The Note: Transition Turmoil

November 16, 2016, 8:58 AM


--LOW-LEVEL STAFFER REQUESTED SECURITY CLEARANCES FOR TRUMP'S KIDS: The Trump transition team is saying that a low-level staffer requested security clearances for three of Donald Trump's children, according to a top aide. According to the aide, the request was made "without authorization" and the staffer, who is no longer with the team, "overstepped his boundaries." Sources say the request was not made by the president-elect. Reports surfaced in recent days that the transition team had requested clearances for Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric and raised eyebrows because they will likely be running their fathers' businesses while he is in office.

--TRUMP LEAVES PRESS BEHIND TO DINE WITH FAMILY IN NEW YORK: The president-elect ditched the media last night to have a steak dinner with his family at New York's famed 21 Club, ABC’s TOM LIDDY notes. According to the Associated Press, once reporters found out where Trump was headed, they were not allowed inside the restaurant. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said she "wasn't aware of this movement" and would not "leave the press in the dark." This isn't the first time the newly minted president-elect has left the press behind. On his first trip to Washington, DC after getting elected, he and his aides didn't allow press to travel with them, bucking tradition.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: It’s fair to say that there has been no presidential transition in history where we’ve seen so little of the president-elect, yet so much of the people who want to populate his Cabinet. In other words, President-elect Donald Trump is overseeing his transition much like he ran his campaign – as a freewheeling series of conversations among interconnected circles of advisers who are jealous of each other’s influence. That means Rudy Giuliani and John Bolton and company are incentivized to lobby for top jobs on cable news shows, knowing that the intended audience of one is probably watching – unless he slipped away for dinner, or decided to Tweet about the suddenly discovered genius of the Electoral College. Trump’s calculation, if that’s what it is, is that the messy process won’t matter when it delivers results. It’s time to get used to this, folks.


@realDonaldTrump: Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!

@realDonaldTrump: I am not trying to get "top level security clearance" for my children. This was a typically false news story.



VP-ELECT PENCE REMOVES LOBBYISTS FROM TRANSITION TEAM. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the newly minted head of the White House transition, decided that all lobbyists should be removed from his team, effectively dismantling the structure that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie had built, two people familiar with the transition process told ABC News. The move comes after questions posed to Trump on "60 Minutes" asking about the influx of lobbyists on his transition team, especially after Trump railed against lobbyists and "Washington insiders" during his campaign. The move against all lobbyists comes after the ouster of Michigan Rep. Mike Rogers and lobbyist Matthew Freedman from the team's group of national security advisors earlier in the day on Tuesday. More from ABC’s CANDACE SMITH and INES DE LA CUETARA:

TRUMP RECEIVES 1ST PRESIDENTIAL DAILY BRIEF. Trump and Pence received their first highly sensitive presidential daily brief Tuesday after their victory last week, multiple sources familiar with the presidential transition told ABC News. The PDB, as it's commonly known, will be identical to the one President Barack Obama receives and will be available to Trump every day until he moves into the White House in January, write ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and JUSTIN FISHEL.

RUDY GIULIANI EMERGES AS CONTENDER FOR SECRETARY OF STATE. Former New York City mayor and fierce Donald Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani has emerged as a contender for secretary of state, a Trump transition team insider told ABC News. While he has also been under consideration for attorney general, aides have told ABC News that he has said he would prefer a position as the nation's top diplomat. Giuliani has spent most of his career in domestic politics and would be considered an outsider among the foreign service officers who walk the halls of the State Department, report ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL and ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN.

OBAMA SAYS HE KNEW AMERICANS WERE ANGRY BEFORE ELECTION. Did President Barack Obama recognize the anger and frustration among the American people before the election of Donald Trump? "Of course I did," Obama said Tuesday in a news conference in Athens. The president sought to make the case that "globalization, combined with technology," has led to populist movements on both the liberal and the conservative ends of the political spectrum throughout the world, on display most recently in the U.S. presidential election, note ABC’s JORDYN PHELPS and SERENA MARSHALL.

POTENTIAL PELOSI CHALLENGERS COULD BENEFIT FROM DELAY OF HOUSE DEMOCRAT LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS. House Democrats are pushing back the elections for their leadership team for the new Congress until after the Thanksgiving holiday, moving to delay voting as the caucus continues to grapple with the unexpected results of last week’s presidential election. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, told members during a meeting Tuesday morning that they would delay voting until Nov. 30, according to aides. Democrats were expected to pick up as many as 12-15 seats in the House last week but ended up only gaining six. ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL and MARYALICE PARKS have more:



IVANKA TRUMP BRAND 'MAKING ADJUSTMENTS' AFTER PROMOTING BRACELET WORN DURING INTERVIEW. Ivanka Trump's fashion brand is "making adjustments" after a promotion went out touting a bracelet she wore during an appearance on "60 Minutes" with her father, the president-elect, the company's president said. The email, touted as a “style alert,” was sent to fashion writers Monday -- the day after the interview aired -- noting that the accessory was Trump’s “favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection.” ABC’s ADAM KELSEY has more:



@brianstelter: When president-elect Donald Trump went to dinner on Tuesday night, no one told the press. Here's why this matters...

@HallieJackson: This is not a navel-gaze-y "woe is media" thing. This is about being conduit to Americans on basic whereabouts of president-elect.

@jpaceDC: Questioning the necessity of press pool means questioning the public's right to know president/president elect's whereabouts, meetings, etc

@ReutersZengerle: This is an important issue. Will Trump allow press coverage?

@AJentleson: True. But if the press can't make the public care, Trump will shut them out completely.

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