. “We’re going to have a lot of happy people once again,” he said. See Newsday’s story by Emily Ngo and Tom Brune.

Obamacare outlook is terminal

The Affordable Care Act is in the top tier of Trump’s hit list, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signaled the Senate would move swiftly to repeal it.

“With unified Republican government, we can fix this,” agreed House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, told The Wall Street Journal (pay site) that he expected the Trump administration will move quickly to ease Obamacare’s regulatory requirements, but legislative changes will take more time.

Even as Obama faced an undoing of much of his legacy, he urged the country to unify — and Trump to come into office — with “a sense of inclusion, and a respect for institutions, our way of life, rule of law and a respect for each other.”

Health-care company stocks are crashing with the impending doom of Obamacare. Pharma stocks, meanwhile, soared on the belief that a Trump administration would cancel the threat of tough action on drug pricing. 

Clinton: Trump deserves a chance

Clinton struck a conciliatory tone in her concession speech Wednesday, saying that her supporters “owe him an open mind and a chance to lead.”

With her political career all but certainly over, Clinton said, “This is painful, and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this: Our campaign was never about one person or one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that’s inclusive and big-hearted.”

She won’t be the first woman president, but “someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we think right now.” (Click here for video.)

The take-away: The in crowd

Some well-connected New York Republicans are now even better connected for allying themselves with Trump, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.

They include Buffalo-area businessman Carl Paladino, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, and Suffolk GOP official John Jay LaValle.

Giuliani was preening again Thursday morning on CNN, saying nobody knows the Justice Department "better than me" and that he has the energy to be attorney general. 

Russian official cites Trump-campaign contact 

Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov told a state-run news agency, as noted by the Washington Post, that "quite a few" people from Trump's "entourage ... have been staying in touch with Russian representatives." 

Asked for elaboration, a foreign ministry spokeswoman replied bizzarely -- asking if the reporter was paranoid and alluding to the Stalinist purges of 1937. On the U.S. side, the statement could help reopen probes of the Kremlin's role in opposing Hillary Clinton.

The Trump team issued a denial.

Short lists

Among the candidates for cabinet secretaries and top White House advisers are Giuliani; Christie; Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama; Mnuchin, a businessman who was Trump’s national finance chairman; and Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House, The New York Times reported.

Other names from USA Today: Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee; neurosurgeon Ben Carson, a GOP primaries rival; retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn; Republican national chairman Reince Priebus.

Schumer becomes face of opposition

New York’s Sen. Chuck Schumer, long expected to be named the party’s Senate leader, will become the Democrats’ last line of defense against the Republican agendas of McConnell and Trump, reports Newsday’s Brune.

“He is now the single most influential Democrat in Washington,” said Jim Manley, a political consultant and former Senate leadership aide. Schumer said in a statement he has spoken to Trump and offered congratulations.

“Senate Democrats will spend the coming days and weeks reflecting on these results, hearing from the American people, and charting a path forward to achieve our shared goals and to defend our values,” Schumer said.

First about-face?

Trump said he'd be willing to withdraw U.S. military from South Korea unless Seoul paid a greater share of the cost for this deployment. But as Reuters reports, he pledged his commitment to defending the nation in a phone call with President Park Geun-hye.

King, Zeldin predict moderation

Long Island’s House Republicans, Peter King and Lee Zeldin, told Newsday’s Thomas Maier that Trump may prove more moderate in the White House than his campaign rhetoric, particularly in order to push infrastructure spending and other initiatives through Congress.

Trump “believes in the art of the deal. He’s not ideological,” King said.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, both attendees Tuesday at Clinton’s party for a victory that was not to be, also looked for silver linings, reports Newsday’s Matthew Chayes.

Cuomo said he spoke with Trump by phone and “we were talking about the need for infrastructure.”  He even called Trump's being from New York a "bonus not just for this state but for other states also."

De Blasio — who has been called the city’s worst mayor ever by Trump — said “I take solace in the fact that the president-elect is a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker, and I hope and trust he will remember the lessons of a life lived in New York City.”

What else is happening

  • Thousands of people protested the election results near Trump Tower Wednesday night. Protests spread across the country as well, involving tens of thousands of demonstrators.
  • Before he moves into the Oval Office, Trump has a date in court to take the witness stand in his own defense in a federal court civil trial over alleged fraud by Trump University. Jury selection is set to begin Nov. 28 in San Diego.
  • Long Islanders who were divided before the election remain split on its meaning. . Some are hopeful, others are in despair. See Newsday’s story by Carol Polsky.
  • Trump’s victory brought heightened anxiety to Long Island’s Latino immigrant communities, reports Newsday’s Víctor Ramos.
  • The White House refused to say whether Obama would consider pardoning Clinton to protect her from any Trump administration push for prosecution in her email scandal. Press secretary Josh Earnest said the justice system should not be used to “enact political revenge.”
  • Trump’s election is helping his books sell. “The Art of the Deal” from the 1980s and his campaign work “Great Again” were on Amazon’s list Wednesday of books making the biggest jumps on the best-seller list.
  • Melania Trump is going to the White House Thursday with her husband and will meet with first lady Michelle Obama.
  • After tumbling overnight in initial panic over Trump’s victory, financial markets scored sharp gains Wednesday.


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