President of the DSA
President-elect Donald Trump was named Time’s Person of Year, but his cover shot also came bearing another title that rankled the real estate mogul — “President of the Divided States of America.”
Trump, in a phone interview with NBC’s “Today” show, took issue with the description, reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.
“When you say ‘divided states of America,’ I didn’t divide them, they’re divided now. I mean there’s a lot of division and we’re going to put it back together,” Trump told NBC’s Matt Lauer.
In the 6,000-word Time profile, Trump vowed to personally call business heads who are planning to relocate jobs overseas to convince them otherwise, and said he disagreed with U.S. intelligence officials who said earlier in the year Russia coordinated cyberattacks to influence the presidential election.
“Could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey,” Trump said when asked about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta.
Trump at one point stopped the interview to retrieve a copy of Newsday, citing the paper’s coverage of gang violence in Brentwood to make his case for increased border security and mass deportations of felons living in the country illegally.
The difference a year makes
A year ago, Trump criticized Time magazine for not selecting him as Person of the Year.
“I told you @TIME magazine would never pick me as person of the year despite being the big favorite. They picked person who is ruining Germany,” Trump wrote on Twitter last year after the magazine selected German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
On Wednesday, Trump struck a happier tone, saying “It’s a great honor. It means a lot, especially me growing up reading Time magazine.”
Trump’s latest picks
The president-elect filled out more of his incoming administration — announcing his nomination of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad for U.S. ambassador to China amid reports that retired Marine Gen. John K. Kelly is his choice to lead the Department of Homeland Security.
Former Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon has been tapped to lead the Small Business Administration, and multiple news reports said Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt is expected to be picked as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, reports Newsday’s Emily Ngo.
Pruitt’s selection, though not formally announced by the transition team, brought an onslaught of criticism from Democrats and environmental activists, who raised concerns about his record, citing his role spearheading several lawsuits aimed at blocking Obama administration “clean air” regulations.
“Scott Pruitt running the EPA is like the fox guarding the henhouse,” Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, told Reuters.
Romney still in the running
Mitt Romney is still under consideration for the secretary of state post, Trump told NBC’s “Today” show.
“We had some tremendous difficulty together, and now I think we’ve come a long way,” Trump said of the former 2012 GOP presidential candidate, who frequently criticized his campaign.
Trump targets union leader
Trump took to Twitter to attack the president of a steelworkers union local, who has been critical of the president-elect’s deal to keep air-conditioning manufacturer Carrier from relocating hundreds of jobs from Indiana to Mexico.
Trump tweeted: “Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers.” That local branch of the USW represents workers at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant, according to AP.
Jones told The Washington Post in a story published Tuesday that Trump “lied his ... [expletive] off” about how many Carrier jobs were saved by the deal, which included $7 million in state tax incentives.
The union leader accused Trump of staging “a dog and pony show” at the Carrier plant last week.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel met with Trump, hand-delivering a letter signed by 17 other U.S. mayors that urged the president-elect to not rescind a program that shields certain children without legal immigration status from deportation.
Emanuel, the former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama, told reporters at Trump Tower that he urged the president-elect to not pull a “bait and switch” on the nearly 1 million young people who applied for the Obama administration’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program.
The program, which Obama enacted as an executive order, allows children of immigrants without legal status — the so-called “Dreamers,” as dubbed by activists — to remain in the country as they pursue higher education or jobs.
In Time magazine, Trump hinted at preserving elements of the program, saying: “I want Dreamers for our children also. We’re going to work something out. On a humanitarian basis, it’s a very tough situation.”
What else is happening
- A proposed art installation looks to cover Trump’s name on his Chicago hotel with gold floating pigs.
- Biden 2020? Vice President Joe Biden told Stephen Colbert, host of “The Late Show”: “I don’t plan on running again, but to say you know what’s gonna happen in four years, I just think is not rational.”
- Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine plan to host a “thank you” party for the campaign’s top donors Dec. 15 at The Plaza Hotel, reports Page Six.
- Trump’s “tweet shaming” is startling corporate America, reports Politico.