Trump shuffles transition team, eyes loyalists for cabinet
President-elect Donald Trump shuffled his transition team again, jettisoning a national security expert and lobbyists from his inner circle as he closed in on naming two loyal Wall Street backers to key economic positions.
Trump, a Republican outsider who won a surprise election victory last week, also cleared a paperwork snag that had temporarily stalled his transition after he put his Vice President-elect Mike Pence in charge of the process.
“Very organised process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions,” Trump said on Twitter after taking his family to dinner at 21 Club, a Manhattan restaurant.
“I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!” he said.
At the top of his list for senior economic positions are campaign finance chair and Wall Street veteran Steve Mnuchin as treasury secretary.
Also, long-time backer and billionaire investor Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary, according to Trump ally and activist investor Carl Icahn.
However, a well-known Republican moderate was pushed out of transition planning.
Mike Rogers, a former U.S. representative from Michigan who had been mentioned as a possible pick for CIA director, suddenly left the transition team.
Rogers had worked with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who on Friday was abruptly replaced by Pence as head of the transition team.
That overhaul had put the brakes on transition talks with the White House.
Pence needed to sign a memorandum of understanding, which the White House received on Tuesday evening.
The Trump team still needs to provide more paperwork before detailed agency-by-agency briefings can take place, a White House spokeswoman said.
The team will need to provide a code of conduct and certify that its transition team members do not have conflicts of interest.
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