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Title: Team Trump is already filled with Washington insiders
Source: CNN
URL Source: http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/10/polit ... mp-transition-drain-the-swamp/
Published: Nov 11, 2016
Author: Tal Kopan
Post Date: 2016-11-11 06:21:48 by Willie Green
Keywords: None
Views: 1335
Comments: 10

Washington (CNN) To shape his administration, President-elect Donald Trump is drawing squarely from the "swamp" he has pledged to drain. Trump's transition team is staffed with long-time Washington experts and lobbyists from K Street, think tanks and political offices.

It's a far cry from Trump's campaign, which ended only Tuesday night, and message that he would "drain the swamp" in Washington. He has advocated congressional term limits and proposed a "five-point plan for ethics reform" that included strengthening restrictions on lobbying, including five-year bans for members and staff of the executive branch and Congress from lobbying, and expanding the definition of lobbyist to prevent more revolving door activity.

But he has so far fully embraced lobbyists within his transition, and all signs point to a heavy influence from longtime Washington Republican circles on his transition. And with Trump mostly skipping detailed policy proposals during his campaign, they can have a powerful impact on his agenda.

Leaders in his transition include former Rep. Mike Rogers, former Reagan Attorney General and Heritage Foundation fellow Edwin Meese, former President of Heritage Edwin Feulner, former Bush administration official and lobbyist Christine Ciccone, former Dick Cheney adviser Ado Machida, former Senate Budget Committee staffer Eric Ueland and former Sen. Jeff Sessions' chief of staff Rick Dearborn. The effort is chaired by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Trump counts former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Sessions as close advisers.

Lower level staffers assigned with crafting different departments are also heavily drawn from K Street, the center of lobbying in Washington, and congressional staff, according to a staff organizational chart obtained by CNN.

Sources close to the operation say Sessions and the conservative Heritage Foundation have had a strong role in shaping the transition, in addition to staffers from the Bush administration, K Street and Capitol Hill.

At a Heritage Foundation event Thursday, John Yoo, a Berkeley Law professor and scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, got a warm reception from the crowd by cracking about the closeness.

"I'm surprised there are so many people here because I thought everyone at Heritage was working over at transition headquarters," Yoo said on the panel about Trump's win. "I asked the taxi cab driver to take me to Trump transition headquarters and he dropped me off here, instead."

The crowd let out an appreciative laugh.

Insiders seek to sway Trump's policy direction

Trump's policy is likely to be shaped largely by Republican stalwarts. Trump's policy positions throughout the election have been thinner than traditional campaigns, and he has made contradictory statements at times or has changed his state policy goals amid criticism.

Meese told CNN that in general, the transition is going "very well," and suspected the heavy involvement from key Heritage personnel shows that his think tank will have a strong influence on Trump. With Trump having less experience in some areas of policy, he will have to draw on others' expertise to craft his positions, Meese said.

Early in the transition process, staff including Chairman Chris Christie held a series of meetings on K Street in Washington with different industry groups and key lobbyists.

Sources in those meetings said the conversations were top level, but when asked about specific policies, the transition team signaled they would be open to input from K Street.

In one financial services meeting, an attendee asked about Trump's past positions on reinstating Glass-Steagall, legislation that regulated banks. While the GOP platform called for reinstating Glass-Steagall and Trump's campaign manager at the time promoted it, Christie told the financial services lobbyists gathered that Trump is often open to changing his mind when he gets input from people with expertise.

Lobbyists around Washington feel that the Trump administration could be heavily influenced by their input, as his campaign's policy positions were considerably thinner than Hillary Clinton's, and some of his promises could be open to interpretation.

It also helps K Street that the Republican Party is far from united on policy. Establishment Republicans and allies of House Speaker Paul Ryan expect Ryan's "Better Way" agenda to drive much of Trump's administration, as Ryan has been working to promote it for years in the House and has even toured the country touting it.

But social conservatives and farther right Republicans like the Heritage circle have seen hope in Trump's campaign promises and closeness with Sessions -- signaling hard-line positions on immigration and social issues.

Fighting with K Street to fill jobs

Both sides are trying to influence his policy development and have representation on the transition team. Trump's Cabinet appointments could signal which way he's leaning.

Trump strongly considering Steve Bannon for chief of staff Donald Trump strongly considering Steve Bannon for chief of staff A senior aide to Vice President-elect Mike Pence said that the former congressman would have a strong role in Trump's administration working with Congress and on legislation. But the aide also said that the transition would have to find people outside of Washington to staff the administration.

"This campaign was an outsider campaign. It would be foolish to go ahead and place a whole bunch of DC insiders into roles, right?" the adviser said. "So it'll be a mix."

Trump is also competing with lobbying shops themselves for some of the top talent in Washington. Having prepared mostly for a Hillary Clinton presidency, Washington had been hiring Democratic talent. After Trump's surprising win, K Street is also trying to staff up with the best GOP policy staff from Capitol Hill and around DC.

