Watch CBS News

Trump transition to the White House - live blog

Trump's new appointments
Trump makes new White House appointments 01:54

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. Here’s the latest on what’s going on with the presidential transition:

Saturday, Nov. 26

10:14 p.m. ET Jerry Falwell Jr. told the Associated Press that President-elect Trump had offered him Secretary of Education position, but he turned it down for personal reasons. 

3:07 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump called the recount efforts by the Green Party’s Jill Stein “ridiculous.”  

“This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing,” Mr. Trump wrote in a statement.  

12:05 p.m. ET Vice president-elect Mike Pence also weighed in on Twitter, claiming that “[n]ew hope dawns” after Castro’s death. 

11:00 a.m. ET Mr. Trump’s transition team issued a longer statement on his behalf addressing the death of Fidel Castro. 

“Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights,” Mr. Trump said in the statement. “While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”

He promised that his administration “will do all it can to ensure the Cuban people can finally begin their journey toward prosperity and liberty.”

8:30 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump reacts with a single tweet to the death of Fidel Castro, Cuba’s fiery communist leader, who passed away Friday at 90 years old. 

Friday, Nov. 25

1:45 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump taps K.T. McFarland, a Fox News commentator, for Deputy National Security Adviser, the transition team announced Friday. 

“She has tremendous experience and innate talent that will complement the fantastic team we are assembling, which is crucial because nothing is more important than keeping our people safe,” Mr. Trump said in a statement.

The statement also included a quote praising McFarland from former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, a Democrat-turned-Independent from Connecticut. 

“In asking KT McFarland to become his Deputy National Security Advisor, President-elect Trump has brought to the top ranks of his Administration one of our country’s most experienced, informed, and wise foreign policy and national security experts” said Lieberman, a longtime friend of the McFarland family. “KT and General Mike Flynn will form a very strong leadership team at the National Security Council.” 

Candidate Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland debates against John Spencer for the republican Senate nomination, on the campus of Pace University in New York on Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2006. AP Photo/Angel Chevrestt, Pool

IIn her own statement, McFarland said she was “honored and humbled that he has asked me to be part of his team.”

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who is Mr. Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, tweeted his congratulations to McFarland Friday:

The president-elect also chose Don McGahn, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission and current partner at the Jones Day law firm, to serve as assistant to the president and White House Counsel.

“Don has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law,” Mr. Trump said of his WHite House Counsel pick. “He will play a critical role in our administration, and I am grateful that he is willing to serve our country at such a high-level capacity.”

1:00 p.m. ET Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein is seeking recounts in three states: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Michigan has not yet been called, and it’s the closest of the three states. If the three states were to move into Clinton’s column, she would win, with 278 electoral votes, but this seems very unlikely. It’s rare that recounts change the result of a race. Here’s the current state of the recount process

The president-elect has not weighed in on the recount efforts underway, but adviser Kellyanne Conway taunted, “Look who ‘can’t accept the election results’” in a tweet of a New York Times story with the headline “Hillary Clinton Supporters Call for Vote Recount in Battleground States.”

11:00 a.m. ET President-elect Trump has spoken with five more foreign leaders Friday, including the prime ministers of Greece, Hungary, and Sweden, and the presidents of Panama and Slovenia.

Two staff level announcements are expected today, according to a conference call held by transition team spokesmen Jason Miller and Sean Spicer. No more cabinet announcements will be made until after the weekend.

Spicer also discussed Mr. Trump’s meetings for Monday, which include face time with Sheriff David Clarke, Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, a big Trump booster during the campaign, and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

The president-elect will continue to conduct his business at Mar-a-Lago until Sunday. 

7:54 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump will work on the transition Friday at his Florida resort after spending Thanksgiving with his family.

Mr. Trump made foreign policy a centerpiece of his campaign, but he has yet to name secretaries of defense, homeland security or state. The current fight on the transition team is over who will lead the State Department - a question that has Mr. Trump’s inner circle bitterly divided, reports CBS News correspondent Errol Barnett.

Thursday, Nov. 24

10:00 a.m. ET 

President-elect Donald Trump says in a tweet that he’s still “working hard” this Thanksgiving to convince air conditioning company Carrier to keep their business in the U.S. Mr. Trump says he’s “MAKING PROGRESS” on that front:

Carrier confirmed in their own tweet that they have been in touch with the incoming administration, but no announcements are expected in the near future.

9:30 a.m. ET Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump transition team adviser, tweeted about the possibility of Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, as secretary of state:

Wednesday, Nov. 23

Nikki Haley named U.N. ambassador; Ben Carson tweets announcement coming on his role in Trump administration; Betsy DeVos tapped for education secretary. 

5:50 p.m. ET The president-elect delivered a Thanksgiving video message via YouTube Wednesday. 

