Donald Trump's presidential transition - live blog

Last Updated Jan 14, 2017 4:57 PM EST

Saturday, Jan. 14

President-elect Donald Trump railed against civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, after the congressman said he didn’t believe Mr. Trump was a “legitimate” president and announced that he would boycott his inauguration. 

Friday, Jan. 13

President-elect Donald Trump wrote a series of tweets early Friday morning about the intelligence memo with unverified reports that Russia has compromising information about him and about Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Trump referred to the the memo as “Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives,” again accused the intelligence community of releasing the memo, and promised his own hacking report within 90 days.

Thursday, Jan. 12 

Three nomination hearings for Donald Trump’s picks take place today, including Gen. James Mattis for defense secretary, Mike Pompeo for CIA director, and Ben Carson for the secretary of the housing and urban development

Trump announces Giuliani will advise on cyber security efforts

In a press release Thursday, the transition team announced that the former New York City mayor will be “sharing his expertise and insight as a trusted friend concerning private sector cyber security problems and emerging solutions developing in the private sector.”

Giuliani, who now heads a security firm, will also be involved in “hosting a series of meetings with senior corporate executives from companies” to discuss security information technology, hacking, and intrusions. 

Trump says “Buy L.L.Bean”

Mr. Trump began his morning with tweets promoting the company L.L. Bean, defending himself against unverified intel claims about his relationship with Russia, and blasting CNN as “FAKE NEWS.” 

Wednesday, Jan. 11 

Trump gives first press conference since his November win

Watch and follow along with our live blog here.

On the separation of his business empire from the White House, Mr. Trump’s attorney, Sherri Dillon, said his business holdings and investments will be put in a trust before Inauguration Day, and that his two adult sons will run the company. Ivanka Trump, whose husband Jared Kushner is set to become a senior adviser to the Trump White House, will have “no further management” role in the company.

Dillon also said there will be “no new foreign deals” made during the duration of Mr. Trump’s presidency, and that domestic deals will be subject to “severe restrictions.”

Mr. Trump announced that his two sons, Eric and Donald Jr., will run the Trump Organization while he’s in office, and said the manila folders on the table next to him were “some of the many documents I’ve signed turning over complete and total control.”

Asked to confirm that some of the allegations that Russia has compromising information about his controversial activities while in Russia are false, Mr. Trump replied: “Does anyone really believe that story? I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way, believe me.”

Mr. Trump said he considers Putin’s praise of him to be an “asset,” but said he doesn’t yet know that he’ll “get along” with Putin.

“If Putin likes Donald Trump I consider that an asset not a liability because we have a horrible relationship with Russia,” he said.

At around 11 a.m., when the presser was expected to start, staffers began bringing out stacks of manila folders and putting them on a table next to the podium at Trump Tower. It’s unclear what the contents of the folders might be.

Trump comments on unverified claims of Russian efforts to compromise him 

Donald Trump blasted out several Twitter missives Wednesday addressing the unsubstantiated claims of Russian attempts to discredit the president-elect, even referencing “Nazi Germany” in his defense. 

Seemingly citing a spokesperson for Russian President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Trump pointed out that Moscow had said the report -- which the president-elect charged as having been “paid for by political opponents” -- was “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.”

Classified U.S. intel report: Russia gathered compromising info on Trump

Multiple government and intelligence officials tell CBS News that an addendum to the classified intelligence report on Russia’s efforts to interfere in the U.S. election contained unverified details of potentially compromising information that Russia has gathered on President-elect Donald Trump.

The officials tell CBS News that the information originally came from a former British intelligence officer and was eventually turned over to U.S. intelligence as well as other government officials last year.

U.S. intelligence is in the process of corroborating the details of what the Russians may have, but the officials tell CBS News that the former British investigator and his network is credible. Because this information is so sensitive, the addendum was not part of the classified report that was distributed to a wider group of people last week.

Tuesday, Jan 10

Three things to watch in Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing

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File Photo: U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to be Attorney General, meets with Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) in his office at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. January 4, 2017. 

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo - RTX2Y72F


One of the most enduring themes of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign was his opposition to  illegal immigration. In Sessions, he’s found one of the most consistent supporters of hard-line immigration enforcement.

