A non-promise, partly fulfilled
As President-elect Donald Trump took his victory lap Thursday for a deal keeping 1,100 jobs at the Carrier company in Indiana, he said he hadn’t actually remembered promising to do so.
Trump said he started making calls after watching a TV news story last week. He was surprised when a Carrier worker said he was confident his job won’t go to Mexico “because Donald Trump promised us that we’re not leaving.”
Trump went on “I never thought I made that promise, not with Carrier ... and they played my statement. I said, ‘Carrier will never leave.’
“But,” Trump explained, “that was a euphemism.’”
This is what Trump said when he spoke in Indiana in August:
“We’re bringing jobs back to our country. We’re not going to let Carrier leave.”
So to sum up: He delivered, but he didn’t promise. A handy thing to remember while tracking progress on 282 Trump campaign promises — or what sounded like promises — compiled by The Washington Post.
Them’s the breaks
Trump reprised his tough talk on keeping jobs at home. “Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. It’s not going to happen,” he said, reports Newsday’s Yancey Roy.
But if the Carrier deal is a harbinger, the strategy relies on favors, not just fear. The Wall Street Journal reported that officials in Indiana, where Vice President-elect Mike Pence is still governor, agreed to give Carrier $7 million in tax breaks over 10 years to keep the plant in Indianapolis.
And not all the jobs will stay. Carrier is still moving 1,300 Indiana jobs to Mexico.
Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted: “Trump’s Carrier deal shows corporations they can: ✅ Threaten to outsource jobs. ✅ Actually outsource jobs. Still get a tax cut.”
Click here for video of Trump and Pence’s speeches.
Obamacare’s life after death
Republicans in Congress and Trump’s transition team are warming to a plan that would repeal Obamacare in early 2017 but delay : carrying that out for as much as three years, Politico reported.
The aim is to please conservative critics who want the Affordable Care Act gone, but also buy time to come for an orderly shift to an alternative system that preserves popular provisions.
“People are being, understandably cautious, to make sure nobody’s dropped through the cracks,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas).
The show goes on
Trump’s first post-election “thank you tour” rally looked and sounded a lot like his campaign events, complete with crowd chants of “Lock her up” — meaning Hillary Clinton — and the now ritual bashing of “dishonest” media.
“We did have a lot of fun fighting Hillary, didn’t we?” Trump told an arena crowd in Cincinnati.
Trump said it’s now important for a “divided” country to unify and he is the leader to do it. “I know you find that hard to believe,” he joked.
In a comment that seemed to be an answer to critics that he winked at support from white nationalists, Trump said, “We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms. We denounce all of the hatred and forcefully reject the language of exclusion.” See Emily Ngo’s story for Newsday.
Pentagon pick: ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis
Trump has chosen retired Marine Gen. James Mattis as his secretary of defense.
The retired four-star general was lauded for his leadership of Marines in the 2004 Battle of Fallujah in Iraq — one of the bloodiest of the war — and is respected by both Republicans and Democrats.
After reports about Mattis emerged, Trump spokesman Jason Miller said no decision had been made.
Hours later, Trump said in his Cincinnati speech: “We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we’re not announcing it until Monday.”
Christie sees another NJ exit
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who doesn’t seem to be on any short lists for a Trump administration job, is now interested in becoming the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, Politico reported.
The current RNC chief, Reince Priebus, is moving on to become Trump’s White House chief of staff. Earlier this week, Christie insisted he was “completing my term” as governor, which ends in January 2018, and mocked reporters for speculating otherwise.
Warren plugs ex-rival for VA
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a leading voice for progressives, said Scott Brown, the Republican former senator she defeated in 2012, would be a good choice for secretary of Veterans Affairs.
“I have no doubt that he would put his heart and soul into trying to help veterans,” Warren told Boston’s WGBH radio Thursday.. “And I would put my heart and soul into trying to help him do that. You bet I’d support that.” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has also been reported to be a contender for the Cabinet post.
What else is happening:
- Russia “needs friends” and hopes to improve its relations with the U.S. under Trump, President Vladimir Putin said in a speech to his parliament on Thursday. Separately, a Russian foreign ministry official said Trump should not abandon the Iran nuclear deal.
- Veteran Washington lobbyist Paul Manafort has become a player influencing the transition, CNN reported. Manafort quit as campaign chief in August amid questions over his ties to pro-Russian former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
- Trump’s lawyers are trying to block a recount in Michigan sought by the Green Party’s Jill Stein as unwarranted. Federal law mandates that any recounts need to be completed 35 days after the election, or by Dec. 13.
- The Rev. Al Sharpton said he got a call from Trump thanking him for “saying nice things about his outer-borough business achievements.”
- Several of Pence’s neighbors at a house he has rented temporarily in Washington have put up rainbow pride flags — a symbolic rebuke to his record opposing gay rights, local TV station WJLA reported.
- A Harvard forum featuring strategists from the Trump and Clinton campaigns turned into an angry shouting match, The Washington Post reports.
- Sen. Chuck Schumer is standing by his endorsement of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) to head the Democratic National Committee after the Anti-Defamation League and others raised concerns over past statements on Israel.