With this guy, who needs WikiLeaks?
Donald Trump relentlessly pounded Hillary Clinton during the campaign over the security of her private email server. So what is he to make of Kris Kobach, a potential pick to run the Department of Homeland Security?
Kobach walked past a news media stakeout en route to a meeting with Trump Sunday carrying a document under his arm. It was not in a folder. Not in an envelope. Not under a cover sheet.
The first page — “Department of Homeland Security Kobach Strategic Plan for First 365 Days” — was in plain sight and easy to read in a blowup of an Associated Press photo. (See it here.)
It detailed plans for a registry of immigrants from “high-risk” areas and “extreme vetting questions for high-risk” foreigners coming into the U.S.
It’s not the only example of loose security in the Trump transition. The president-elect took his first wave of congratulatory calls from world leaders on unsecured phone lines, according to The New York Times.
Trump's 'lock her up' threat proves empty
Despite his campaign bluster about having a special prosecutor examine the case of Hillary Clinton's e-mails, Trump seems to be doing no such thing, according to his spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway.
"I think when the President-elect, who's also the head of your party, tells you before he's even inaugurated that he doesn't wish to pursue these charges, it sends a very strong message, tone, and content" to fellow Republicans, she said on "Morning Joe."
The First 100 Days
Trump put out a 2 1⁄2-minute video on plans for his first 100 days in office.
Among his first actions would be to begin withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and to “investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker.”
He did not mention his promise of building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico or repeal of Obamacare. To see the video click here.
On his bad side
Trump held an off-the-record meeting with network TV executives and anchors.
Politico reports he said he wanted a “cordial” and “productive” relationship. But Trump also aired grievances old and new, including that NBC used an unflattering photo of him making a face with a double chin.
The take-away: New meanings
Trump’s ascent may require a redefinition of political terms and the loosely wielded buzz phrases that describe campaigns and governance. Among them: Conservative, establishment and political correctness. See Dan Janison’s column for Newsday.
Casting call latest
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts were among the prospective Cabinet members riding the elevators at Trump Tower.
Brown said he was interested in heading the Department of Veterans Affairs. Trump aide Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News that Perry is under consideration for the posts of Secretary of Defense and Secretary of Energy.
Trump also met Monday with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), an Iraq War veteran who was a vocal supporter of Sanders’ presidential bid. She said she urged Trump to avoid deeper involvement against Syrian President Bashar al Assad.
See Laura Figueroa’s story for Newsday.
Federal workers targeted
Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress are drawing up plans to weaken job protections for federal employees and curb their benefits, The Washington Post reported.
The plans include hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, easier ways to fire poor performers and replacing traditional pensions with market-driven, 401(k)-style retirement plans.
The Trump Tower money pit
Protecting Trump and his family is costing New York City more than $1 million a day, according to a CNN report based on estimates from three city officials. Those costs won’t necessarily drop significantly once he moves to the White House.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city is going to seek federal help to help cover the costs, which include police overtime.
“We will begin the conversation with the federal government shortly on reimbursement for the NYPD for some of the costs that we are incurring,” he said.
A Queens welcome
A Muslim cab driver recorded a motorist's profanity-laced tirade against him which included: "Trump is president... They'll deport you soon." This was on Crescent Avenue in Astoria. Take a look. Everybody on Long Island knows some version of this citizen.
Oh yeah, 'defend the Constitution'
The U.S. Constitution says “no person holding any office of profit or trust” shall “accept of any present, emolument, office or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince or foreign state” unless Congress consents. There is a real question of whether Trump, if he continues current business practice once he takes office, would run afoul of that provision.
What else is happening:
- De Blasio vowed to defy Trump policies that threaten New Yorkers’ rights. “If all Muslims are required to register, we will take legal action to block it. If the federal government wants our police officers to tear families apart, we will refuse to do it,” he said in a speech Monday. See Emily Ngo’s story for Newsday.
- Trump’s postelection favorability rating has risen from 37% to 46%, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll. His unfavorability has dropped from 61% to 46%.
- Since Trump picked retired Gen. Mike Flynn as national security adviser, attention has focused on Flynn’s strident views on Islam. But CNN reports that in past interviews and speeches, he strongly criticized torture and favored the theory that drone strikes “create more terrorists than they kill.”
- The Federal Election Commission found Trump’s campaign accepted about 1,100 donations — totaling about $1.3 million — that may be in violation of campaign finance laws, according to CNN.
- Megadonor Rebekah Mercer, the daughter of Long Island hedge-fund billionaire Robert Mercer, is wielding major influence on Trump’s transition team, Politico reports.
- The Wall Street Journal [pay site] reported that Joe Borelli, a Staten Island city councilman and Trump TV surrogate, wants a diplomatic job such as ambassador to France. Borelli said on Twitter: “i thnk I am going to have to walk this back a bit..I would never have the ‘Gaul’
- Despite campaign rhetoric expressing concern about law-enforcement officers, the oncoming president's tweets have been centered on himself -- not a word about a cluster of attacks on cops from San Antonio to Missouri.
- Nor has Trump commented on the arrest of an Uber driver who allegedly traveled to Yemen seeking to join ISIS.