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Pence Is Right Man For Transition Chief

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  • The changes within the transition effort will substantially dilute the influence of Christie and his closest aides, add a conservative edge to the upper level of Trump’s team and formally empower Trump’s family in decisions about his administration.
  • Pence and Christie also met privately on Thursday for about 90 minutes, according to one Republican briefed on the meeting.
  • Other members of the executive committee are Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.); Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; conservative donor Rebekah Mercer; and New York investor Anthony Scaramucci.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence will replace New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as chairman of President-elect Donald Trump’s presidential transition effort, a change that will cement the Indiana governor’s influence over the incoming administration’s policy and personnel.

Trump, in a broad transition shake-up announced Friday, also gave his son-in-law and three eldest children official roles as transition advisers. The involvement of Trump’s adult children raises the specter of conflicts of interest, since they are poised to manage Trump’s businesses over the next four years.

The changes within the transition effort will substantially dilute the influence of Christie and his closest aides, add a conservative edge to the upper level of Trump’s team and formally empower Trump’s family in decisions about his administration. Rick Dearborn, chief of staff to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), will serve as the transition’s executive director, replacing ex-Christie chief of staff Richard Bagger. Sessions is a Trump loyalist and a hard-line voice on immigration. The three Trump children — Donald Jr., Eric and Ivanka Trump — and Jared Kushner, Ivanka’s husband, will serve on the transition’s executive committee.

The move comes after two former aides to Christie, whose administration in New Jersey has been hobbled by scandal, were convicted for their roles in politically motivated lane closures on the George Washington Bridge.

Christie remains involved in the transition and was named a vice chair on Friday, along with Sessions, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Republican presidential primary contender Ben Carson — all considered likely members of a Trump administration.

“Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one,” Trump said in a statement.

“The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington,” the statement said. “Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation — specifically jobs, security and opportunity.”

The changes come as the transition effort races to organize personnel and policy for the administration that will begin Jan. 20. Three days after Trump’s surprise victory over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and one day after Trump met with leaders in Washington, campaign insiders spent Friday at Trump Tower in Manhattan discussing the next steps.

The group included Christie, who met privately Thursday with campaign chairman and Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon for several hours, according to two people familiar with the meeting who requested anonymity to discuss Friday’s shake-up.

A senior Republican briefed on the Trump transition team’s deliberations said Trump confidants, including Kushner and banker Steven Mnuchin, his campaign’s national finance co-chairman and a possible Cabinet appointee, felt the transition team was too loyal to Christie and wanted to assert Trump’s influence on the operation. The Republican spoke on the condition of anonymity because the talks have been confidential.

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“The Trump high command felt like the president-elect needed to get control of his transition,” this person said. “It was populated with Christie loyalists, not that they weren’t for Trump, and it didn’t appear to be as ramped up as it should have been. So taking a page from George W. Bush’s book, he decided to put his vice president in charge.”

Pence and Christie also met privately on Thursday for about 90 minutes, according to one Republican briefed on the meeting.

Christie’s sidelining comes as he is increasingly consumed by the so-called Bridgegate scandal, in which George Washington Bridge traffic lanes were closed as political retribution against the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee, N.J. Christie has claimed he did not know about the scheme at the time, but multiple witnesses in the corruption trial against his former aides said he did know. The Democratic majority leader of the New Jersey Senate called Thursday for impeachment proceedings against Christie, who is seen as unable to focus full-time on transition work.

Other people familiar with Friday’s developments played down the reduction in Christie’s power but acknowledged that he had been layered in the inner circle. They described Sessions and Dearborn as low-key presences at Trump Tower in recent days and the “natural” successors to Christie because of their loyalty to the candidate and populist instincts. Neither clashed with Christie, the people said.

The appointment of Dearborn is intended to install someone well known to Congress to serve as a bridge between Trump Tower and Capitol Hill, helping recruit talent and processing incoming requests and résumés from lawmakers. Pence is also bringing on three of his senior advisers — Nick Ayers, Josh Pitcock and Marc Short — to assist him on transition work.

Ethics experts and Trump opponents raised questions about the younger Trumps’ participation in the transition, given the Trump Organization’s announcement Friday that it is working to “immediately transfer” company leadership to them.

“The notion that Trump would put his company into a blind trust run by his children was already a total farce. Now, it’s even more alarming that his children will be involved in the government while managing his dangerous conflicts of interest with our adversaries,” said Jessica Mackler, the president of the liberal group American Bridge 21st Century.

Other members of the executive committee are Reps. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Tom Marino (R-Pa.) and Devin Nunes (R-Calif.); Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi; conservative donor Rebekah Mercer; and New York investor Anthony Scaramucci.

