The Note: Trump’s Cabinet Comes Together

November 18, 2016, 8:55 AM


--TRUMP OFFERS JEFF SESSIONS ATTORNEY GENERAL POSITION: Donald Trump has offered the position of U.S. attorney general to Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, senior Trump transition sources told ABC News. Sessions earned Trump's favor after becoming the first GOP senator to officially endorse the candidate during the Republican primary. The Senate Judiciary committee member has been a regular visitor to Trump Tower over the past week as Trump has huddled with close advisers in deliberating how he will staff his administration. More from ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and ALEXANDER MALLIN:

--TRUMP TAPS MICHAEL FLYNN FOR NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: Trump has named retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as his National Security Adviser, according to senior Trump transition officials, rewarding one of his campaign’s most prominent allies with a major role as he seeks to fulfill his promise to better protect the country. In the role, Flynn will consult with Trump on protecting the country’s citizens, key infrastructure and resources and sit on the National Security Council with Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, the incoming secretaries of state, defense and energy, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and other key officials. More from ABC’s SHUSHANNAH WALSHE, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS and CANDACE SMITH:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC's RICK KLEIN: Donald Trump is free to consider whomever he likes for Cabinet posts, and the president-elect is even free to say he's considering more people than that. But the suggestion that Trump is talking to Mitt Romney about becoming Secretary of State seems like a blatant attempt to use Romney now - in the transition period - and not use him later. Trump's disdain for Romney is matched by Romney's for Trump; these are not rivals, they are political enemies whose worldviews on matter foreign and domestic are starkly and often completely different. Trump surely likes the impression that he's reaching beyond his loyalists for his Cabinet. He knows Romney is not inclined to blow up a charade being orchestrated by the new president-elect. But Romney is exceedingly unlikely to end up serving in the Trump administration - something both sides know in advance of their weekend meeting.


THIS WEEK ON 'THIS WEEK': President-elect Donald Trump's incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus discusses the latest in Trump's transition to the White House. Plus, Martha Raddatz goes one-on-one with newly elected Senate minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY. And the Powerhouse Roundtable debates the week in politics, with ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd, ABC News contributor LZ Granderson, NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep, and Bloomberg Politics national political reporter Jennifer Jacobs



HOW TRUMP’S LOBBYING BAN COULD SHAKE UP WASHINGTON. President-elect Donald Trump and his advisers are promising to keep lobbyists off his transition team and prohibit any future administration officials from lobbying for five years after they leave the government -- but some experts say the proposed rules may not be effectual. “The focus on this is to ensure that service to the nation is first,” Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said on a press call Thursday morning. ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL, SHUSHANNAH WALSHE and RICK KLEIN have more.

TRUMP MEETS WITH JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER. Donald Trump had his first face-to-face meeting as president-elect with another world leader Thursday when he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Trump Tower in New York City -- the first test of Trump's resolve to stand by caustic campaign rhetoric that left many world leaders questioning his foreign policy agenda. Following the meeting, Abe told reporters the meeting was "very candid" and that he has "great confidence" in Trump, according to ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL. "I will be able to establish a relationship of trust," Abe said. "I conveyed my view on basic issues -- I’d like to refrain from touching on details."

CITIES ACROSS US PUSH BACK AGAINST TRUMP’S PROPOSED IMMIGRATION POLICIES. Mayors and police chiefs in some major cities across the United States are speaking out publicly against President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies. In his first television interview as president-elect with CBS’ "60 Minutes," Trump said that once he takes office, he plans to immediately deport approximately 2 to 3 million undocumented immigrants. Refusal to cooperate with federal law enforcement could jeopardize federal funding to state and local governments, something that Trump has threatened and will have the power to influence. ABC’s GENEVA SANDS notes some of the major cities that are reasserting their immigration policies as the new administration is transitioning to power:

TRUMP TO MEET WITH MITT ROMNEY THIS WEEKEND. President-elect Donald Trump will be meeting this weekend with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, according to sources on Trump's transition team who also said that the 2012 GOP presidential nominee is under consideration for a top cabinet position within his incoming administration. Sources told ABC News that Romney is under consideration for secretary of state. The two have had a remarkably contentious relationship, ABC’s JOHN SANTUCCI and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI note. During the campaign, the 2012 Republican presidential candidate not only withheld an endorsement but delivered an impassioned and personal argument against Trump as the party's nominee.

DEMS MOVE TO LEVERAGE SANDERS’ POPULARITY AS PARTY REGROUPS. As much as his supporters might disagree, Bernie Sanders is now officially part of the establishment -- and he has his old Brooklyn friend to thank for it. It happened Wednesday, when incoming Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer gave the Vermont senator, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, a promotion and an official spot on his leadership team this week. The official title: “outreach chair,” a role Sanders said he will take very seriously even if he isn’t sure what it entails. “If anyone has any ideas let me know,” Sanders joked with reporters this morning when asked what exactly he would do in the new position. ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and ALI ROGIN have more.

HOW TRUMP’S TRANSITION COMPARED TO RECENT PRESIDENTS. Naming Cabinet appointees and a White House staff in the transition period can be a stressful, messy and even tumultuous process. Trump’s transition has most closely tracked with Obama’s. At this point in 2008, Obama had announced his chief of staff and transition team and held his first press conference, in Chicago. Obama did not make his first Cabinet nomination -- Tim Geithner for treasury secretary -- until Nov. 24. ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI looks at how past presidents have handled their transition periods.

OHIO DEMOCRAT ANNOUNCES CHALLENGE TO NANCY PELOSI. Representative Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, will challenge Nancy Pelosi, D-California, for House minority leader. After weighing the possibility all week, he announced his decision in a letter to colleagues Thursday afternoon, ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS reports. Ryan has represented Ohio's 13th district since he took office in 2003.


‘POWERHOUSE POLITICS’ PODCAST -- TRUMP ‘ABSOLUTELY’ OPEN TO NAMING FORMER RIVALS TO CABINET: ADVISER. President-elect Donald Trump is "absolutely" open to selecting former rivals -- some of whom he branded as liars and not smart -- to serve in top posts in his cabinet, his transition team Communications Director Jason Miller said. Trump, who is known for prizing loyalty, surrounds himself with a small, tight-knit group of advisers, notes ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON. However, people who opposed him during the campaign season, including South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, are now reportedly contenders for secretary of state. "I think the president-elect is going to select the people that he thinks will do the best job,” Miller said on the ABC News' "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.



@BresPolitico: Sessions nomination for Attorney General will test limits of deference senators give one of their own. How do moderate Rs like Collins vote?

@kenvogel: SCOOP: @davidbrockdc convening Koch bros-like major donor network to fight back against Trump & rebuild the left.

@RajShah84: .@nypost op-ed by Matt Rhoades: "How the @ClintonFdn brought down Hillary" notes v. imp. role of some outside groups

@matthewjdowd: a person can both give Trump a chance & be critical. Neither one makes me a Trump supporter or a Democrat partisan.It's called Independence

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