James Wallner, group vice president of research at Heritage, said he is encouraged that Trump will heed the recommendations of his organization for two reasons. One is that their ideals line up with many of his campaign promises, and two is that Heritage has made an effort to craft all of their recommendations in an easy-to-use manner.

"You don't have time to digest a huge tome of material to have some moment of enlightenment to say, 'Oh I've figured out how to solve our health care problem.' You really need actionable type information that you can then process and make up your own mind on how to proceed and how to advise people to proceed," Wallner said. "As long as President-elect Trump appoints people to this administration that are going to do things that are consistent with the promises he made while campaigning for this office that the American people clearly supported, then I'm optimistic about where we're going."


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#1. To: Willie Green (#0)

Willie, you've been an enemy of Trump all along. The articles you post are written by enemies of Trump. We simply don't believe the articles and don't believe you.

Trump did not promise that he would not hire any Washington insiders. He promised that he would curb the corruption and drain the swamp. That doesn't mean that he's going to put an assembly line worker as Secretary of Defense and a Midwestern farmer as Secretary of State. He wants to succeed, so he will pick people who know the business he's dealing with. He will hold them to a different standard than they have been held to in the past. He will set different rules, and make general corruption harder.

Vicomte13  posted on  2016-11-11   8:47:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Willie Green (#0)

Sources say ...

While reading this article, it is important to keep in mind the truism that -
     Nobody who knows is talking, and those who are talking don't really know.

Gatlin  posted on  2016-11-11   9:06:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

We simply don't believe the articles and don't believe you.

And you said the same thing about Bob Dole, Dubya, McCain & Romney...
How many times are you going to support the same gaggle of backstabbers before you discover that you're only shooting yourselves in the foot?

Willie Green  posted on  2016-11-11   9:11:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Willie Green (#0)

Sources close to the operation say Sessions and the conservative Heritage Foundation have had a strong role in shaping the transition [...] social conservatives and farther right Republicans like the Heritage circle have seen hope in Trump's campaign promises and closeness with Sessions -- signaling hard-line positions on immigration and social issues.

Sounds good to me.

A government strong enough to impose your standards is strong enough to ban them.

ConservingFreedom  posted on  2016-11-11   9:29:15 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Willie, you've been an enemy of Trump all along.

And by extension Willie has been an enemy of the American working class.

Non auro, sed ferro, recuperando est patria

nativist nationalist  posted on  2016-11-11   10:19:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: ConservingFreedom (#4)

Neither Beltway party will drain this political swamp, because to them it is not a swamp; it is a protected wetland, their natural habitat. They swim in it, feed in it, spawn in it, and are as happy there as B'rer Rabbit was in his briar patch.

Trump is a fraud... He is neither Pat Buchanan nor Ross Perot... Trump is a swamp creature swimming and spawning in the same vile swamp as all the other vermin.

Willie Green  posted on  2016-11-11   10:19:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: Willie Green (#3)

And you said the same thing about Bob Dole, Dubya, McCain & Romney... How many times are you going to support the same gaggle of backstabbers before you discover that you're only shooting yourselves in the foot?

Actually, I supported Bob Dole because he was a heroic war veteran, and because back then I was a moderate Republican, as was he.

I detested W in his first election, because of what he and his people did to John McCain in the South Carolina primary. I came around to W because of 9/11, and I stayed with him until he tried to foist off Harriet Miers.

I supported McCain when he ran in 2000, but by 2008 I was not much of a fan. I thought he completely bobbled the financial crisis. I voted for Sarah Palin.

I detested Romney, and vowed, after that election, that would not vote Republican again. I changed from Republican to Independent.

I voted for Donald Trump this time, not the Republican Party. I agree with Trump, not the GOP. I want to see Trump break the GOP and remold it in his and my image.

I have always voted for what I believe. What I believe evolves with the facts and experiences of life.

Like Trump, I've always been for the blue-collar workers. If THEY are doing well, the rest of America is doing well.

I'm not a Democrat because they're baby murderers. Trump is pro-life, and - most importantly - will only put pro-life judges on the Supreme Court.

Vicomte13  posted on  2016-11-11   10:26:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: Willie Green (#6)

Trump is a fraud...

Trump is a pro-life champion of the working class, who wants peace with Russia.

That is EXACTLY what I am. You're the swamp creature, because you hate Trump. By hating what Trump believes in, you hate me. That's ok. Lots of people hate me. Get in line.

Vicomte13  posted on  2016-11-11   10:28:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Willie Green (#0)

Team Trump is already filled with Washington insiders

Team Trump is not yet filled with anyone but Trump and Pence.

nolu chan  posted on  2016-11-11   17:24:04 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Willie, you've been an enemy of Trump all along. The articles you post are written by enemies of Trump. We simply don't believe the articles and don't believe you.

That was probably the nicest admonition of a hack poster I've seen on the internet.

You are now free to take off the gloves. :-)

redleghunter  posted on  2016-11-11   17:30:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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