The transition staff will include figures familiar from Trump’s campaign: Kellyanne Conway as senior adviser, Don McGahn as general counsel, David Bossie as deputy executive director, Stephen Miller as national policy director, Jason Miller as communications director and Hope Hicks as national press secretary. Dan Scavino will continue to run the social-media operation. RNC Chief of Staff Katie Walsh will serve as another senior adviser.

Prominent Christie allies Bagger and Bill Palatucci, who formerly served as the transition’s general counsel, will return to the private sector. Trump’s announcement stated they would remain “advisers” to the transition.

“The signal is they’ve lost confidence in Christie and that Mike Pence will have a very outsized role,” Republican consultant Rick Tyler said of the changes. “Everything that is happening reflects the new dynamics and how Trump is going to be as president, focusing on the big picture and leaving details to others.”

“You’ve got people coming in who are going to help him with his agenda,” added Tyler, a longtime adviser to Gingrich. “This is going to be a team that’s ready to work with Paul Ryan and Congress.”

Giuliani was among the insiders who spent part of the day at Trump Tower. “I can see already how he is going to be a great president,” he told reporters in the lobby.

Sean Sullivan contributed to this report.

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101 Comments

101 Comments

  • John says:

    Pence is a true conservative.

  • David Craine says:

    A very good choice for VP and a good man.

  • Mamarianne says:

    Good move makes me happy..

  • Karen Shively says:

    Mike Pence has already had experience leading and governing. I believe he will do an excellent job!

  • Jeannette says:

    Governor Mike Pence is well suited for this role for a variety of reasons. Good move on President-elect Trump’s part! Bravo! ????????????????

  • Jeff says:

    He will be the Vice President. His previous political background and accomplishments will greatly enhance the decisions and judgements that need to be made.

  • Cheryl Taylor says:

    Absolutely.

  • jesse says:

    Too much baggage

  • Robert says:

    I think he has the temperament to handle that job better than Gov. Christie. I think has more support from the American people than Christie.

  • Virginia Porter says:

    Mike Pence has a great reputation as one who is level-headed, capable of getting things done, and a charming personality. He will be such a great asset to the Trump administration!

  • Gayle Henningfeld says:

    He has a close relationship with other senators.

  • John E. Tirado says:

    HUGE QUESTION?? INSTEAD OF OF REP. TREY GOING TO SUPERIOR COURT, WHY NOT JUDGE JENNINE PIRRO AND TREY TO DOL? I BET YOU GET ONE GREAT POLL HERE..

  • Barbara Hendricks says:

    Please stop all liberals from getting in the way of the Presidential change.

  • Jane Sims says:

    V-P elect Mike Pence has President-elect Trumps back. He is a strong, knowledgeable Christian Man ready to move American forward in the new Administration. They need so many good Loyal individuals to make American Successful. I will send my profile, resume if interested. I also know how to “make things happen” with no excuses.

  • Michael Myers says:

    s will Gov. Christie is a member of the”Swamp” that President-elect Trump promised to drain, so this is a good move.

  • Danna Stevens says:

    Great choice! The entire team, as listed above will get things off to a great start. Although I would NEVER want him removed from his position in the house, another GREAT advisor, who has been pushing for a lot of your agenda ever since taking office, is Ron DeSantis. He was my rep for his first 4 yrs, but has unfortunately, due to re-districting, no longer in my district. Ron has been pushing for term limits; NO “retirement” benefits (he is refusing any as he says Congress is a privilege of serving the people, not a permanent job); and Congress having to live under anything they pass for the American people. Might want to take a look at him in an advisory capacity, not affecting his seat. His goal is Senate next. Would have run this year, but Rubio went back on his word! His experience as atty for the Navy Seals, should qualify him to help in a number of areas, w/out affecting his House seat.

  • Ralph Sherouse of NH says:

    It would be great if Trey Gowdy is selected as the Attorrney General.
    He is Honest, and very capable. More so than any of the Attorney Generals so far.
    He is the Best of the Best.

  • John says:

    JohnExcellent info

  • george cull says:

    A honest, knowledgeable, polictically experienced gentleman!

  • James Fuqua says:

    Mike Pence is level headed and will provide sound advice to President elect Donald J. Trump.

  • ray meo says:

    seems to have a lot of common sense

  • Harold Shanbaum says:

    Christie is too opportunistic, and is headed for more troubles over Bridgegate. Pence appears trustworthy and honest and a conservative. He will enhance the image and substance.

  • mike latham says:

    Gov. Christie has been wishy-washy on his dealings and aliances for a long time, and seems like he blows with the wind any time it suits him. needs to be a man whom will stand his ground for the better of Americans for restoration of our nation.

  • Imogene says:

    Because he seems too be a honest person and puts the American people first, just like Trump!

  • Gary says:

    For what I know about he it’s posible you have picked well.

  • DUKE says:

    Yes, of course he is. This is the perfectly logical, intelligent move to make.