A Thanksgiving Message from President-Elect Donald J. Trump by Transition 2017 on YouTube

Mr. Trump urged Americans to unite despite the “long and bruising” political campaign season. 

“Emotions are raw and tensions just don’t heal overnight,” he said in the video. “It doesn’t go quickly, unfortunately, but we have before us the chance now to make history together to bring real change to Washington, real safety to our cities, and real prosperity to our communities, including our inner cities. So important to me, and so important to our country.”

With the conclusion of the election, the president-elect heralded the beginning of “a great national campaign to rebuild our country and to restore the full promise of America for all of our people.”

1:15 p.m. ET Donald Trump taps school choice advocate Betsy DeVos for education secretary

“Betsy DeVos is a brilliant and passionate education advocate,” Mr. Trump said in a statement Thursday. “Under her leadership we will reform the U.S. education system and break the bureaucracy that is holding our children back so that we can deliver world-class education and school choice to all families.”

DeVos accepted Trump’s offer on Nov. 23.The philanthropist and education activist served as chairman of the Michigan Republican Party from 1996 to 2000.She was the second woman to be appointed to Trump’s cabinet. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

DeVos called it an “honor” to accept the president-elect’s nomination.

“The status quo in education is not acceptable,” she said in a statement. “Together, we can work to make transformational change that ensures every student in America has the opportunity to fulfill his or her highest potential.”

11:58 a.m. ET Ben Carson tweets “an announcement is forthcoming” on his role in the Trump administration.

And on his Facebook page, he wrote, “I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone. We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid.”

10:45 a.m. ET In a call with reporters, the Trump transition team says to expect a “Cabinet-level announcement” on Wednesday.

9:20 a.m. ET
Mr. Trump is at Mar-a-Lago, his Florida resort, where he’ll spend the rest of the week; Vice President-elect Pence will spend Thanksgiving in Mississippi to visit his son, who is stationed there.

9:15 a.m. ET Mr. Trump’s transition team officially announces the president-elect’s pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley.

Donald Trump taps South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as U.N. ambassador 05:23

“Governor Haley has a proven track record of bringing people together regardless of background or party affiliation to move critical policies forward for the betterment of her state and our country,” President-elect Trump said in a statement Wednesday. “She is also a proven dealmaker, and we look to be making plenty of deals. She will be a great leader representing us on the world stage.”

The Trump transition team cited Haley’s work as South Carolina governor as the reason for her nomination. In the team’s announcement of Mr. Trump’s pick, they note that as governor, Haley has “led seven overseas trade missions and successfully attracted jobs and investment through negotiations with foreign companies.”

7:39 a.m. ET President-elect Trump has offered South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley the post of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and she has accepted, a CBS News source confirms.

The story was first reported by The Post and Courier and The Washington Post. Haley would, in effect, be the voice of the Trump administration at the 193-nation world body, if she is confirmed by the Senate, reports CBS News’ Pamela Falk. 

Tuesday, Nov. 22

Trump appears to back away from some campaign promises during NYT meeting; Romney remains serious contender for secretary of state; 

9:16 p.m. ET Ben Carson told Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto” that housing and urban development (HUD) secretary was “one of the offers that’s on the table” from Donald Trump. Carson told Fox that the inner cities are “in terrible shape,” and “it certainly it something that has been a long-term interest of mine and I’ll be thinking and praying about it seriously over the holiday.”

Just a week ago, Carson’s friend Armstrong Williams had told The Hill that Carson wasn’t interested in running a government agency because he’s never run a federal agency.

Earlier today, Trump had said he was “seriously considering” Carson for the job.

In a meeting with the New York Times, Donald Trump appeared to back away from some of the most prominent promises he made during his presidential campaign, notably, whether he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton, and whether or not torture should be used in the war on terror.

Asked whether he had ruled out prosecuting Hillary Clinton, he replied, “It’s just not something I feel strongly about,” Mr. Trump told the room, according to Times media reporter Michael Grynbaum, who live-tweeted the meeting.

Mike Pence shakes up Trump transition team 08:04

Prosecution, he said “would be very, very divisive for the country,” Mr. Trump told the room, according to Times political reporter Maggie Haberman. “My inclination for whatever power I have on the matter is to say let’s go forward. This has been looked at for so long, ad nauseum.”

4:02 p.m. ET President Obama has spoken with President-elect Donald Trump at least once since their joint meeting at the White House earlier this month, CBS News has learned.

“As President-elect Trump indicated in the Oval Office, he was hoping that he would have the opportunity to consult with President Obama over the course of this transition,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said in a Tuesday briefing. “President Obama has committed to a smooth transition and as a result, they’ve spoken at least once since their Oval Office meeting.”

2:14 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump has continued his Twitter antics after Election Day -- but most voters think he should shut his account down as president, according to a new poll.

