The Note: Carson in the Cabinet

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NOTABLES

--TRUMP PICKS BEN CARSON FOR HUD SECRETARY: Donald Trump announced today he intends to nominate Ben Carson for the cabinet position of Secretary of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI reports. "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities," Trump said in a statement. "Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans." http://abcn.ws/2gY60K2

--TRUMP'S 'EXPANDING' LIST FOR SECRETARY OF STATE: ABC News has learned that Trump, in broadening his search for a secretary of state, is now contemplating a diverse mix of additional candidates that includes a retired Navy admiral Hillary Clinton eyed for vice president, a prominent oil company executive and a one-time Iraq War hawk. The emergence of new names indicates that Trump is conflicted about his short list and faces persistent division within his inner circle of advisers over the key choice. The Trump transition team now says Trump is considering as many as nine candidates for State, with the selection process appearing far from over. More from ABC’s TRANSITION TEAM: http://abcn.ws/2gb1gzB

--TRUMP WILL DECIDE 'DAY BY DAY' ON INTERVENING WITH COMPANIES, PENCE SAYS. Vice President-elect Mike Pence says the incoming Trump administration will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to reach out to companies that are considering moving jobs out of the country, as the president-elect did with Carrier. "The president-elect will make those decisions on a day-by-day basis in the course of the transition and in the course of the administration," Pence said Sunday on “This Week.” Asked about Trump's decision to negotiate with Carrier but not with other companies planning to move jobs out of the country, Pence said, "I don't think it's picking winners and losers at all." Carrier will receive about $7 million in state tax breaks to keep about 800 jobs in Indiana under the deal it worked out with Trump, although the company will still move hundreds of other jobs from its Indianapolis plant to Mexico, according to ABC’s RYAN STRUYK. http://abcn.ws/2fWBtgk

 

SPEED READ with ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI

PENCE SAYS PHONE CALL WITH TAIWAN 'JUST A COURTESY CALL.' President-elect Trump's phone call with the president of Taiwan was "nothing more than taking a courtesy call," according to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. "It's a little mystifying to me that President Obama can reach out to a murdering dictator in Cuba in the last year and be hailed as a hero for doing it, and President-elect Donald Trump takes a courtesy call from the democratically-elected leader of Taiwan, and it’s become something of a controversy," Pence said on "This Week" on Sunday morning. When asked whether the Trump administration would continue the "one China" foreign policy held by the U.S. since 1979, Pence said, "We'll deal with policy after January 20." ABC’s RYAN STRUYK has more. http://abcn.ws/2gVjAvl

TRUMP ORGANIZATION SAYS IT HAS NO PLANS FOR TAIWAN EXPANSION. The Trump Organization said Saturday that the company has no plans to expand in Taiwan and that “rumors” to the contrary are false. After President-elect Trump spoke Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen -- breaking nearly four decades of sensitive U.S. policy toward China -- media reports surfaced saying that the Trump Organization is considering investing in Taiwan, ABC’s KATHERINE FAULDERS and ALEXANDER MALLIN note. The Taiwanese and Chinese media reports said that a representative of the Trump Organization visited a city in Taiwan in September and expressed interest in the company's investing in a large-scale urban development project there. http://abcn.ws/2h0nTEJ

SOME CAPITOL HILL REPUBLICANS APPLAUD TRUMP'S CALL WITH TAIWAN'S LEADER. Donald Trump’s call with the president of Taiwan on Friday triggered a formal protest by China and sent shock waves through at least parts of the U.S. diplomatic establishment. But the move was welcomed by many Republicans on Capitol Hill. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a former rival of Trump's for the GOP presidential nomination, showed his support on Twitter for the president-elect's phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, calling it an “improvement.” ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS has more. http://abcn.ws/2gA9vWE

PENCE DEFENDS TRUMP'S UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM OF 'MILLIONS' OF ILLEGAL VOTES. Vice President-elect Mike Pence defended President-elect Donald Trump's recent tweet claiming without evidence that "millions" of fraudulent votes were cast in the 2016 election. "It's his right to express his opinion as President-elect of the United States," Pence said on "This Week" on Sunday morning. "He’s going to say what he believes to be true, and I know he is always going to speak in that way as president." When pressed about whether he believes the claim is accurate, ABC’s RYAN STRUYK notes, Pence said, "I think one of the things that’s refreshing about our president-elect and one of the reasons why I think he had an incredible connection with people all across this country is because he tells you what's on his mind." http://abcn.ws/2gVvhlS

PETRAEUS ON HIS MISHANDLING OF CLASSIFIED INFORMATION: 'I MADE A SERIOUS MISTAKE.' David Petraeus, a former general and CIA director, responded to reported concerns of some Republican senators about his possible nomination for secretary of state by acknowledging he "made a serious mistake" in mishandling classified information while he ran the nation's chief spy agency. "What I would say to them is what I've acknowledged for a number of years, that five years ago I made a serious mistake. I acknowledged it. I apologized for it. I paid a very heavy price for it, and I've learned from it," Petraeus said in an exclusive interview on ABC's "This Week." Petraeus pleaded guilty in 2015 to a misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information.  The retired general's mishandling of classified material is back in the spotlight given that he is one of the people whom President-elect Trump is considering for secretary of state, ABC’s NICKI ROSSOLL writes. http://abcn.ws/2gQ5gUy

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

TRUMP: 'SNL' SPOOF IS 'UNWATCHABLE,' BALDWIN 'CAN'T GET ANY WORSE.' Donald Trump took to Twitter early Sunday morning to express his displeasure with Alec Baldwin's portrayal of him on "Saturday Night Live" last night -- and Baldwin didn't keep quiet, ABC’s DAVID CAPLAN notes. "Just tried watching Saturday Night Live - unwatchable! Totally biased, not funny and the Baldwin impersonation just can't get any worse. Sad," tweeted the president-elect shortly after midnight. Baldwin shot back about 15 minutes later, tweeting, "Release your tax returns and I'll stop. Ha." http://abcn.ws/2gnIt1K

 

WHO’S TWEETING?

@abettel: Trump's pick to run the Pentagon is in major ways the president-elect’s opposite. http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/mattis-may-prove-antidote-trump-defense … @johnmdonnelly @CQnow @rollcall

@brianefallon: Maybe Trump could tweet a condemnation of the fake news that inspired a lunatic to terrorize @cometpingpong instead of obsessing over SNL.

@burgessev: Obama had more than a dozen nominees confirmed by voice vote his first week. Dems want roll calls on all of Trump's

@Evan_McMullin: My Op-Ed in the NYTimes today: Trump’s Threat to the Constitution http://nyti.ms/2gtmeHA

@lovenheim: A good read: How @RepBecerra may become the face of #Trump 'resistance' http://www.nbcnews.com/news/latino/how-u-s-rep-xavier-becerra-may-become-face-trump-n691836 … via @SuzGamboa