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Donald Trump's presidential transition - live blog

Last Updated Dec 23, 2016 10:00 AM EST

Over the next two months, leading up to his inauguration as the nation’s 45th president, Donald Trump and his transition team will be hiring thousands of people -- about a thousand of whom must be confirmed by the Senate. You can find CBS News’ previous blog on the transition here, and we’ll have the latest on what’s going on with the presidential transition below: 


Tues. Jan 3

ExxonMobil and Tillerson agree to cut all ties; 

ExxonMobil and former Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson have reached an agreement for him to cut all ties with the company if he’s confirmed as secretary of state, the oil giant announced Tuesday night.

The move would be made to comply with federal conflict-of-interest rules in the event Tillerson becomes the nation’s top diplomat. ExxonMobil says the accord was reached “in consultation with federal ethics regulators.”

Mon., Jan 2

Trump briefing on Russian hacking delayed; Protest at Sessions’ office ends in arrest; Trump names Robert Lighthizer U.S. Trade Rep; Ten big political questions for 2017

Protest at senator’s office ends in arrest

AP: MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Several NAACP protesters led by their national president were escorted away in handcuffs by police after staging a sit-in Tuesday at the Alabama office of Sen. Jeff Sessions, the nominee for U.S. attorney general, the civil rights group said. 

The organization held the demonstration to protest Sessions’ nomination by President-elect Donald Trump, saying Sessions has a questionable record on civil rights and “can’t be trusted to be the chief law enforcement officer for voting rights.”

Trump intelligence briefing on Russian hacking delayed

Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that an intelligence briefing that was to give him more information on Russian hacking was put off until Friday. He speculated that briefers might need more time “to build a case” and pronounced it “[v]ery strange!”

Trump names Robert Lighthizer U.S. Trade Rep

Robert Lighthizer is President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be the next U.S. trade representative, CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports.

Ten big political questions for 2017

Will Donald Trump’s nominees be confirmed? What will he accomplish with Congress immediately?

When a new president takes office, he (or she) usually has a limited amount of time in which to ride new political capital -- that’s why there’s so much emphasis put on a president’s first 100 days.

Both Mr. Trump and congressional Republicans have outlined a series of top priorities beginning next month: in a November video statement, Mr. Trump said his priorities in the first 100 days include formally withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, canceling environmental restrictions, cut business regulations, enact a lobbying ban for his administration, shore up the country’s defenses against cyberattacks and investigate visa programs and abuses. --Emily Schultheis

Friday, Dec. 23

Trump tweets on son’s fundraising efforts, golfs with Tiger Woods 

9:00 a.m. ET The president-elect tweeted Friday on his son, Eric Trump and the recent backlash to his fundraising efforts:

The president-elect is heading to Trump International Golf Club Friday morning for a game of golf with Tiger Woods, at the professional golfer’s request.

Mr. Trump will then return to Mar-a-Lago for “high-level” meetings Friday afternoon, according to his transition staff.

Thursday, Dec. 22 

Trump taps Kellyanne Conway as counselor to the president, names senior communications staffers; tweets on nukes; urges veto of UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements

1:50 p.m. ET The President-elect names these transition team advisers to official roles on the White House’s senior communications staff: 

  • Sean Spicer is assistant to the president and press secretary
  • Hope Hicks is assistant to the president and director of strategic communications 
  • Jason Miller is assistant to the president and director of communications
  • Dan Scavino assistant to the president and director of social media

11:50 a.m. ET Mr. Trump weighs in on U.S nuclear capabilities: 

11:43 a.m. ET The president-elect tweeted about the phrase “DRAIN THE SWAMP,” referring to an NPR interview with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, where he said Mr. Trump no longer liked using the phrase.

11:00 a.m. ET Mr. Trump meets today with Tom Bossert, a former homeland security advisor to Bush, and Jay Clayton, a partner with Sullivan and Bromwell. 

Sean Spicer, chief strategist and communications director for the GOP, also teased that Elsa Murano, former Texas A&M University president, is under serious consideration for secretary of agriculture. 

Spicer also said to expect more staff appointments late Thursday. 

10:00 a.m. ET Donald Trump is urging the Obama administration to veto Thursday a United Nations Security Council draft resolution calling for an immediate stop of building settlements on occupied land that Palestinians are claiming for a future state.

“The resolution being considered at the United Nations Security Council regarding Israel should be vetoed,” the president-elect said on Twitter and Facebook early Thursday morning.