The survey, from Quinnipiac, found that 59 percent of U.S. voters say Trump should shut down his personal Twitter account. Just 35 percent said he should keep the account open. Despite their concerns over his social media use, though, 59 percent of Americans say they are “optimistic” about the next four years with Mr. Trump as president, compared with 37 percent who are not.

12:39 p.m. ET Mitt Romney impressed Donald Trump so much during their meeting at Bedminster over the weekend, that he became a serious contender for secretary of state, said a source close to the Trump transition, who added a little more insight to what the vice president-elect told CBS News over the weekend.

The meeting between the president-elect and the 2012 GOP nominee was initially scheduled as a courtesy visit, and could have been awkward, given the animosity between the two during the presidential campaign. In March, Romney delivered a speech specifically intended to derail Trump’s presidential candidacy, calling him a “fraud” and a “phony.” Trump, in turn, labeled Romney a “loser” and a “choke artist.”

Yet whatever tension there may have been seems to have dissipated. “Trump enjoyed the meeting,” the source told CBS News.

Though Rudy Giuliani has been a leading candidate for secretary of state -- the source said Trump has had his “head wrapped around Rudy Giuliani” for the position – Trump has reconsidered since his meeting with Romney.

Also, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, despite a meeting with Mr. Trump this past weekend, is out of the running for a position as a top adviser or department chief. Christie has been telling supporters he’s “in it for the long run.”  He’ll serve out his term as governor which ends in January 2018, and await what may come from Bridgegate. Christie, according to the source, wanted to be attorney general. His view is that he’s been a good soldier for Mr. Trump throughout the campaign, once he ended his own presidential bid, and he’ll continue to sit back and be a good soldier in hopes of serving in Trump’s administration years from now. Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, whose father Christie prosecuted, was a driving force behind Christie’s ouster from Trump world. -- Arden Farhi

10:08 a.m. ET Mr. Trump’s meeting with the New York Times is back on just hours after he ranted against the news organization on Twitter. They’ll meet at 12:30 p.m., according to a Trump tweet. 

“Mr. Trump’s staff has told us that the President Elect’s meeting with The Times is on again,” Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy said. “He will meet with our publisher off-the-record and that session will be followed by an on-the-record meeting with our journalists and editorial columnists.”

7:13 a.m. ET Early this morning, Trump canceled meeting with New York Times.

But he says it could be rescheduled.

Monday, Nov. 21

Trump meets with more people at Trump Tower; network execs and anchors gather for “reset” with Trump; Trump’s international visitors highlight conflict of interest concerns


At 9:14 p.m. Trump tweets response to stories about his business interests:

Trump’s international visitors highlight conflict of interest concerns 

NEW YORK  Donald Trump has been adamant that his business will mean nothing to him as president, telling 60 Minutes last week “I don’t care about hotel occupancy. It’s peanuts compared to what we’re doing.”

But a Facebook photo from last Tuesday, that has since been deleted, showed the smiling president-elect at Trump Tower joined by three of his Indian business partners, developers of the Trump Towers luxury apartment complex in Pune, India.

The Trump Organization said it was just “an exchange of hellos,” but Indian media clearly thought it was more, saying “Donald Trump meets Indian partners.”-- Anna Werner

Donald Trump with his Indian business partners Devendra Jain/Facebook

6:24 p.m. ET In a 2.5-minute recorded video announcement, President-elect Donald Trump said his transition team is working “very smoothly” and outlined a series of actions he plans to take upon being inaugurated in January.

“Our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently, and effectively,” he said in the video. “Truly great and talented men and women, patriots indeed, are being brought in, and many will soon be part of our government, helping us make America great again.”

Among the immediate actions he’ll take, Mr. Trump said, are issuing a notification stating the U.S. will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, cutting restrictions on energy production and requiring two regulations to be discontinued for every new regulation added. He also said he would direct the Defense Department to develop a plan to fight off cyberattacks, ask the Department of Labor to investigate visa program abuses, and impose a five-year ban on officials lobbying after they leave the administration.

4:30 p.m. ET Several media executives and news anchors made the trip to Trump Tower in Manhattan Monday afternoon for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump for what was characterized as a “reset” gathering.

The executives and anchors spotted in the lobby of his Fifth Avenue headquarters included CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and CNN’s president, Jeff Zucker, executives from Fox News as well as CBS News’ Charlie Rose, John Dickerson, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King. After the meeting, top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway called the meeting “excellent” and “unprecedented.”

“Excellent meeting with the top executives and anchors of the major networks - ABC, CBS, NBC - which of course includes MSNBC, Fox News and CNN represented,” Conway told reporters at Trump Tower. “Pretty unprecedented meeting we pulled together in two days.”-- Rebecca Shabad, Arden Farhi

2:31 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump is considering former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, Brown confirmed Monday.

Brown, who served more than 30 years in the National Guard, told reporters outside Trump Tower in New York after meeting with Mr. Trump that he’s “not competing with anybody” but believes he’s the “best person”for the job.