  • John says:

    Christie not trustworthy

  • Don Shepard says:

    Mike Pence is a true conservative and Christian, focused on streamlining the federal administration to the end of facilitating Christian conservatives in their persuit of advancing the kingdom of God.

  • Pat carrasco says:

    Vice-President elect Pence has a very strong moral compass which I doubt would be swayed.
    Plus President-elect Trump chose him.

  • h.frank hazelwood says:

    yes

  • donna cooksey says:

    it is only logical mike pence served in the house of representatives and is held in high esteem and respected on both sides of the aisle…he also knows how things work in Washington…Christy has never had this experience and cannot bring the big picture to the table.

  • donna cooksey says:

    I agree with Trump’s logic…no need to heat things up….it is his choice.

  • MARTIN BRUNSWICK says:

    Christy can’t be trusted.
    He only works for Christy best interest and hides behind his trusted team mates.

  • Jack says:

    The Vice President is the appropriate person to lead the set up for the new organization. Thus he is the most key person to assist the new president. Good job!!!

  • James says:

    Pence has the greater and deeper organization l skills based on his record.

  • Raymond says:

    Strong moral based Conservatives are the ones who are responsible for Trump being president. They must have a major voice. Christie is an establishment liberal who Trump campaigned against. Establishment must not drive agenda or people will rebel.

  • Tammy says:

    I trust VP elect Pence to make wise Godly decisions that align more with the reasons and promises made by Pres elect Trump on campaign trail.

  • Name says:

    Pence could replace anyone except Trump in any position because he is smart and kind.

  • HOWARD MANCHA says:

    More sincere , better suited .closer to Mr. Trumps ideaology .

  • HOWARD MANCHA says:

    More sincere , better suited .closer to Mr. Trumps ideaology .

  • Roy Teter says:

    Why is because he is a Christan and Trump is
    as well. We pray for them all. God hears our
    prayers and did answer us Thanks Father,
    thanks Jesus

  • Marjorie says:

    Good background and information, comes across with dignity and respect and wekk understands the issues that are of importance.

  • Sheila says:

    Pence is already a beltway insider without being owned by them. He’s diplomatic and knowledgeable. Christie has a place in the new administration but not head of the team

  • Thomas Kilfoyle says:

    Pence doesn’t have anything legal problems to face

  • Richard Harmon says:

    Christie is very anti-gun

  • Name says:

    He is the one that is second in command and he should know what his new President wants.

  • OSCAR AMOR says:

    Mr Pence ability to guide important tasks
    will be for sure a genuine accomplishment

  • OSCAR AMOR says:

    Mr Pence ability to guide important tasks
    will be for sure a genuine accomplishment

  • Lynda says:

    Pence is an honest, no nonsense man who loves America and will work 24/7 to get us back on a track that will bring America back to life.

  • Chuck says:

    Because christy has enough on his plate with bridgegate.

  • Charles Johnson says:

    He is just the man for the job

  • Sharon Easton says:

    President Trump and Vice President Pence I believe they compliment each other . Trump can steam roll at times. VP Pence uses a different means of persuasion. Together I feel they are extremely powerful and accomplish much!

  • Dennis says:

    Trump & Pence.

    • Historically a great team. A good start now, move, thousands to hire and vett.
      Wish I could help out some way. Oregon is a long way from New York. Looks like you have plenty of help.
      My best to you in the days ahead, remember the swamp has alligators and snakes to look out for.

  • Johnny says:

    Strong, informed and completely dedicated to you and the future of America.

  • Nancy says:

    His personality and appearance !!!!!

  • Ruth Powers says:

    He knows congress well , can negotiate with the members well.

  • Name says:

    Too much baggage

  • Ken Knowlton says:

    It will help for everyone to see him in a posession of power. He will be working with these people why should he not have a voice in their selection?

  • Janice says:

    He should have been elected as president instead

  • Jan Harrison says:

    Pence is loyal. Christy is too. I am sure there is a better place for him. He will be very involved in the 4 years. He worked hard and needs a break.

  • Paul Fowler says:

    I trust hm he seems to know more about the Constitution than anybody I have to read about,,, If Obama tries to try to implenant marshall I think and hope he knows how to fight it,, Trump listens to him,, (sorry about my spelling) PLease don’t fall for traps and there will be many Paul Ryan is one,, Trust no one,, keep you friends enimies closer Trust no one I love Sarah I would marry her just for advice,,, Stay calm Christians are with you,,, he is going to try for Marshial law big time take out soros keep him so busy he can’t keep paying for riots,, he should have 27 holes holes in his back instead ot the honest Dem that did vote counting he was young and not careful,,,, on the outside maybe you should stay away from Trump Tower but that is your choice,, I take care of 94 year old mom,, or I would be out doing neighborhood watch up each day at 4 if you need me Call I’ll watch be kind but very firm watch your back trust no one

  • Kay says:

    Yes, Pence is the right man, I didn’t trust Christi, you would have been surrounded by old establishment cronies

  • George says:

    He has demonstrated deference to Trump, looks to have his back, is vice president, has minimal baggage and knows how to address questions in a smart way.

