All lobbyists have been cut from Trump’s transition team
Vice President-elect Mike Pence has ordered the removal of all lobbyists from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday night.
The action was among Pence’s first since formally taking over the team’s lead role. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey was abruptly dismissed from the post last week.
Critics had excoriated Trump for including lobbyists, Washington insiders, and Republican Party veterans among his team, saying it contradicted the antiestablishment message that defined his campaign.
Earlier Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Americans “do not want corporate executives to be the ones who are calling the shots in Washington.
“What Donald Trump is doing is that he’s putting together a transition team that’s full of lobbyists — the kind of people he actually ran against,” she said.
The move capped a chaotic day for Trump’s transition team. Mike Rogers, the former congressman from Michigan who handled national-security duties, was ousted, as was Matthew Freedman, a senior defense and foreign-policy official.
Rogers was told that all team members picked by Christie were being ousted, The Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the situation. Rogers has publicly indicated that the team may be in disarray.
“Is there a little confusion in New York? I think there is. I think this is growing pains,” he told CNN’s Jim Sciutto. Sources cited by CNN in that story suggested infighting among Trump’s close advisers. Another unnamed CNN source denied the claim.
Trump attempted to dispel talk of turmoil in a tweet late Tuesday: “Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions,” the tweet said. “I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!”
Trump’s team is tasked with finding and hiring 4,000 political appointees to fill out the federal government.