Donald Trump Holds Meetings With SC Gov. Nikki Haley and Henry Kissinger
The S.C. governor originally supported Sen. Marco Rubio for president.
By KATHERINE FAULDERS
November 17, 2016, 5:25 PM
• 6 min read
-- Amid swirling speculation about his Cabinet picks, President-elect Donald Trump is in Trump Tower in New York City for another full day of meetings, where he is believed to be narrowing down his possible choices, with nominations expected within the next few weeks.
Since his visit to Washington, D.C., last week, Trump has remained in his Manhattan headquarters and residence, with no public events, holding multiple meetings with top transition aides and various contenders for his Cabinet.
The meetings today were likely to focus on foreign policy and national security, including a mix of people who are providing counsel and those whose names are reportedly in the mix for Cabinet positions in the Trump administration.
Among those who visited or were expected to head to Trump Tower today: Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a contender for attorney general; South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a possible secretary of state; and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.
Sessions, a close Trump ally and foreign policy adviser, has been spotted multiple times this week in Trump Tower for meetings and received the firmest indication yet from the president-elect's office that he is a strong contender for attorney general after today's meeting.
"While nothing has been finalized and he is still talking with others as he forms his Cabinet, the president-elect has been unbelievably impressed with Sen. Sessions and his phenomenal record as Alabama's attorney general and U.S. attorney," a statement from Trump's transition team read. "It is no wonder the people of Alabama re-elected him without opposition."
"Marco Rubio is the only one that can defeat Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio can beat Hillary Clinton and will win in November," Haley said on ABC News' "This Week" in February.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., voiced his support for Haley today, telling CNN, "She's talented, she's capable and could do a good job in any assignment given. I don't know her foreign policy. I haven't talked to her. Her husband was in the South Carolina National Guard. He deployed to Afghanistan. I think she's a traditional Republican when it comes to foreign policy. I certainly would support Nikki Haley. I like her a lot."
"Gov. Haley was pleased to meet with President-elect Trump," her deputy chief of staff Rob Godfrey said in a statement to ABC News after the meeting. "They had a good discussion, and she is very encouraged about the coming administration and the new direction it will bring to Washington."
This is not Trump's first meeting with Kissinger. The two met in May at Kissinger's home at a time when Trump was seeking support from Republicans and featuring foreign policy issues more prominently in his campaign.
A secretary of state for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, Kissinger, 92, has remained active in politics in the decades since and has taken on a respected-elder role for some Republicans.
"President-elect Trump and Dr. Kissinger have known each other for years and had a great meeting," the presidential transition team said in a statement. "They discussed China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and issues around the world."
Trump said he has "tremendous respect for Dr. Kissinger and appreciates him sharing his thoughts with me."
Additionally, Trump is scheduled to meet with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today — his first face-to-face meeting with a head of state since becoming president-elect.
Trump will also hold meetings with Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas and Navy Adm. Mike Rogers.