“We obviously spoke about my passion and his passion which are veterans issues,” Brown told reporters outside of Trump Tower Monday. “And you know obviously I think it’s the toughest job in the cabinet to lead the VA, because while it has so many angels working there, it has so many great problems as well.”

Were he to be appointed to the post, Brown said he would focus on lowering the suicide rate among veterans and shortening the long lines for treatment at VA hospitals around the country. He said Trump is “going to take … [his] interest under consideration,” and that he expects to hear Trump’s decision after Thanksgiving.

9:54 a.m. ET Trump is back at Trump Tower in Manhattan after spending the weekend in Bedminster, N.J. On Monday, he’s expect to meet with Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, who’s also Mitch McConnell’s wife, and former Speaker Newt Gingrich. 

Sunday, Nov. 20

Donald Trump meets with more Cabinet contenders, continues to tweet about “Hamilton”

4:00 p.m. ET New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie arrives for his meeting with Mr. Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

3:30 p.m. ET Mr. Trump weighed in on when his wife, Melania Trump, and his 10-year-old son Barron would move to the White House from Trump Tower in Manhattan. 

“Right after he finishes school,” the president-elect told reporters Sunday. 

Transition spokesmen Jason Miller and Sean Spicer spoke with reporters before investor Wilbur Ross left Bedminster. 

As CBS News’ Major Garrett noted, Ross appears to be a top pick for Commerce. When Mr. Trump was asked if he’d name Ross commerce secretary, he said on camera, “that’s what we’re looking for.” Ross repeated “we’ll see” when asked before and after his meeting if he thought he’d join Mr. Trump’s Cabinet.

Former New York City major Rudy Giuliani, a top contender to be secretary of state, also met with Trump Sunday.

2:30 p.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump has met with Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, a former member of the National Labor Relations Board, and a partner in the labor and employment practice group of Benesch, Friedlander. He has also spoken with Wilbur Ross, Ari Emanuel and John Gray. Ross is in the running to be the president-elect’s secretary of commerce. 

Mr. Trump told the press that they’re “getting very close on a lot” of decisions. 

Asked about whether he was still upset about Hamilton, the president-elect called it “very inappropriate.”

Gov. Chris Christie arrived at 2:30 p.m. in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

10:45 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence will begin their meetings after church this Sunday morning.

Beginning at noon, their meetings will include: Ari Emanuel of William Morris Endeavor; Peter Kirsanow of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; John Gray of Blackstone; Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who recently proposed reinstating a Muslim registry in the U.S.; Wilbur Ross; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani; Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television; David McCormick of Bridgewater and former Treasury staff; T.W. Shannon, an Oklahoma politician; Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, R-Wisconsin; and Gen. John Kelly, Marine Corps. 

Saturday, Nov. 19

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence meet with several contenders for Cabinet positions, including education advocates, Gen. James Mattis, and former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

6:08 p.m. ET Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the Chicago Cub, departs from the clubhouse in Bedminster, New Jersey. 

Mr. Trump responded to a couple questions shouted by the press, saying that the transition team is considering “a lot of great talent” to fill positions. 

Sean Spicer, communications director for the Republican National Committee (RNC), indicated to reporters that most meetings will finish by 7 p.m. ET.

4:45 p.m. ET Gen. James Mattis, a possible defense secretary in the Trump administration, left the meeting club house.

Mr. Trump had this to say of Mattis: “All I can say is he is the real deal...he is the real deal.”

GOP finance chairman Lew Eisenberg arrived soon after Mattis’ departure to meet with Mr. Trump. Bob Woodson, head of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in Washington and a possible Trump pick for housing and urban development secretary, also met with the president-elect Saturday.

3:45 p.m. ET Betsy DeVos, a prominent school choice advocate and possible education secretary pick, met with Mr. Trump in New Jersey Saturday. 

Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis arrived in New Jersey and was greeted by the president-elect and the vice president-elect. 

3:04 p.m. ET Mr. Trump also met with Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of Washington, D.C.’s public schools and possible pick for education secretary, and her husband, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. 

When the president-elect was asked about the meeting, he said, “it went great, really great.” Both, he added, are “greatly talented.” 

Mr. Trump, when pressed on whether the public could expect any other big announcements Saturday, said “we’ll see... it could happen.”

2:44 p.m. ET Mitt Romney addressed the press after his meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. 

Trump meets potential Cabinet picks in New Jersey 00:57

“We had a far-reaching conversation with regards to the various theaters in the world where there are interests of the United States of real significance,” Romney said. “We discussed those areas and discussed our views on those topics.” 

He noted that the it was a “very thorough and in-depth discussion in the time we had.”

