Transition

Trump teams begin meeting with federal agencies

Shutterstock image. Copyright: Albert H. Teich

President-elect Donald Trump has a series of meetings scheduled with government officials as he begins to select his Cabinet and plan for the transition.

President-elect Donald Trump has begun to deploy teams to meet with federal agencies in an effort to ramp up the transition.

In the first of an expected series of conference calls with the media, Trump spokesmen Jason Miller and Sean Spicer announced that designated transition officials will meet in three waves with agency teams picked by the Obama administration.

In the first wave, Trump's national security team will meet with representatives of the departments of Defense, State and Justice and the National Security Council on Nov. 17. FCW reported on Nov. 16 that DOD was among the agencies the transition team had yet to contact.

Trump also plans to meet today with South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers, former Republican mayor of Cincinnati Ken Blackwell, retired Gen. Jack Keane and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who served under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

Additionally, Trump is expected to hold a private meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, "which I believe will bring the total up to 32 world leaders that the president-elect will have met with," Miller said.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is scheduled to meet today with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

In the second wave, Trump's economic team is expected to convene with the Treasury Department, Commerce Department, U.S. Trade Representative, Small Business Administration, Federal Communications Commission and Social Security Administration on Nov. 21.

The final landing team will focus on domestic agencies and is expected to meet with the departments of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Labor, Transportation, Education, Interior and Agriculture.

Spicer said the team will also work with independent agencies such as the Office of Management and Budget, the General Services Administration, the Federal Trade Commission, NASA and various financial regulators.

In addition, Miller said Trump will hold a two-hour transition team meeting on Nov. 18 but did not share details about potential Cabinet selections.

"The president-elect will be announcing specific Cabinet recommendations as well as additional key staff members when those decisions have been made," Miller said. "The focus from this administration will be to put together the absolute best team to help lead this nation forward.... There's not an arbitrary timetable."

With regard to his handpicked staff members, Trump has promised to "drain the swamp" and not surround himself with lobbyists and conventional bureaucrats.

Prospective team members must not currently be paid lobbyists and must agree to adhere to a five-year ban on participating in lobbying activities after leaving government and a lifetime ban on representing foreign governments, Spicer said.

"What's crucial to understand about this lobbying ban is instead of looking back, it looks forward," Spicer said. "It's to ensure service to the nation is truly first.… It's only a person like Donald Trump [who] can bring this level of qualified and [high-caliber] type of individuals."

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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