7:30 a.m. ET President-elect Trump has named Kellyanne Conway counselor to the president in his new administration, his transition team announced Thursday morning.

Conway helped turn Trump’s campaign around while serving as campaign manager and was a leading surrogate for Trump during his run for the White House.

She’s been serving as a senior member of the Trump transition team.

In her new post, the team said, Conway will “continue her role as a close advisor to the president and will work with senior leadership to effectively message and execute the Administration’s legislative priorities and actions.”  

Wednesday, Dec. 21 

Trump meets with national security adviser, Boeing, Lockheed Martin executives

6:30 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump is naming one of the nation’s richest men to be a special adviser on issues regarding regulatory reform.

Carl Icahn, a veteran of Wall Street who founded his own securities firm called Icahn Enterprises, was named by Mr. Trump on Wednesday.

Icahn, an early Trump supporter, is estimated to worth more than $16 billion. The president-elect in a statement said the 80-year-old Icahn, one of the nation’s leading investors, is “not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future, especially having to do with finances and economies.”

4:30 p.m. ET Donald Trump meets Wednesday with aircraft manufacturing executives from Boeing and Lockheed Martin, just weeks after he suggested on Twitter that the Air Force One contract with Boeing should be cancelled.

Mr. Trump spoke with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg Wednesday afternoon in what the executive later said was a “very productive” discussion.

According to the Boeing executive, the two discussed the price of new Air Force One planes, a project estimated to cost $4 billion.

Muilenburg told reporters that it could be produced by the company “affordably” for less than the $4 billion price tag.

“We will get it done for less than that,” Muilenburg said after he left Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.

“We work on Air Force One because it is important for our country,” he said. “I was able to give the President-elect my personal commitment on behalf of the Boeing Company.”

4:00 p.m. ET The Trump transition team announces the formation of a new White House National Trade Council (NTC), headed by Peter Navarro, an economics professor at the University of California, Irvine. Navarro, widely known as a hawk wary of China’s trade policies, will be the Trump administration’s director of trade and industrial policy and will lead up such programs as the president-elect’s proposed “Buy America, Hire America” initiative.

2:00 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump commented Wednesday on the “terrible” attacks in Turkey and in Germany, and revealed that he had spoken with President Obama about the national security issues earlier this week. 

“What’s going on is terrible,” Mr. Trump told reporters from the steps of his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. “In fact, we have intelligence here right now. What’s going on is terrible.”

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump met with his national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. The meeting was scheduled prior to the attacks Monday in Germany and Turkey.

Tuesday, Dec. 20

Trump tweets on Bill Clinton, reacts to attacs in Berklin, Ankara

1:00 p.m. ET On Tuesday morning, Trump was on Twitter striking out at an insult from Bill Clinton. The ex-president told a suburban New York City newspaper this month that Trump “doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.”

The Bedford-Pound Ridge Record Review also reported that Bill Clinton claimed that Trump called him after his election victory over Hillary Clinton.

“Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations),” Trump said in a two-part tweet. The president-elect added that Bill Clinton is the one who “’doesn’t know much’... especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states (and more).” The Clinton campaign, he said, “focused on the wrong states.”

4:00 p.m. ET Donald Trump weighed in on Monday’s violence in Turkey and Germany. 

Trump called the brazen shooting of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey “a violation of all rules of civilized order.” He added that a “radical Islamic terrorist” had assassinated the diplomat, Andrei Karlov.

In Berlin, where at least 12 people were killed, Trump said the Islamic State group “and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad.”

He added that these terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks “must be eradicated from the face of the Earth” and pledged to carry out that mission with “all freedom-loving partners.”

He later tweeted: “Today there were terror attacks in Turkey, Switzerland and Germany - and it is only getting worse. The civilized world must change thinking!”

Monday, Dec. 19

Electoral College meets throughout the day to formally cast votes for president and vice president; Trump names Florida Panthers owner secretary of the Army

Trump names Florida Panthers owner to be secretary of the Army

Donald Trump added another billionaire to his team, naming Florida Panthers hockey team owner Vincent “Vinnie” Viola secretary of the Army Monday.

Viola, the founder and executive chairman of Virtu Financial, is also a former infantry officer who served in the 101st Airborne Division and graduated from West Point.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index pegs Viola’s net worth at $2.3 billion. His electronic market-making firm Virtu, which Viola founded in 2002, went public last year. Viola, who is the majority shareholder of Virtu, will step down as chairman, he “doesn’t plan to divest his holdings in the high-frequency trading firm,” Marketwatch reported.  


