Trump outlines plans for first day in
office, meets with Cabinet hopefuls
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[November 22, 2016]
By Melissa Fares and Emily Stephenson
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump outlined plans on Monday for his first day
in office, including withdrawing from a major trade accord and
investigating abuses of work visa programs, and met with Cabinet
hopefuls at his Manhattan office tower.
Trump met with Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Democratic U.S.
Representative Tulsi Gabbard and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. But
he announced no further appointments, keeping candidates and the public
guessing about the shape of the administration that will take office on
Fallin, Gabbard and Perry were the latest of dozens of officials who
have made their way across the opulent lobby of Trump Tower for talks
with the Republican president-elect in a relatively open - and
unconventional - transition process since his election victory on Nov.
Trump, who has not held a news conference since his election, issued a
video on Monday evening outlining some of his plans for his first day in
office, including formally declaring his intent to withdraw from the
Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, trade deal, which he called "a
potential disaster for our country."
The 12-nation TPP is Democratic President Barack Obama's signature trade
initiative and was signed by the United States earlier this year but has
not been ratified by the U.S. Senate.
The president-elect said he would replace the accord with bilaterally
negotiated trade deals that would "bring jobs and industry back onto
"My agenda will be based on a simple core principle: putting America
first. Whether itís producing steel, building cars or curing disease, I
want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right
here on our great homeland, America, creating wealth and jobs for
American workers," he said.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday the TPP "would be
meaningless without the United States."
Trump said he would cancel some restrictions on producing energy in the
United States on his first day in office, particularly shale oil and
"clean coal," which he said would create "many millions of high-paying
He promised to direct the Labor Department to investigate abuses of visa
programs for immigrant workers. The main U.S. visa program for
technology workers could face tough scrutiny under Trump and his
proposed attorney general, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, a longtime critic
of the program.
Trump had made eliminating regulations and withdrawing from the TPP
central to his campaign, but he sent mixed signals during the campaign
about his views on visa programs including the main H-1B visa for
high-tech industry workers.
'WE'VE GOT TO GET IT RIGHT'
Trump has so far picked two Cabinet members and three top White House
advisers, but aides said he was not expected to make further
announcements on Monday.
"They could come this week, they could come today, but we're not in a
rush to publish names," Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser, told
reporters. "We've got to get it right."
Trump spoke often with reporters camped out at his New Jersey golf
course over the weekend, but has not held a traditional news conference
to talk about his priorities. He held an off-the-record meeting with a
group of television anchors and executives on Monday afternoon and was
scheduled to meet with print media representatives on Tuesday.
The Washington Post reported that four participants at Monday's meeting
described it as a contentious but generally respectful session.
They told the Post that Trump singled out reporting of his campaign by
CNN and NBC that he considered to be unfair.
[to top of second column]
Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) delivers a nomination speech for
Senator Bernie Sanders on the second day at the Democratic National
Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016.
Trump also returned to Twitter on Monday night, saying "many people"
would like to see Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage as British
ambassador to the United States. "He would do a great job!"
Farage, who helped lead the successful referendum fight for Britain
to leave the European Union, spoke at a Trump rally during the U.S.
campaign and visited the president-elect after his victory.
Trump's first meeting on Monday was with Iraq war veteran Gabbard, a
representative from Hawaii who backed U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders in
his unsuccessful 2016 Democratic presidential nominating contest
against Hillary Clinton.
The "frank and positive" discussion focused on the war in Syria,
counterterrorism and other foreign policy issues, Gabbard said in a
statement. She did not say whether a Cabinet role was part of the
Gabbard has veered from Democratic Party positions at times, backing
policies cracking down on immigration to the United States by
Fallin told reporters she was not offered a position but discussed
"a wide range of topics" with Trump. The Republican governor's
spokesman said that included a focus on the Interior Department, an
agency whose responsibilities include oversight of oil and gas
leases on public lands.
Former Republican U.S Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts told
reporters he had a "great" meeting about veterans' issues with
Trump also met with former House of Representatives Speaker Newt
Gingrich and Elaine Chao, the U.S. labor secretary under former
President George W. Bush, advisers said.
Trump's transition team said Perry, the former Texas governor, was
being considered for Cabinet posts including defense, energy and
Trump, a New York businessman who has never previously held public
office and who was the surprise winner over Clinton this month, has
so far named senior leaders of his national security and law
In addition to Sessions, they are U.S. Representative Mike Pompeo of
Kansas as CIA director, and retired Army Lieutenant General Michael
Flynn as White House national security adviser.
For Thanksgiving, Trump planned to travel on Tuesday to Mar-a-Lago,
a golf resort he owns in Florida, a spokesman said.
(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Susan Heavey, Mohammad
Zargham, Eric Walsh, Susan Cornwell and Patricia Zengerle; Writing
by Doina Chiacu, Roberta Rampton and David Alexander; Editing by
Jonathan Oatis and Peter Cooney)
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