1:00 p.m. ET Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has been a vocal critic of the president-elect during the campaign cycle, arrives at the Bridgewater Marriott in Bedminster, New Jersey Saturday to meet with Mr. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

11:00 a.m. ET Jason Miller and Sean Spicer, spokesmen for the Trump transition team and the Republican party, announced in their daily conference call with reporters that there may be more appointments to the Trump administration made Saturday.

According to the team’s count, the president-elect and vice president-elect have spoken to over 37 foreign leaders who have offered their congratulations. 

Miller and Spicer also laid out plans for Mr. Trump to meet with other potential administration appointments and advisers on Sunday, including: John Gray, Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach (who proposed earlier this week to reinstate a registry for Muslims in the U.S.), Wilbur Ross, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Robert Johnson, and David McCormick.

10:00 a.m. ET President-elect Donald Trump will be meeting with the following people Saturday at the Trump National Golf Club: Gov. Mitt Romney, who is in the running for Mr. Trump’s secretary of state, Michelle Rhee, Betsy DeVos, Gen. James Mattis, Chicago Cubs co-owner Todd Ricketts, Bob Woodson, Andy Puzder, and Republican party finance chairman Lew Eisenberg.

Friday, Nov. 18

Trump offers Pompeo CIA director, Sessions attorney general job; Trump victory tour coming soon; Trump University lawsuit settled for $25 million; next nominations expected Monday or Tuesday; Wilbur Ross leading contender for commerce; Huckabee denies he’s been named ambassador to Israel; Mike Pence booed at Hamilton

11:58 p.m. ET VP-elect Mike Pence was met with boos and cheers at the Broadway hit “Hamilton” Friday. The boos, according to Twitter users interrupted parts of the play, notably at the line

At the end actor Brandon V. Dixon, who portrays Vice President Aaron Burr in the production, called out to Pence to ask him to stay to hear a statement from the cast. Dixon welcomed Pence and thanked him for coming, but told him, “We are a diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children...” The statement, the New York Times’ Patrick Healy reported, was written by “Hamilton” creator and former star Lin-Manuel Miranda, after he found out that Pence would be attending the performance tonight. 

Mike Huckabee denied rumors that he’s been named the next ambassador to Israel, and Kellyanne Conway told Sopan Deb in a text, “That was never considered or discussed.” Huckabee met with Mr. Trump earlier today.

7:15 p.m. ET Like many Democrats, California Rep. Adam Schiff used the word “alarming” Friday to describe President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of Mike Flynn for national security adviser.

Democrats critical of Trump's picks so far 02:08

Democrats were just as critical of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, tapped for attorney general. The Congressional Black Caucus called Sessions’ civil rights record “appalling.” 

There was less strife over Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, Trump’s pick for CIA director. In a statement, Democrats, called him “bright and hard working.” Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio called him a “strong choice.” 

7 p.m. ET The next batch of nominations will be formally announced Monday or Tuesday. We should expect the list to include secretary of state, treasury secretary and commerce secretary. The leading candidate for secretary of state remains Rudy Giuliani, and Steven Mnuchin is the top candidate for treasury secretary. 

Wilbur Ross is far and away the leading candidate for Commerce Secretary. Ross will meet with Mr. Trump this weekend at Bedminster to finalize the deal. Ross wants the job and the president-elect, by all accounts, is eager to give it to him.-- Major Garrett

4:30 p.m. ET Trump University lawsuit settlement announced. Trump University agreed to settle civil fraud lawsuits for $25 million, the New York attorney general announced Friday.

Donald Trump settles Trump University lawsuits for $25 million 01:53

Calling it a “stunning reversal by Donald Trump,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a statement Friday that under the settlement, “every victim will receive restitution and that Donald Trump will pay up to $1 million in penalties to the State of New York for violating state education laws.”

Mr. Trump’s attorneys had previously asked for a delay in the trial until after inauguration day, stating that transition demands were “critical and all-consuming.” -- Laura Strickler and Paula Reid

2:50 p.m. ET Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Rupert Murdoch were spotted at Trump Tower Friday. 

2:49 p.m. ET Ivanka Trump was seen sitting in on a meeting between president-elect Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday evening

12:51 p.m. ET Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who has been elected as the next minority leader, released a statement about Sessions’ appointment as attorney general and said he’s “very concerned.”

“I know Senator Sessions and we work out in the gym, but the fact that he is a Senator does not absolve him from answering tough questions in the confirmation process,” Schumer said. “Given some of his past statements and his staunch opposition to immigration reform, I am very concerned about what he would do with the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice and want to hear what he has to say.”

10:56 a.m. ET Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, released a statement about his appointment to head the CIA. 

“I am honored and humbled to accept the President-elect’s nomination to lead the Central Intelligence Agency.  This was a difficult decision.  I have genuinely loved representing the people of Kansas in Congress—working to make our community stronger and more prosperous,” he said. “But ultimately the opportunity to lead the world’s finest intelligence warriors, who labor tirelessly to keep this nation and Kansas safe, is a call to service I cannot ignore.” 

