If you only read one thing: President-elect Donald Trump rolled out many of his economic appointments Wednesday, tapping a trio of business veterans for key positions. Steve Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs banker-turned film producer and Trump’s finance chairman, will be his nominee to be Treasury Secretary. Businessman Wilbur Ross will nominated to be Secretary of Commerce and Todd Ricketts, of the Chicago Cubs-owning family, will be nominated to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce. The selections point to how the President-elect views the role of business in his administration, bringing in those without traditional experience in government to key leadership posts. It reflects Trump’s view of his own election—that he was sent to Washington to shakeup not just how things are done, but who is doing those things.
Trump also scored a public relations victory, as he secured concessions from Carrier, the air conditioning manufacturer, to keep 1,000 jobs in Indiana. The announcement to be made official Thursday fulfills a campaign promise, but it remains unclear what inducements were used to prevent the outsourcing of the jobs. Deals to provide tax breaks to companies threatening jobs overseas have been criticized by economists as only provoking such behavior. It’s also possible that Carrier, a subsidiary of defense-industrial giant UTC, is hoping that goodwill will pay off down the line with its government contracts.
The President-elect also announced a forthcoming press conference to outline how he will try to separate himself from his vast business empire. Trump is set to pass on control of his companies to his adult children, but will almost certainly maintain an ownership stake. While easing slightly the appearance of conflict of interest, by maintaining a financial interest in the Trump Organization, the soon-to-be Oval Office occupant will still have great exposure both to perception issues about using his office to fatten his or his children’s wallets, as well as vulnerabilities to bribery accusations or potential violations of the Emoluments Clause. But Trump has maintained that the American people knew who they were putting into the White House and that his election green-lights some of those conflicts.
Trump is done with Cabinet announcements for the week, says a spokesman. The CIA warns Trump on the Iran deal. And Mitt Romney kisses the ring.
Here are your must reads:
Donald Trump to Announce Carrier Deal to Keep Jobs in Indiana
Orders staff to find other companies he can negotiate with [TIME]
Donald Trump’s Twitter Feed Sings the Same Old Distracting Song
Conspiracy monger, or cynical manipulator of public outrage? Neither alternative was very presidential, TIME’s David Von Drehle writes
Trump: I’ll Quit Business ‘In Total’ to Focus on White House
But announcement unlikely to resolve questions over conflicts of interest [TIME]
Donald Trump Promises Access to Inaugural ‘Underwriters’
Drain the swamp? [TIME]
Why Trump Is Interviewing Generals for His Cabinet
The benefit of their experience may be offset by a military-centric foreign policy [TIME]
Trump Transition Points Toward Presidency With New Norms
The old rules don’t apply anymore [Associated Press]
“I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump. We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I’ve had with him have been enlightening, and interesting, and engaging. I’ve enjoyed them very, very much. I was also very impressed by the remarks he made on his victory night.” — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, under consideration to be Trump’s Secretary of State, after their dinner Tuesday in New York
“By the way, it’s not easy winning. I know that myself. He did something I tried to do and was unsuccessful in. He won the general election and he continues with a message of inclusion and bringing people together and his vision is something which obviously connected with the American people in a very powerful way. The last few weeks he’s been carrying or a transition effort and I can tell you I’ve been impressed by what I’ve seen in the transition effort.” — Romney praising Trump’s ability to win
Bits and Bites
Donald Trump Picks Elaine Chao as Transportation Secretary [Associated Press]
C.I.A. Chief Warns Donald Trump Against Tearing Up Iran Nuclear Deal [New York Times]