Mocking critics as ingrates again
Donald Trump, who ran as a savior of workers, expects gratitude — not back talk — for the deal he arranged to scale back Carrier’s export of jobs from Indiana to Mexico. So when a local union leader said that Trump lied about the real number of jobs saved, the president-elect lashed out.
“Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!” Trump tweeted after Jones spoke on CNN Wednesday night. A follow-up tweet advised: “Spend more time working-less time talking.”
Jones brushed off the anonymous threats that he said followed and wrote in a Washington Post Op-Ed Thursday: “What I can’t abide, however, is a president who misleads workers, who gives them false hope.”
The dust up continued as word emerged that Trump’s choice for labor secretary is fast-food CEO Andrew Puzder, a vocal foe of the labor-backed push for a $15-an-hour minimum wage and an Obama administration effort to make more workers eligible for overtime pay. See Emily Ngo’s story for Newsday.
Grabbing ’em by the ads
Like Trump, Puzder has faced accusations of sexism. His CKE Restaurants runs the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s chains, known for its raunchy, suggestive TV ads featuring scantily clad models to sell its burgers. Like Trump, he makes no apologies.
“I like beautiful women eating burgers in bikinis. I think it’s very American,” Puzder told Entrepreneur last year. The brands, he said, reflect “my personality.”
A Carl’s Jr. news release in 2011 said: “We believe in putting hot models in our commercials, because ugly ones don’t sell burgers.”
Asked days before the election if he wanted a job in Trump’s Cabinet, Puzder said, “I think it would be ... the most fun you could have with your clothes on.”
Poll: Divide on Trump endures
A Pew Research Center poll finds voters continued to hold doubts about Trump. Just 37% view him as well-qualified, and majorities regard him as reckless (65%), having poor judgment (62%) and being “hard to like” (68%.)
While expectations for Trump’s presidency have improved since before his victory, about as many say Trump will be a poor or terrible president as a good or great one, the poll found.
Several Trump nominees were supporters of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, which Trump has vowed to withdraw from as soon as he takes office, The Wall Street Journal (pay site) reports.
Among them are Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Trump’s pick for ambassador to China, who said of the pact at a summer meeting of U.S. governors: “It’s not perfect ... but let’s continue to build on breaking down these barriers in opening up markets. ... We benefit. We create jobs. And we grow farm income.”
Trump stakes still on table
Trump will retain his credit as an executive producer on NBC’s “Celebrity Apprentice,” which returns to the air Jan. 2 after a two-year hiatus with new host Arnold Schwarzenegger, Variety reported. He will also collect royalties expected to amount to somewhere in the low five figures per episode.
The New York Times reported that Trump is considering turning over the operational responsibility for his real estate company to his two adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, while daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner move to Washington for a role in his administration.
But Trump intends to keep an ownership stake in the business and resist calls to divest to avoid concerns over conflicts of interest, the report said.
Clinton warns of ‘fake news’ danger
In one of her few appearances since losing the election, Hillary Clinton went to Washington to honor retiring Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. “After a few weeks of taking selfies in the woods, I thought it would be a good idea to come out,” Clinton joked.
She turned serious with a warning against the dangers created by an “epidemic” of “fake news,” such as the made-up story about a child sex ring linked to her campaign that led a gunman to terrorize a Washington pizza shop last weekend.
“Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities,” she said.
What else is happening
- Trump flew to Columbus, Ohio, and met with several people who were slashed last week by a Somali immigrant who was an Ohio State student and complained online about U.S. treatment of Muslims.
- A nearly complete recount in Wisconsin has narrowed Trump’s lead over Clinton by just 61 votes. He won the state by more than 22,000.
- Environmental groups are girding for court battles to try to stop Trump’s choice to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, from rolling back antipollution measures, The Washington Post says.
- Chris Christie has given up on his bid to be named chairman of the Republican National Committee, several reports said.
- Paul Singer, the New York hedge fund billionaire who was a leader of Republican #NeverTrump efforts, has warmed to the president-elect and contributed to his inauguration fund, CNBC reports.
- Trump will appear in a sit-down interview on the next “Fox News Sunday.” Chris Wallace will do the questioning.