10:28 a.m. ET House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes of California said in a statement Friday that Pompeo, who Trump appointed as CIA director, is “one of the most respected voices in the House on national security issues.”

“I am pleased that Mike Pompeo has been nominated as the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mike has spent an immense amount of time in the field all across the world meeting with our intelligence professions and service members on behalf of the House Intelligence Committee,” he said. “I am confident his nomination will be widely supported within the CIA and I look forward to his fast approval by the Senate.”

10:17 a.m. ET Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, who was just elected as the next ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement Friday that she is “committed to a full and fair progress” when lawmakers debate Sessions’ nomination as attorney general next year.

“Senator Sessions has served on the Senate Judiciary Committee for many years so he’s well aware of the thorough vetting he’s about to receive,” Feinstein said. “While many of us have worked with Senator Sessions closely and know him to be a staunch advocate for his beliefs, the process will remain the same: a fair and complete review of the nominee.”

Feinstein added that the attorney general should be “above the political fray,” is the person who has jurisdiction over many crucial laws and is in charge of overseeing immigration judges who will hear cases on applying for asylum status. 

8:28 a.m. ET Trump taps Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo for CIA director, Major Garrett confirms.

7:05 a.m. ET Donald Trump has offered Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, the post of attorney general, Major Garrett reports, citing sources directly involved in the selection process.

6:59 a.m. ET Will Rahn argues in commentary that a lobbyist ban may hurt Donald Trump. Trump’s incoming administration, in an effort to live up to all that “drain the swamp” rhetoric, has announced that it will make all potential White House officials pledge to abstain for lobbying for five years after leaving government. And while this sounds nice in practice, it may be rather bad for the country.   

6:43 a.m. ET Donald Trump will be taking a “victory tour” soon, according to George Gigicos, the campaign’s advance team director.

“We’re working on a victory tour now, it will happen in the next couple of weeks,” he told reporters yesterday. The trip will be some time after Thanksgiving, “[o]bviously to the states that we won and the swing states we flipped over.” -- transition pool reporter

Thursday, Nov. 17

Trump offers Natl Security Adviser job to Michael Flynn; Trump to meet with Romney; transition team contacts Pentagon, Justice, State Depts.

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, FILE PHOTO Alex Wong, Getty Images

8:30 p.m. ET Lt.-Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) has been offered the position of national security adviser by President-elect Donald Trump, CBS News’ Major Garrett confirmed Thursday.

7:10 p.m. ET  President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has finally finished key paperwork clearing the way for the White House to start sharing information. 

CBS News justice reporter Paul Reid reports that the Justice Department is now in contact with the President-elect’s transition representatives and will begin to brief those individuals. Once those briefings begin, there will be communication between the two teams on an ongoing basis. 

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook released a statement this evening saying that the transition team had contacted the Defense Department “a short time ago to arrange initial briefings.” The first is expected to take place Friday. -- David Martin

Margaret Brennan reports that the transition team is also in contact with the State Department. 

Cabinet hopefuls include Trump critics 02:12

5:15 p.m. ET CBS News has confirmed that President-elect Donald Trump is meeting with 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney on Saturday. 

A source involved in the transition described the meeting as one to “seek counsel.” Two sources told CBS News that Mr. Trump and Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, will also discuss potential cabinet positions.

Romney was highly critical of Mr. Trump throughout the campaign, at one point giving a speech in which he called the GOP businessman “a phony, a fraud.”

4:53 p.m. ET During a meeting on Capitol Hill Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asked Vice President-elect Mike Pence to urge President-elect Donald Trump to reconsider his appointment of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.

A Pelosi spokesperson said the top Democrat expressed her fellow Democratic lawmakers’ “deep concerns” with Bannon, who critics have called a racist, an anti-Semite and a white nationalist.

The topic didn’t come up in the brief statement Pelosi and Pence made to the press afterward, in which they both expressed their desire to find “common ground” going forward. Both of them made mention of the fact that Pence, who served in Congress for 10 years, is familiar with Capitol Hill.

3:00 p.m. ET Mike Pence meets with individual members of Congress, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Will Trump appoint son-in-law to White House post? 02:25

11:00 a.m. ET Vice president-elect Mike Pence met with the Congressional Republican conference Thursday in Washington, D.C., telling the GOP that he was “excited” about the Trump agenda. 

Pence, a former Indiana congressman, called it “humbling” to be back among his former colleagues. 

“I am just very confident as we move toward inauguration and bring together a great team and work in concert with leaders in the House and Senate that we are going to move an agenda that rebuilds our military, revives our economy and in a word: make America great again,” Pence said.

He is expected to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell later in the afternoon. 

10:50 a.m. ET In the president-elect’s daily transition conference call with Sean Spicer and Jason Miller, the transition team offered a list of people Mr. Trump is meeting with today, including: South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Oracle business executive Safra Catz, Admiral Mike Rogers, and the Family Research Council’s Ken Blackwell. 

