The Note: Trump Cabinet Questions Persist


--ROMNEY, TRUMP HAVE DINNER AMID CABINET SPECULATION: As he continues to form a Cabinet while his advisers feud over who should be secretary of state, Donald Trump dined with a contender for the position -- and campaign trail foe -- former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. The men, joined by incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, met for dinner at Jean-Georges restaurant located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower off Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan. "I’ve had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump," Romney said after the meeting. "We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I have had with him have been enlightening and interesting and engaging. I have enjoyed them very, very much." More from ABC’s BEN SIEGEL and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI:

--TRUMP SELECTS ELAINE CHAO AS TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY: Donald Trump announced Elaine Chao as his pick for transportation secretary in a statement Tuesday afternoon. Chao served as labor secretary under George W. Bush and was the only Cabinet official to serve through all eight years of his presidency. She was the first Asian-American female member of a U.S. Cabinet, notes ABC’s JONATHAN KARL, ARLETTE SAENZ and SHUSHANNAH WALSHE.

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Mitt Romney may or may not be selected as Donald Trump’s secretary of state. But Romney has already performed a valuable service for Trump – by proving him right, about Romney, and about the broader political class. Romney is according extraordinary deference and respect to a man he famously labeled “a phony, a fraud” just months ago. “He continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together,” Romney said moments after cameras captured a pained smile at dinner with Trump. Trump can now be nice to a man he once said wasn’t very smart, now that Romney has eaten crow along with his frog legs. But it leaves Romney where Trump suggested he belonged from the start: as a politician whose words don’t really matter. If Romney’s words from the campaign had meaning, how could he be swayed by the words Trump has uttered, or even his early actions, now? Trump’s rise was powered by his big called bluff on the political process – that he always knew voters think politicians’ words had no real meaning. Romney surely has the best of intentions in wanting to help and to serve the next president. But he is making Trump seem more right by the day.


OBAMA NOT SENDING PRESIDENTIAL DELEGATION TO FIDEL CASTRO'S MEMORIAL SERVICE. President Barack Obama did not send a presidential delegation to former Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s memorial service Tuesday evening, but two senior administration officials attended the remembrance, according to the White House. “The president has decided not to send a presidential delegation to attend the memorial service,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes and Jeffrey DeLaurentis, the top U.S. diplomat to Cuba, attended the service, reports ABC’s JOHN PARKINSON.

HOW TRUMP ATTACKED CLINTON FOR THE SAME ISSUES THAT DOGGED PETRAEUS. News that Gen. David Petraeus is being considered for a cabinet position in the Trump administration could be raising red flags in the transition team -- some of the very same flags that Trump raised in his campaign against Hillary Clinton. Like Clinton, Petraeus had a leadership role in the administration during the Benghazi attack and people within his command were killed; he was involved in a headline-grabbing intelligence handling scandal; and he even kept a serious illness under wraps from the public. ABC’S JUSTIN FISHEL takes a look at how David Petraeus has had the same pitfalls as Hillary Clinton during her race against Donald Trump.


TRUMP SAYS FLAG BURNERS SHOULD LOSE CITIZENSHIP OR SPEND A YEAR IN JAIL. President-elect Donald Trump suggested Tuesday in a tweet that burning the American flag should result in "loss of citizenship or year in jail." Flag burning is legal in the U.S., protected by the First Amendment. The Supreme Court in 1989 ruled that burning the flag as a form of symbolic speech is a constitutional right. That 5-4 decision came in a case involving Gregory Joey Johnson who, outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, burned the flag to protest the policies of then-President Ronald Reagan, ABC’s MICHAEL EDISON HAYDEN writes.


@HeidiPrzybyla: Media gets F grade today. Everybody took the phony flag burning bait in favor of conflicts-of-interest story that's so critical.

@matthewjdowd: Nothing Trump has said so far about his businesses have cleared up any conflict of interest problems. Turning over to kids isn't a fix.

@StevenTDennis: Romney confirmation hearings could be brutal if Ds wanted to play mean. "Sir, do you still believe the president is a fraud? A con man?"

@paolaychavez_: Washington Post Editor Marty Baron Has a Message to Journalists in the Trump Era

‏@meridithmcgraw: Frog legs?