Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Auditions Cabinet Prospects High above Manhattan

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Auditions Cabinet Prospects High above Manhattan

Article excerpt

NEW YORK * Donald Trump held court high above Manhattan on Monday, receiving a line of former rivals, longtime allies and TV executives while overseeing a presidential transition that at times resembles a reality show not unlike the one he once hosted.

Trump met with nearly a dozen prospective hires, all of whom were paraded in front of the cameras set up in the Trump Tower lobby as they entered an elevator to see the president-elect. Out of public view himself, he fell back on his TV star roots by filming a video that touted his legislative goals once he takes office.

Trump did not immediately announce any appointments after the meetings, which came on the heels of a two-day whirlwind of interviews at his golf course in Bedminster, N.J.

Unlike his predecessors, who often spoke with Cabinet candidates under a cloud of secrecy, Trump has turned the search into a very public audition process. The extraordinary exercise took on a routine feel on Monday: First, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown stepped off the gold-plated elevator into the marble-coated lobby after his meeting, to declare to waiting reporters that he was "the best person" to become Veterans Affairs secretary.

Next, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, a candidate for Interior secretary, did much the same, striding off the lift to say she had "a wonderful discussion" with Trump. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry declined to speak to reporters, but he did take time for a photo with the Naked Cowboy, the underwear-sporting, guitar-strumming New York institution who is normally a fixture at Times Square but has spent recent days camped out at Trump Tower singing about the president-elect.

Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who resigned her post on the Democratic National Committee after endorsing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton, also met with Trump but entered and exited out of sight. She later defended crossing party lines to meet with Trump about U.S. involvement in Syria, saying in a statement that she would never "play politics with American and Syrian lives."

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, a longtime Trump ally, also arrived with his wife, Callista, for a meeting. …

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