Donald Trump Reaches Outside His Inner Circle

4 minute read
Stephen Voss

If you only read one thing: Donald Trump is venturing outside of his core group of supporters with his intent to nominate South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Haley was an early and vocal critic of the President-elect during the long GOP primary, endorsing Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. She reluctantly announced her intention to vote for Trump just weeks before Election Day. Haley, 44, a rising Republican star who became a household name after leading the effort to bring down the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina state Capitol after last year’s Charleston church shooting. While she is light on traditional foreign policy experience, she has worked to bring both domestic and foreign businesses to her state, which drew admiration from Trump. The Indian-American second-term governor is the first woman and person of minority background to be announced for Trump’s administration. She is also close to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a finalist to be Trump’s Secretary of State.

Trump’s decision to reach out to the corners of his party that had previously rejected him is long-overdue, and is a signal that more traditional Republicans are likely to fill key places in his most unconventional administration. Even Democrats are breathing sighs of relief over the Haley selection, and finding themselves hopeful that Trump will go with Romney over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani for the role of America’s chief diplomat. But Trump has proved to be difficult to predict before, and he’s shown a penchant for placing opposing angels on his shoulders, so the Haley pick could well be counterbalanced by more unconventional choices.

President-elect Trump continues to backtrack from some of his more controversial political statements, while signaling he’s in no rush to sever ties with his business, the Trump Organization. In an interview with the New York Times, Trump tried to soften his positions on climate change and immigration, while backing away from his “lock her up” call regarding Hillary Clinton—even admitting that the Clinton Foundation, which he attacked daily on the campaign trail, does some good.

Here are your must reads:

Must Reads

Trump, in Interview, Moderates Views but Defies Conventions
Reverses on key promises and softens stances [New York Times]

Nikki Haley Will Serve as Donald Trump’s Ambassador to the United Nations
First pick outside circle of advisors [TIME]

15 Trump Flip-Flops in 15 Days
The president-elect has made changing his mind a way of life. Why would his young presidency be any different? [Politico]

Donald Trump Raises Prospect of Keeping Ties to His Firms
Trump indicated he was unlikely to fully disentangle himself from his businesses, raising questions about conflicts of interest [Wall Street Journal]

Sound Off

“As far as the, you know, potential conflict of interests, though, I mean I know that from the standpoint, the law is totally on my side, meaning, the president can’t have a conflict of interest.” — Trump to the New York Times on maintaining ties to his businesses while in office

“My inclination would be, for whatever power I have on the matter, is to say let’s go forward. This has been looked at for so long. Ad nauseam. Let’s go forward. And you know, you could also make the case that some good work was done in the foundation and they could have made mistakes, etc. etc. I think it’s time, I think it’s time for people to say let’s go and solve some of the problems that we have, which are massive problems and, you know, I do think that they’ve gone through a lot.” — Trump to the Times on dropping his call to prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Bits and Bites

Trump’s Business Partner Will Be Manila’s Man in Washington [Bloomberg]

See How Donald Trump’s Proposed Term Limits Would Eliminate Half of Congress [TIME]

President Obama Has Now Commuted More Than 1,000 Federal Sentences [TIME]

President Obama Awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Robert de Niro, Diana Ross and More [TIME]

President Obama Pokes Fun at Michael Jordan Over Crying Meme and Space Jam [TIME]

Donald Trump Offers Housing Secretary Position to Ben Carson [Associated Press]

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at