Electoral College: State-by-state voting schedule

Across the U.S. Monday, every state’s winning slate of electors will gather in person in the state capitals to cast their votes for president and vice president. Despite the efforts of some Democrats to pressure Republican electors to change their votes, there is no indication that they will have much of an impact.

The Associated Press tried to reach all 538 electors and interviewed more than 330 of them. It found “widespread Democratic aggravation with the electoral process but little expectation that the hustle of anti-Trump maneuvering can derail him.” Three dozen GOP electors would have to switch their votes, and so far, only one has said he would.

Barring a major number of these so-called “faithless electors” -- those electors who do not vote in accordance with the outcome of their states -- Donald Trump is expected to hit the electoral majority of 270 electoral votes some time in the 3 p.m. ET hour Monday.

Saturday, Dec. 17

Trump names Mick Mulvaney for budget director, will have final “Thank You” tour stop in Alabama

9:30 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump has settled on a White House budget director. It’s Mick Mulvaney, a conservative Republican congressman from South Carolina who’s viewed as a budget hawk.

Mr. Trump calls Mulvaney, 49,  a “very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation’s finances and save our country from drowning in red ink.”

Mulvaney was first elected to Congress as part of the tea party wave in 2010.

He’s a founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus - a group of Republican members of Congress who edged John Boehner out of the House speaker’s role

If confirmed by the Senate, Mulvaney would be charged with pushing Mr. Trump’s budget proposals through Congress and overseeing the final issuance of major regulations. As the director of the Office of Management and Budget, he will likely be responsible for helping fulfill some of the president-elect’s campaign promises, including the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a boost in infrastructure investment, and a reworking of the tax code. 

Friday, Dec. 16

Trump adds to national security team; Priebus meets with former White House chiefs of staff

11:30 a.m. ET As part of the president’s directive for a smooth transition to the next administration, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough has invited incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus to have lunch with him and other former chiefs of staff at the White House on Friday. This meeting is similar to one hosted in 2008 by then White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolton to welcome incoming Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. 

Expected additional attendees for today’s meeting include: Jack Lew, Bill Daley, Pete Rouse, Rahm Emanuel, Josh Bolten, Andy Card, John Podesta, Samuel Skinner, Ken Duberstein, Jack Watson.

12:16 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday announced the appointments of retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg as chief of staff and Monica Crowley as senior director of strategic communications of the National Security Council. 

Kellogg spent more than 35 years in the Army and, in 2003, was chief operations officer for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq where he oversaw the efforts to form the new Iraqi military after it was disbanded. 

Crowley is a foreign affairs and political analyst for the Fox News Channel. 

Thursday, Dec. 15

Trump skeptical of intelligence community’s findings that Russia hacked U.S. elections

2:45 p.m. ET The president-elect continues his meetings at Trump Tower in Manhattan. 

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach met with Mr. Trump Thursday for the second time. Republican Hindu Coalition Chairman Shalabh Kumar and British politician Nigel Farage also met with Trump this afternoon.

After Mr. Trump met with GOP Rep. Peter King of New York, the congressman spoke briefly with reporters. 

“Actually the main issues I discussed were what we have to do to have the justice department and the FBI be more leaning forward when it comes to investigating islamic terrorism- I suggested a program similar to what Commissioner Kelly did here in New York,” King said, seemingly referring to the New York surveillance programs of Muslims. “It was very aggressive and forward leaning when it came out trying to estimate where terrorism was going to be coming from.”

2:30 p.m. ET Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump adviser, commented on the Trump family and speculation over whether Ivanka, daughter of the president-elect, and husband Jared Kushner would have a heavy hand in the administration. 

“Ivanka and Jared will make their own decision in announcement in due course,” Conway said. “I think we benefit tremendously by having them in the administration if in fact that could happen. Ivanka is incredibly committed to women in the workplace, women in the economy, women entrepreneurs.”

11:30 a.m. ET Some protesters entered the Trump Tower lobby to demonstrate against the president-elect’s decision not to enter his holdings into a blind trust, like several presidents have done in the past to avoid potential business conflicts of interest.

10:00 a.m. ET Donald Trump expressed skepticism on Twitter over recent intelligence community reports that Russia was trying to boost his candidacy in the U.S. elections. 

