Transition Briefing: Most Americans See the Affluent and Corporations Gaining Power in Trump’s Washington

by admin January 18, 2017 at 10:59 pm

Only 8 percent say the rich will lose influence.

The findings stand in stark contrast to a Trump campaign when Mr. Trump tailored his appeal to working-class white voters and led chants of “drain the swamp.” Since then, Mr. Trump has tapped billionaires to lead the Army, the departments of Commerce and Education and the Small Business Administration, and multimillionaires to head the Treasury and departments of State, Housing and Urban Development and Labor.

In addition, about half of the public thinks whites (51 percent), men (51 percent) and conservative Christians (52 percent) will gain influence. Relatively small shares (no more than 15 percent) think any of these groups will lose clout in a Trump administration.

The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Jan. 4-9 among 1,502 adults, finds that majorities think Hispanics (56 percent), poor people (55 percent) and gays and lesbians (54 percent) will lose influence in Washington during Trump’s presidency. And far more say that blacks and women will lose influence than gain influence (48 percent to 19 percent for blacks, 46 percent to 23 percent for women).

Trump shows himself at work on his inaugural address

The president-elect would like the world to know he is writing his inaugural address — so much that he has put photographic evidence on Twitter.

President-elect will say so long to Trump Force One

Wednesday night will be Mr. Trump’s last ride on his favorite accessory: his blue-and-gold-painted airplane, with his name across the side.

Mr. Trump will return to Washington briefly on Wednesday evening, but will not spend the night. Instead, he will return to New York City for a final stay at Trump Tower before he is sworn in on Friday.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump will be escorted to Washington on a military jet, according to a person briefed on the plans. He will spend that night at Blair House, the president’s guesthouse.

The Secret Service insists for security reasons that the president travel on the official aircraft.

At first glance, Air Force One is an indisputable status symbol for an incoming president who focuses heavily on aesthetics. But Air Force One does not have the gold-plated belt buckles or wood tables that Trump Force One does.

And Mr. Trump is also happiest with things that are familiar, and that he himself owns. He spent most of his campaign with his airplane as his mobile headquarters, writing speeches and giving interviews from his seat. He is one of the only incoming presidents to whom Air Force One might feel like a step down.

Despite Obama’s efforts, a Muslim registry could be revived

Warily looking at the incoming Trump administration, President Obama moved in recent weeks to eliminate all vestiges of a program created after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that required men from countries with active terrorist groups to provide their fingerprints and to register with the federal government.

It turns out the program could still be revived, according to a new congressional report.

Last month, the Obama administration published new rules in the Federal Register that removed the regulations that created the program, known as the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System. Under the program, men from 25 countries, most with majority Muslim populations in Africa and the Middle East, were required to register with the federal government.

But the Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress, said the program could still be revived because the law creating it remains on the books.

“Despite the Obama Administration’s action, the statutory authority under which the removed regulations were promulgated remains in effect and could potentially” be used to impose a similar registry requirement in the future, the report said.

Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state and a member of Mr. Trump’s transition team, helped devise the registry program while at the Justice Department in the administration of President George W. Bush.

In November, shortly after the election, Mr. Kobach was photographed with a document of first-year proposals that included, under the rubric “Bar the Entry of Potential Terrorists,” a proposal to reintroduce the registry program.

Liberals set their sights on Trump’s Treasury pick

A coalition of liberal groups, including the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Allied Progress Action and Demand Progress Action, will begin a television advertising campaign aimed at Steven Mnuchin, Mr. Trump’s pick to lead the Treasury, for his leadership of a Southern California bank known for its aggressive foreclosures.

“Lisa” — Widow Speaks Out Against Mnuchin Video by BoldProgressives

The ad featuring Lisa Fraser, a widow whose house was foreclosed on by the bank, OneWest, will begin airing Wednesday in the states of five Republican senators: Dean Heller of Nevada, Jeff Flake and John McCain of Arizona, and Charles E. Grassley and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

An A-list of liberals will address the Women’s March

Trump inauguration organizers have practically boasted that they don’t need A-list celebrities for the festivities, since they have the biggest name of all: Mr. Trump.

Well, organizers of the Women’s March on Washington, which is expected to bring tens of thousands of people together to protest the new president on Saturday, has an A-list roster of liberal activists to cheer on the rally.

Among them are Angela Davis, Gloria Steinem, Ashley Judd and Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Van Jones, a CNN commentator who declared that Mr. Trump’s victory represented a “whitelash” against a black president, filmmaker Michael Moore, and Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington will be on hand.

So will Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, Maryum Ali, one of Muhammad Ali’s daughters, and the Mothers of the Movement, a group of several women whose children were killed in racially charged incidents and who campaigned heavily for Hillary Clinton.

Trump says Tillerson was always his man

The beauty pageant that was Mr. Trump’s secretary of state selection was full of drama: Would the disgraced Gen. David H. Petraeus be exonerated? Would Mitt Romney swallow enough of his pride to get into the good graces of the man he had called a fraud? Would Rudolph W. Giuliani somehow come in from the cold?

And in the end, seemingly at the last minute, Mr. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, swept in to receive the president-elect’s nod.

At a dinner at the sumptuous Mellon Auditorium in Washington on Tuesday night to honor the inaugural committee’s chairman, Thomas Barrack Jr., Mr. Trump said he had always wanted Mr. Tillerson, implying that the rest was for show. He called him the “man that I wanted right from the beginning.”

And why not?

“He’s led this charmed life,” Mr. Trump said. “He goes into a country, takes the oil, goes into another country. It’s tough dealing with these politicians, right?”

Biden lays into Putin’s Kremlin

The president-elect has been circumspect, to say the least, in his criticism of the Russian president.

But the departing vice president, Mr. Biden, went to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and showed on Tuesday what criticism of the Kremlin could look like, attacking Russia for election interference not only in the United States but also in Europe.

“Their purpose is clear — to collapse the liberal international order,” Mr. Biden told the elite gathering. “Simply put, Mr. Putin has a different vision for the future, which Russia is pursuing across the board. They seek a return to a world where the strong impose their will through military might, corruption or criminality — while weaker neighbors fall in line.”

An Obama holdover will head Justice for a while

Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates will stay on as acting attorney general until the incoming Trump administration can install a Senate-confirmed top law enforcement officer at the Justice Department.

The decision to keep on Ms. Yates, along with all United States attorneys and marshals for the time being, was practical. With Loretta E. Lynch stepping aside as attorney general, the new administration needed someone to sign the foreign intelligence surveillance warrants that continually cycle through the attorney general’s office.

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