Miller and Spicer also teased Mr. Trump’s meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Abe, but made sure to indicate that there’s only one president of the United States and the meeting with Abe was private. 

7:45 a.m. ET Kellyanne Conway on “CBS This Morning” weighed in on news of the Trump transition team, including Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was reportedly seeking national security clearance earlier this week. 

“He obviously is incredibly important to his father-in-law President-Elect Trump and was [a] big part of our election victory, frankly,” she said. “I’m sure that he and his wife and her brothers will continue to be very supportive. But time will tell in terms of the positions that different people fill.”

On other names floated for Cabinet positions, Conway discussed the possibility of the secretary of state post getting filled by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“It would probably be irresponsible to go ahead and name all the people right at once,” Conway said. “But we’re very happy that Governor Haley is coming to meet with President-elect Trump. I’m sure they’ll have a broad-- a wide ranging conversation.” 

And of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is another contender to head up the State Department, Conway has this to say: “If he were the secretary of state, he would command a certain presence worldwide. But I think he’s -- he’s qualified for many different positions.”

Wednesday, Nov. 16

Trump has begun making offers on key posts; lobbying ban instituted; Pence and Biden meet

11:52 p.m.: The president-elect began making offers for some key posts in his administration Wednesday, two sources close to the administration told CBS News’ Major Garrett. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is being considered for Secretary of State, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. -- Major Garrett

The Trump transition team announced Wednesday evening that people who join the administration will have to adhere to a lobbying ban: there will be no one hired who is a current registered lobbyist, and no lobbying will be allowed for five years after leaving government. It’s an attempt, according to transition and RNC spokesman Sean Spicer, to ensure that those leaving government will not be able to immediately enrich themselves off their service. -- Sopan Deb

5:57 p.m. ET A Department of Justice official said Wednesday that the department hasn’t been contacted yet by the Trump transition team and it’s prepared when they reach out.

Trump claims transition process "is going so smoothly" 02:41

“We haven’t been contacted or received names of the transition team yet, but we’re prepared to help when they do reach out.  The Department began planning for this transition well before the election and we are fully prepared to assist the incoming transition team. We are committed to a smooth and successful transition, including the seamless continuation of the department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions which are performed each and every day by its career staff,” the official said.

3:30 p.m. ET Vice President Joe Biden weighed in on the shakeup of the presidential transition team during a photo opportunity with vice president-elect Mike Pence and reporters Wednesday.  

“No administration is ready on day one,” Biden said. “We weren’t ready on day one. I’ve never met one that’s ever been ready on day one. But I’m confident on day one everything will be in good hands and they’ll be able to handle everything.”

3:24 p.m. ET The presidential transition team announced Wednesday that President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence have spoken with a number of foreign heads of state since winning the general election, including Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

3:16 p.m. ET Transition chairman and vice president-elect Mike Pence has signed and submitted the Memorandum of Understanding formally initiating the transition with the Obama administration, according to White House spokesperson Brandi Hoffine. (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who initially headed the transition operation, had signed it initially, but a new MOU was required when Christie was booted from his post.)

The White House is still waiting to receive a list of relevant names from Mr. Trump’s transition office so that individuals can begin interfacing with relevant agencies between now and January 20.

Once that paperwork is submitted, transition employees can begin receiving documents and briefings from current members of the administration. The Obama administration says it has been preparing for the handover for months.

At the state department briefing, John Kirby said there has been no contact between the transition team and State. 

Mike Pence shakes up Trump transition team 08:04

1:26 p.m. ET Mr. Trump met Wednesday with Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society to discuss Supreme Court nominations.

Leo held a brief gaggle in the Trump Tower lobby with reporters after the meeting 

Leo called the meeting a “productive session” and said Mr. Trump is committed to nominating a justice to replace the late Antonin Scalia who is “independent, courageous, smart [and] very high quality.”

Mr. Trump told Leo (and Kellyanne Conway reaffirmed) that he would pick from a list of 21 names that has already been released.  The president-elect did not specify a timetable for a nomination, but said it was a “high priority,” according to Leo.

Mr. Trump also met with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at Trump Tower Wednesday.

According to Kellyanne Conway, who spoke with reporters briefly about the meeting, the hour-long meeting was “very productive.” 

“I was glad that the mayor came here -- obviously mayor of the nation’s largest city and a neighbor to the new president elect,” Conway said. “So it was good that that happened.”

12:02 a.m. ET Adviser and former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway discussed the transition team with reporters Wednesday during her visit to Trump Tower in New York.

Of the reports that the transition team was in disarray, Conway said that they were “false.” 

“We just don’t see it that way -- it’s not that way,” she said. 

Asked when the president-elect would have a press conference, Conway said one was expected “shortly -- some time soon.”