Intel sources also tell CBS News that the hacks could not have occurred without the blessing of Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

Wednesday, Dec. 14

Trump holds roundtable summit with tech leaders in New York, officially announces Rick Perry pick for energy secretary

3:00 p.m. ET 

President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday afternoon is hosting a meeting at Trump Tower of Silicon Valley leaders.

“I’m here to help you folks do well. You’re doing well right now,” Mr. Trump said at the beginning of the roundtable. “Anything we can do to help this go long. We’re going to be there for you. You’ll call my people.” 

The following people are attending the meeting: Oracle CEO Safra Catz, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Google co-founder Larry Page, former Google CEO and executive chairman of Alphabet Inc. Eric Schmidt, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, IBM CEO Ginni Rommety, Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Palantir CEO Alex Karp.

The focus of the roundtable discussion is on bringing tech jobs back to the U.S. Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and investor Peter Thiel helped to organize the meeting.

1:00 p.m. ET Tech executives have started filtering in to Trump Tower, including Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post. 

Other transition staff members have also arrived at Mr. Trump’s Manhattan headquarters, including Anthony Scaramucci, Eli Miller, Jason Miller, and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. 

12:54 p.m. ET Vice President-elect Mike Pence speaks briefly to reporters about the day’s agenda. 

“I know the President-Elect is looking forward to welcoming some of the – some of the leading tech CEOs in American to Trump Tower to talk about how we can grow jobs in high tech all across the country,” Pence told reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower. “Yesterday, great meeting with Bill Gates and of course we’re all very enthusiastic, Governor Rick Perry has stepped forward to lead the Department of Energy. The momentum and the pace of this transition will continue forward all the way into the holidays as we assemble a team that will make America great again starting January 20th.” 

11:00 a.m. ET Tech executives arrive for Donald Trump’s roundtable summit, including Oracle’s Safra Catz. 

9:37 a.m. ET Fashion icon Tommy Hilfiger arrives at Trump Tower.

7:30 a.m. ET The president-elect is scheduled to hold a roundtable summit at Manhattan’s Trump Twoer to discuss “bringing jobs to America” this afternoon. Attendees include Alphabet CEO Larry Page, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Tesla’s Elon Musk, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will also attend. 

Safra Catz of Oracle, Alex Karp of Palantir, Brian Krzanich of Intel, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Chuck Robbins of Cisco, Eric Schmidt of Google and Ginni Rometty of IBM are also on the guest list. 

The tech gathering was organized by Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus and PayPal co-founder and avid Trump supporter Peter Thiel.

6:00 a.m. ET The transition team officially announces former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as Mr. Trump’s energy secretary nominee. 

“Gov. Perry was the chief executive of one of the country’s largest states and one of the largest economies in the world,” the transition team said in a statement. “He is also one of the most successful governors in modern history, having led Texas through a sustained period of economic growth and prosperity by developing the state’s energy resources and infrastructure, and making low-cost energy available to companies and families.”

Tuesday, Dec. 13

Tillerson named secretary of state; Kanye West visits Trump Tower

12:15 p.m. ET Microsoft founder Bill Gates is at Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Donald Trump.

10:06 a.m. ET Mr. Trump had a surprise visitor at Trump Tower Tuesday morning: rapper Kanye West.

The pair posed for photos in the lobby, with Mr. Trump saying he and West are “good friends.” Neither of them took questions, and it’s unclear why West was visiting Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump has chosen ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.

Mr. Trump’s decision was announced by his transition team Tuesday morning.

The confirmation process could prove highly contentious, with some leading lawmakers already voicing concern about Tillerson’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and in light of reports that U.S. intelligence agencies believe Moscow was working not only to interfere in the U.S. election, but to actively promote Mr. Trump. He has, however, rejected such conclusions, calling them “ridiculous.”

Monday, Dec. 12

Tillerson is the pick for secretary of state; Perry tapped for energy secretary; Ronna Romney McDaniel endorsed by Trump for RNC chair

Donald Trump has selected Rick Perry to be energy secretary, Major Garrett reports, according to two sources directly involved in the transition and selection process.

He had been summoned to Trump Tower for a meeting Monday to discuss the position after having been contacted over the weekend. The meeting was only finalized on Sunday.  

The other contenders for the position were Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, and Ray Washburne, a key Trump fundraiser, former RNC finance chair, restaurateur and investor in oil and gas operations.

President-elect Donald Trump will endorse Ronna Romney McDaniel, the niece of Mitt Romney, for RNC chair, Major Garrett reports.