  • Robert Metcalf says:

    He is a far better person for this position than is Christy because he is far more trustworthy. Personally I have never liked Christy.

  • jerrold slate says:

    He has the temperament to work with any liberal

  • DANIEL bURCHETT says:

    HE IS SECOND IN COMMAND AND SHOULD BE , STARTING NOW, SETTING UP THE TEAM THAT HE WILL HEAD TO SUPPORT THE TRUMP EFFORTS TO GET AMERICA BACK ON TRACT.

  • Camille Gilliam says:

    This is great because what I want to see is them working as a team. I can tell that Pence is a great guy and he will also do what is best for this country. I’ll keep praying for all of you.

  • Phil Pantana says:

    Mike Pence has had political experience in Washington. He knows how Federal City works. And, he’s a good man.

  • Janice E B Ridgley says:

    Freedom of choice and choice of appointments…Pence is already in place…

  • Brian Johnson says:

    I agree with his religious stand points

  • Brian Johnson says:

    I agree with his religious stand points

  • Roger Brown says:

    His experience and devotion to and for our country.

  • Merv A. says:

    He is a good, honest, fair and intelligent man.
    Perfect for the job!!

  • Christana Master says:

    We have seen him and heard him during the campaign and we trust his loyalty!

  • george says:

    oboma has no respect for trump made jokes at press confrance before trump running for presendent. never took him serious.may end up with auguments.

  • carolyn says:

    He is competent and respected.

  • Mickie Yates says:

    Right now Cristie needs to get his problems cleared up. Don’t need the negative news during transition. And Pence does know the ins and outs on capital hill and how to approach intrenched opposition on the hill as well as to how to deal with last minute lam duck legislation. Plus I fell he is a great asset to help prevent an Obama declared martial law do to all the set up political riots taking place. Makes me wonder if all the currant crap was preplanned in case Hillary lost.

  • Terri Siau says:

    He has the right common sense!

  • hervy myers says:

    Pence for the job is a good move,not taking anything away from Christi.but he is carrying some baggage from his home state

  • Jan says:

    He has a lot of common sense.

  • Dallas Scott says:

    Pence is VP and not looking for a new position within the Trump administration. He will select a team that has the temperament and knowledge to work with President-elect Trump. Pence has a better personality to work with the media.

  • Bill says:

    Pence has much more experience in politics than Trump ever will have.

  • Micheal says:

    I think he is too controversial at the moment. Newt Gingrich has more experience in national politics and would not take Pence away from his vice presidential duties.

  • Linda Cranney says:

    Mike Pence appears to have a persona of intelligence, kindness, willingness, and spirituality that I haven’t seen in the leadership of America for many years. He will be a winning force with Donald Trump.

  • Janet Loring says:

    I believe his experience and
    being Vice Pres.-elect make him logical for
    the task(s).

  • Ron Smith says:

    I think Christy would do a wonderful job but with the Bridge thing he’s got going on in New Jersey that would be something the Liberals could used negatively and having pants do it would make him look even better and more active as vice president

  • Name says:

    He has conservative values, level headedness, good judgment.

  • Norris says:

    Who better than your right hand man to lead such an important task. People change especially when power is involved so the person that is next in command to you. Brilliant move. As for his children being in that process another wise move surround that process with your eyes and ears, we all know that many in high position not happy with his victory. I know that this man is smart#Brilliant!

  • Beatrice Mitchell says:

    Pence is seen in a better light that Christie who wasn’t charged but is still tainted by scandal.

  • Gary Bryson says:

    He is the V/P Second in command___GB

  • Roy Thompson says:

    He Know,s an follows JESUS . AMEN

  • Gerald says:

    Christie is a scum bag and can’t be trusted for any type of assignment.

  • Tommy T says:

    Good strong Christian man! Seems to have it all together even his family!

  • Mesa George says:

    Drain the SWAMP, from as far as the ocean is wide,, corruption got us in this swamp to begin with,, GOD BLESS TRUMP AND HIS FAMILY,,

  • Richard DeMott says:

    Because he is a good pick. Christie is wishy-washy.

  • Atlena Lewis says:

    He just like d.trump

  • Atlena Lewis says:

    He just like d.trump

  • Linda Scarbrough says:

    A godly man with a love for this country and it’s success.

  • Oliver Douglass says:

    Gov. Pence is a highly intelligent individual who has a calm demeanor That I feel can calm and give good advice to Pres Trump.

  • Mercedes says:

    100% right man

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