11:30 a.m. ET Jason Miller, a spokesperson for Mr. Trump, spoke with reporters Wednesday about the transition team and the president-elect’s recent appointment of Steve Bannon as a top White House strategist. 

“Steve Bannon is someone who’s done a wonderful job on the campaign trail,” Miller said, noting that he’s seen “a high character from” the former campaign CEO and that Bannon has “really embraced diversity at every step.” 

Miller weighed in on the recent shakeup in the transition team, saying vice president-elect Pence was “coming in and making good on president-elect Trump’s promise that we’re not going to have any lobbyists involved with the transition efforts.”

“It’s happening in a very orderly fashion,” Miller said of the transition to the White House. “We feel very good about it.” 

10:57 a.m. ET Vice president-elect Mike Pence arrives at the Trump team’s Washington, D.C. transition office. 

Pence, who now heads the transition to the White House, purged the team Tuesday of the many registered lobbyists, leaving them short-staffed but closer to Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp.”

10:20 a.m. ET A senior transition team member tells CBS News that the transition is back on track after purging many of the people put in place by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. They had to effectively re-build the team “from scratch” due to a number of poor appointments by Christie but they feel good about the team now. They hope to have some announcements today but do not expect any senior positions to be named.

9:00 a.m. ET Mr. Trump continues to tweet his denial that his transition team is facing any difficulty. 

Eric Trump arrived at Trump Tower early Wednesday morning and spoke briefly with reporters. 

Asked if the transition team would be naming more positions later in the day, the younger Trump said it was “likely.”

Mike Pence, the vice president-elect, is expected to speak to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C. Wednesday. He will also have lunch with Vice President Joe Biden in the afternoon.

Tuesday, Nov. 15 

Trump transition: “stalled...scrambling...on pause;” Rogers out on transition team; Giuliani is top contender for secretary of state; McCain issues Russia warning

Trump tweet denies any turmoil in transition.

Trump received his first Presidential Daily Briefing today. It is similar (if not the exactly the same) as the briefing given to President Obama.

Mr. Obama authorized President-elect Trump to receive the same briefing he receives. The briefing allows for questioning of the briefer, so in that respect the briefing between Mr. Obama and Mr. Trump may differ.

Vice President-elect Pence is scheduled to receive his first PDB Wednesday. -- by Andres Triay

5:44 p.m. As the transition stalls, Sen. Armed Services Chairman John McCain issued a warning to the Trump administration about hitting the “reset” button on relations with Russia, as Hillary Clinton attempted to do early in the Obama adminstration. 

Trump transition team scrambles to put together administration 02:36

“The Obama Administration’s last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East. At the very least, the price of another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people. That is an unacceptable price for a great nation,” McCain’s statement read.

Of Putin’s assertion that he wants to improve U.S.-Russia relations, McCain said, “We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies, and attempted to undermine America’s elections.”

4:19 p.m. 

The state of the transition is “stalled...scrambling...and on pause,” according to several sources familiar with the transition. The team at this point is not “up and running fully” after “blowing up” the team, beginning with Chris Christie’s recent ouster as the chairman of the transition team. 

Personnel announcements that were supposed to be made this week have been put on hold.  Members of the transition staff are waiting for further instructions from Trump Tower. 

For all intents and purposes, Christie no longer has a role in the transition, although formally he was merely demoted to the level of vice chair, a title held by several members of the team. He’s “gone, not involved -- on the sideline,” according to one source, as is ally Mike Rogers.  

Top contenders for cabinet positions include Rudy Giuliani for secretary of state, Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Kelly Ayotte for secretary of defense, Steven Mnuchin for Treasury and Ray Washburne for Commerce.  -- by Arden Farhi, Major Garrett and Steve Chaggaris

2 p.m. 

Former Rep. Mike Rogers announced he’s stepping down as national security adviser for the Trump transition team. A GOP member of the national security establishment told CBS News’ David Martin that Rogers was forced off because of his closeness to Chris Christie, who had been in charge of the transition before he was demoted last week (Christie is now one of several transition vice chairs). The other strike against Rogers was that he had done his own investigation of Benghazi and found that Hillary Clinton had done nothing wrong.

Rogers’ departure from the transition team may raise concerns among Republicans -- he’s respected by the intelligence community and by his former colleagues in Congress, and he was a reassuring presence, since Trump has no foreign policy credentials. Rogers had been serving as a national security adviser to the transition team and he said his work has laid the groundwork for the post-election phase of Trump’s effort. -- by Rebecca Shabad

Monday, Nov. 14

The Trump team is seeking top-secret security clearances for Trump’s children, Julianna Goldman reports. 

Security clearance for Trump children? 02:12

The Trump team has asked the White House to explore the possibility of getting his children the top secret security clearances. Logistically, the children would need to be designated by the current White House as national security advisers to their father to receive top secret clearances. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.