Pence to take over Trump transition team

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WASHINGTON — Vice President-in-waiting Mike Pence will take over the transition for Donald Trump, and he'll be assisted by high-profile Trump backers like Newt Gingrich, Ben Carson, and Rudy Giuliani, the president-elect's team said Friday.

Pence will replace New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who will instead serve on the transition executive committee as a vice chair.

Pence's new title is chairman of the Presidential Transition Team.

Carson, former House speaker Gingrich, former New York City mayor Giuliani, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, and Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama will all serve as vice chairs, along with Christie.

“The mission of our team will be clear," Trump said in a statement: "Put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington. Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation — specifically jobs, security and opportunity."

The New York Times, which first reported Pence's new role, said Trump "told advisers he wanted to tap Mr. Pence’s Washington experience and contacts to help move the process along."

“President-elect Trump will bring about fundamental change in Washington, and these are the right people to make that happen,” Pence said in a statement.



He took a different tone early Friday, however, writing on Twitter that he loved "the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!"

The president-elect continued to field congratulatory phone calls from world leaders.

They included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the object of Trump criticism during the American presidential campaign over refugee policy.

In a statement from her office, Merkel offered the incoming president "a close partnership" based on the nations' shared values of "democracy, freedom, respect for the law and human dignity regardless of background, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political conviction.”

The president-elect also used social media to send out a Veterans Day message, tweeting that "today we express our deepest gratitude to all those who have served in our armed forces."

Trump's meetings Friday took place a day after he traveled to Washington for a cordial transition meeting with President Obama.

Melania Trump also went to the White House to meet with outgoing first lady Michelle Obama.

Tweeted Trump: "A fantastic day in D.C. Met with President Obama for first time. Really good meeting, great chemistry. Melania liked Mrs. O a lot!"


 

Trump also said that the transition's team executive director will be Rick Dearborn, chief of staff to Sessions.

The announcement came as Trump huddled with advisers and returned to social media while putting together a new administration.

"Busy day planned in New York," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government!"
 

Among the aides spotted entering Trump Tower on Friday: campaign CEO Steve Bannon, deputy campaign manager David Bossie, press secretary Hope Hicks, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, senior communications adviser Jason Miller, senior adviser Stephen Miller, and top surrogate and Giuliani.

Trump, who had been more understated on Twitter heading into Tuesday's election, also returned to social media to criticize some of the demonstrators who have taken to the streets in protest of his victory. They include huge crowds who have gathered in front of Trump Tower. 

"Just had a very open and successful presidential election," Trump tweeted overnight. "Now professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!"

He took a different tone early Friday, however, writing on Twitter that he loved "the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!"

The president-elect continued to field congratulatory phone calls from world leaders.

They included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the object of Trump criticism during the American presidential campaign over refugee policy.

In a statement from her office, Merkel offered the incoming president "a close partnership" based on the nations' shared values of "democracy, freedom, respect for the law and human dignity regardless of background, skin color, religion, gender, sexual orientation or political conviction.”

The president-elect also used social media to send out a Veterans Day message, tweeting that "today we express our deepest gratitude to all those who have served in our armed forces."

Trump's meetings Friday took place a day after he traveled to Washington for a cordial transition meeting with President Obama.

Melania Trump also went to the White House to meet with outgoing first lady Michelle Obama.

Tweeted Trump: "A fantastic day in D.C. Met with President Obama for first time. Really good meeting, great chemistry. Melania liked Mrs. O a lot!"


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