Sessions led the opposition against the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, as well as the 2013 “Gang of Eight” bill.  He has also been a leading opponent of Mr. Obama’s use of executive action to push immigration reform.

“’Immigration reform” may be the single most abused phrase in the English language,” Sessions opined in the “Immigration Handbook” he authored for Republicans in Congress in 2015. “It has become a legislative honorific almost exclusively reserved for proposals which benefit everyone but actual American citizens.” 

In the 25-page memo, he offered his analysis of immigration reform in Washington.

“The only ‘immigration reforms’ discussed in Washington are those pushed by interest groups who want to remove what few immigration controls are left in order to expand the record  labor supply even further,” he complained.

The responsibility for enforcing immigration laws actually rests with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but the Justice Department oversees immigration courts. As attorney general, Sessions would have a significant role in deciding how those courts operate and how aggressively to pursue criminal action against illegal immigrants.

Sessions is likely going to face questions – from both sides of the aisle – about how he plans to use the office of attorney general to implement his vision for immigration enforcement. -- CBS News’ Paula Reid

Monday, Jan. 9

Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner will be named White House senior adviser

Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner will named senior White House adviser by President-elect Donald Trump, CBS News confirmed Monday.

In a tweet, another top adviser to the president-elect, Kellyanne Conway, called it the “best news of the day.”

Trump meets with Jack Ma and Bernard, Alexandre Arnault 

Mr. Trump came to the cameras at Trump Tower with Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba, and Bernard and Alexandre Arnault of the French Luxury group LVMH. Bernard said he was hoping to expand jobs with LVMH in California and Mr. Trump added that there might be some jobs added in the Midwest as well.

The president-elect did not answer questions on the intelligence report regarding Russian interference in the election and a GOP plan to repeal Obamacare.

Trump fires back at Meryl Streep over Golden Globe comments

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Actress Meryl Streep accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award during the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards show in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., January 8, 2017. Paul Drinkwater/Courtesy of NBC/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. For editorial use only. Additional clearance required for commercial or promotional use, contact your local office for assistance. Any commercial or promotional use of NBCUniversal content requires NBCUniversal’s prior written consent. No book publishing without prior approval.

REUTERS

Donald Trump fired back at actress Meryl Streep on Twitter over her comments about him at the Golden Globes Sunday night, referring to her as “over-rated” and a “Hillary flunky” and complaining that, although she doesn’t know him, she attacked him.

Hayden on “CBS This Morning:” Obama was “too timid” in his response to Russian election meddling

Michael Hayden, a former director of the CIA and NSA, said Monday that President Obama was “too timid” in his response to Russian interference in the election, but he partially defended the president’s initial hands-off posture because of a lack of bipartisan support.

“I think the decision he made was made for honorable reasons. He did not want to be or appear to be manipulating our election internally. But I think when you look at this from a broader field of view, we were too timid,” Hayden said in an interview on “CBS This Morning.”

Hayden suggested it was Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, who “refused to join consensus” to act after lawmakers were briefed on the intelligence community’s findings in October.

Hayden criticized the reaction from President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team after the intelligence community’s declassified report that came out Friday. The CIA, NSA and FBI concluded in the report that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign involving covert intelligence operations and overt propaganda to undermine faith in the U.S. election, disparage Hillary Clinton and help Donald Trump’s election chances.

Confirmation hearings: What to expect this week

With President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration just 11 days away, a spate of his top Cabinet nominees are about to undergo their confirmation hearings in the Senate this week.

Congress can’t officially confirm Mr. Trump’s nominees until after he’s sworn in, but they can hold hearings to help expedite the process and get nominations ready for Inauguration Day -- which is why this coming week has such a packed schedule of hearings.

Each nominee will first have a hearing with the Senate committee that has oversight responsibilities for his or her department. Once the committee holds a vote and approves the nominee, that candidate will be voted on by the full Senate.