This is a victory for Reince Priebus, outgoing RNC chair and incoming White House chief of staff, who wanted an RNC hand to lead the party and have his own set of eyes and ears at RNC. 

This is also a sympathetic and tactical nod to Mitt Romney after losing out on secretary of state. This makes it harder, if Romney had grievances against Mr. Trump‎, to air them with his niece as chair of the party. It is also respectful to the Romney name and Michigan’s role in solidifying Mr. Trump’s electoral vote victory. 

Tillerson picked for secretary of state

President-elect Donald Trump will name ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state Tuesday morning, sources tell CBS News

Mr. Trump said on Twitter Monday evening he would make the secretary of state announcement Tuesday morning.

His search for the country’s top diplomat stretched out in a highly public fashion for weeks. 

8:48 a.m. ET Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry has been summoned to Trump Tower for a meeting today to discuss the position of Energy Secretary, according to transition sources.

Perry was contacted over the weekend and the meeting was finalized on Sunday. Perry will arrive as internal debate over Energy Secretary intensifies. Perry will now be the third contender against Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), and Ray Washburne, a key Trump fundraiser, former RNC finance chair, restauranteur and investor in oil and gas operations.

Mr. Trump will also meet with Manchin, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Pennsylvania Sen, Rick Santorum and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho), among others.

Sunday, Dec. 11

Ronna Romney McDaniel is leading pick to chair RNC

3:00 p.m. ET The Republicans on the Senate Armed Services Committee are joining with Democrats in calling for an examination of reports that Russia interfered in the presidential election in the hopes of getting Donald Trump into the Oval Office.

Chairman John McCain, incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and others said in a joint statement Sunday that the CIA’s report of Russia’s efforts in the election “should alarm every American.”

1:00 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump weighed in Sunday on recent intelligence reports that say Russia attempted to interfere in the U.S. general election, alleging without evidence that Democrats were responsible for the scrutiny over Russian hackers.

“According to the Washington Post, the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help you win the presidency,” Fox News’ Chris Wallace said in an interview that aired Sunday. “Your reaction?”

“I think it’s ridiculous.  I think it’s just another excuse.  I don’t believe it.  I don’t know why and I think it’s just -- you know, they talked about all sorts of things.  Every week it’s another excuse.  We had a massive landslide victory, as you know, in the Electoral College,” the president-elect said. “No I don’t believe that at all.”

But contrary to Mr. Trump’s claim, the U.S. intelligence community since early October has said that it was confident the Kremlin had directed cyberattacks to influence the presidential election. 

“I think the Democrats are putting it out because they suffered one of the greatest defeats in the history of politics in this country,” the president-elect said on Fox News. “And frankly, I think they’re putting it out. And it’s ridiculous.”

11:45 a.m. ET Donald Trump’s leading pick to lead the Republican National Committee is Ronna Romney McDaniel, three GOP sources tell CBS News’ Major Garrett

Romney is the niece of Mitt Romney and her selection is thought to have the strategic value of minimizing agitation in‎ Romney world if, as expected, the former 2012 GOP nominee is passed over for Secretary of State for Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Romney is also a favorite of outgoing chair Reince ‎Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff. Those close to the deliberations suggest Priebus wants an ally as RNC chair and also someone familiar with and generally acceptable to the RNC membership.

As with so much in the Trump transition, decisions are not final until Trump decides. That is the only remaining variable in the RNC chair selection.

“She is right on the verge,” one source close to the process said of McDaniel. “She is the expected choice.” 

‎Said another top GOP source of McDaniel: “She is being floated to measure the push back, if any. Absent some change, yes, she will be it.”

‎The RNC executive committee chooses the RNC chair but Trump’s endorsement will drive that vote, scheduled for January. 

As deliberations continue, the possibility of naming as party co-chair Nick Ayers has emerged. Ayers was once the front-runner for the RNC post. McDaniel rose in response to the rising stock of Tillerson for Secretary of State.

Ayers is the former executive director of the Republican Governors Association and close ally of Vice President-elect Mike Pence.  ‎The final role team Pence plays in this particular intra-party struggle could prove vital to its outcome.

Saturday, Dec. 10

Trump meets with secretary of state candidate Rex Tillerson, attends Army-Navy football game

5:00 p.m. ET Donald Trump answered a couple questions for reporters after he spoke with sportscasters Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.

Asked if Exxon chief Rex Tillerson was his secretary of state pick, Mr. Trump said: “Well, he’s a great man. We’ll see what happens.” 

