Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump: No Transition Turmoil, Efforts Going 'So Smoothly'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump: No Transition Turmoil, Efforts Going 'So Smoothly'

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * President-elect Donald Trump and his team vigorously rejected on Wednesday suggestions that turmoil and infighting were roiling efforts to set up his White House, national security and economic teams. A week after his upset victory, Trump said the enormous endeavor was proceeding "so smoothly."

Trump dished out his rebuttal on Twitter, spending yet another day ensconced in his New York skyscraper. Aides and allies vouched for the transition efforts on his behalf, saying some commotion was to be expected.

"The beginning of any transition like this has turmoil because it's just the nature of the process," Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said as he left Trump's transition headquarters in Washington. He said the picture of Trump's administration would become clearer over the next two or three weeks.

Others close to the transition process described advisers "fighting for power." Trump has long stoked internal rivalries among his staff both in his businesses and his campaign and has created ambiguity in his transition about who has authority to make key decisions.

Eric Trump, the president-elect's son, raised expectations of imminent progress Wednesday, telling reporters in the morning that appointments were "likely" to come during the day. Then, other Trump aides suggested a slower pace.

"We're not going to rush to put names forward until we're absolutely sure," Trump spokesman Jason Miller said hours later. "We're going to make sure that they're people we're confident will pass confirmation and we think can implement the president-elect's vision."

Trump's team noted that President Barack Obama waited until a few weeks after the 2008 election to announce many of his Cabinet appointments.

And former Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who has informally advised members of Trump's national security team, blamed Trump's detractors for the reports of drama.

"When you're doing a transition that is trying to push the kind of change that Mr. Trump wants to be doing, it's going to be even harder," Hoekstra, a former House Intelligence Committee chairman, said.

The incoming Republican administration also got a boost of support from outgoing Vice President Joe Biden, who met with his successor, Mike Pence, continuing the Obama administration's show of public support for the transition. …

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