Mr. Trump’s team has been criticized for the fact that five hearings are scheduled for Wednesday, the same day Mr. Trump is slated to hold his first news conference since his election. However, transition officials and congressional GOP leaders have said the packed schedule is the only way Mr. Trump will have Cabinet secretaries ready to go on day one of his administration.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trump says cyber attacks had “no effect” on election outcome after briefing

Top intelligence officials briefed President-elect Donald Trump Friday on Russia’s hacking efforts to interfere with the U.S. election. 

Following the briefing at Trump Tower in New York, Mr. Trump released a statement on what he called a “constructive meeting and conversation” saying that the cyberattacks had “no effect on the outcome of the election.” 

“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation,” he said. 

Mr. Trump didn’t explicitly say whether he’s convinced that Russia was behind the cyberattacks against the election.

Congress certifies Trump’s election victory

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R) preside over a joint session of Congress to count Electoral Votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2017. 

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

A joint session of Congress counted the Electoral College votes and certified them on Friday, formally bringing this unconventional presidential election to a close.

Several House Democrats tried to raise objections multiple times during the vote-counting, but they didn’t acquire signatures from a senator for each of the objections. 

“It’s over,” Vice President Joe Biden told Democrats as their effort repeatedly failed. 

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, was seen laughing behind Biden as he made that remark. -- CBS News / Rebecca Shabad

Obama challenges Republicans to present an alternative to Obamacare

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U.S. President Barack Obama (R) participates in an interview with Vox at Blair House in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2017. 

REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTX2XSHU

President Obama is calling on Republicans to present an alternative healthcare plan to the American people. In his final days as president, Obama sat down with the Editor-in-Chief of Vox.com Ezra Klein to discuss his signature legislation, Obamacare, and Republican plans to repeal it.

“Now is the time when Republicans have to go ahead and show their cards if in fact they have a program that would genuinely work better.” The president said. “They can call it Trumpcare, they can call it McConnellcare, or Ryancare.” He joked.

The president promised to support any bill Republicans put fourth that worked better than Obamacare, but he did not seem hopeful that such a bill would, in fact, be created.

“All the promises they made about how they can do it better, cheaper and everybody is going to be satisfied are going to be hard to meet.” -- CBS News / Tim Perry

Will Trump accept U.S. intelligence assessment on Russia hacking after his briefing? 

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to be briefed Friday on a report prepared by the U.S. intelligence community on Russian hacking activities in the presidential election -- after he spent this week still questioning the veracity of their previous assessments.

On Thursday, President Obama received a briefing on the report -- prepared by the CIA, FBI and NSA -- which he had ordered in December. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Thursday that an unclassified version of the report will be made public early next week. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee Thursday, Clapper previewed some of the report’s findings. --CBS News / Rebecca Shabad


Thursday, January 5, 2017

Trumps decline offer of White House playset

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President Obama walks by playset at White House, FILE

CBS News / Mark Knoller


Those who spend a lot of time at the White House, like CBS News White House Correspondent Mark Knoller, may have noticed something missing Wednesday from the White House grounds.  

The playset installed in March 2009 for the Obama children, Malia and Sasha, has been removed. Sasha Obama was just eight years old when her father took office, and Malia was 10 years of age.  

Trump continues criticism of intelligence community on Twitter

CBS News has learned that U.S. intelligence has intercepts of Russian officials were happy and surprised that their plan to meddle in the American presidential election was successful, and Donald Trump won the White House, according to U.S. officials. The Russian motive was primarily to hurt Hillary Clinton’s candidacy -- Mr. Trump’s victory was an added bonus.

But multiple intelligence sources have acknowledged that proving motive beyond a reasonable doubt -- that the cyberattacks were intended to help Mr. Trump’s candidacy -- will be difficult.   

1:08 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump was deposed Thursday morning, spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed to CBS News’ Paula Reid. He answered questions, under oath, related to the lawsuit he filed against chef Jose Andres for pulling out of his D.C. hotel. 

11:46 a.m. ET Mr. Trump also tweeted about Obamacare, calling Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer a “clown” and saying the GOP will propose an alternative that’s “FAR BETTER” than the current health care law:

11:03 a.m. ET Mr. Trump tweeted Thursday morning about Wikileaks’ Julian Assange, pushing back against the idea that he approves of Assange.