Pressed on if he trusted the U.S. intelligence community, Mr. Trump replied, “I do.”  

3:00 p.m. ET Rudy Giuliani, a one-time contender for Donald Trump’s secretary of state who took his name out of the running last week, is traveling with the president-elect to the Army-Navy football game.

1:29 p.m. ET Rex Tillerson, a leading candidate for secretary of state, met with Mr. Trump Saturday, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirms. 

The meeting took place at Trump Tower before the president-elect left for the Army-Navy game. 

10:00 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump will attend the Army-Navy football game Saturday, he announced on Twitter.  

He also weighed in on the “Celebrity Apprentice” news that he would be retaining an executive producer credit on the forthcoming season of the reality television show.

Friday, Dec. 9

Trump taps Goldman Sachs executive for key economic post; announces Rudy Giuliani removed himself from running for secretary of state 

6:50 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump has tapped Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to lead the National Economic Council (NEC), CBS News confirms.  

A formal announcement is expected next week.

Cohn, whose career at Goldman Sachs began in 1990, is the third Goldman executive to be named to a staff or cabinet post by Mr. Trump. Cohn is the highest-ranking of the three -- CEO Lloyd Blankfein is the only person above Cohn at Goldman. 

If he accepts, Cohn will be responsible for advising the president on domestic and international economic policy issues and monitoring the implementation of the White House’s economic policy agenda.  The NEC director is one of the three main economic advisers to the president. The others are chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The CEA chair is almost always an academic, whose job it is to provide economic analysis. The OMB director is charged with developing the president’s budget.  

5:40 p.m. ET Mr. Trump’s transition team has created a questionnaire with 74 questions for Energy Department officials to identify employees who have been involved in international climate talks over the past five years and employees who have helped advance Obama administration climate policies.

The questionnaire, obtained by CBS News and first reported by Bloomberg News, asks, for example, “Which programs within [the Department of Energy] are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan?”

Some of the other questions in the questionnaire include, “Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any Interagency Working Group on the Social cost of Carbon meetings?” and “What is the Department’s role with respect to the development of offshore wind?”

The other questions pertained to various programs or offices within the department such as the Office of Nuclear Energy, Office of Science’s Laboratory Policy, Office of the General Counsel and Office of Environmental Management, among others.

4:27 p.m. ET Mr. Trump announced Friday afternoon that Giuliani removed his name from consideration for a job in the new administration during a meeting on Nov. 29. 

“Rudy Giuliani is an extraordinarily talented and patriotic American. I will always be appreciative of his 24/7 dedication to our campaign after I won the primaries and for his extremely wise counsel. He is and continues to be a close personal friend, and as appropriate, I will call upon him for advice and can see an important place for him in the administration at a later date,” Trump said in a statement. 

Giuliani also released a statement on his decision. 

“I joined the campaign because I love my country and because having known Donald Trump as a friend for 28 years and observing what he has been able to accomplish, I had no doubt he would be a great President. This is not about me; it is about what is best for the country and the new administration. Before I joined the campaign I was very involved and fulfilled by my work with my law firm and consulting firm, and I will continue that work with even more enthusiasm. From the vantage point of the private sector, I look forward to helping the President-elect in any way he deems necessary and appropriate.”

1:30 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump will be rallying supporters in Louisiana on Friday ahead of the state’s Senate runoff election, aiming to pad the Republican majority he will inherit.

Trump is campaigning for Republican John Kennedy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and then making another stop on his “thank you” tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that helped him prevail against Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month’s election.

9:30 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan Friday morning in New York. 

As Ryan left Trump Tower, he spoke briefly with reporters about the “very exciting meeting” the two had. 

“I really enjoyed coming up here and meeting with the president-elect,” he said. “We had a great meeting to talk about our transition, we’re very excited about getting to work and hitting the ground running in 2017 to put this country back on track.” 

Retired Gen. Michael Flynn, the president-elect’s choice for national security adviser, and K.T. McFarland, Flynn’s designated deputy, arrived at Trump Tower shortly after Ryan. 

8:30 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump will remain an executive producer of NBC’s reality television show “Celebrity Apprentice” during his tenure in the White House, CBS News confirms.  

Clare Anne Darragh, a spokesperson for MGM, the company that produces the show, confirmed that Mr. Trump will retain his EP credit on the show, which returns from a two-year hiatus with a new host, actor and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Variety first reported the news.