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Who Will Be in Trump’s Cabinet? Let the Guessing Begin

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Who Will Be in Trump’s Cabinet? Let the Guessing Begin

Post  Admin on Fri 11 Nov 2016, 6:12 pm

Who Will Be in Trump’s Cabinet? Let the Guessing Begin
Pedestrians passed behind barricades across the street from Trump Tower in New York on Friday. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration is being assembled behind the scenes. But like much else in the nation’s capital, little stays secret for long.

The list of names being mentioned as possibilities for crucial posts in Mr. Trump’s cabinet is growing by the hour, giving official Washington what it craves most: a never-ending parlor game as speculation grows about who might actually get the nod.
A big revelation may come soon, according to Mr. Trump himself, who took to Twitter on Friday morning with some news. “Busy day planned in New York,” the president-elect said. “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government.”
One thing is clear already: Those helping Mr. Trump make the decisions are the members of his campaign’s inner circle. At Trump Tower on Friday morning, the president-elect’s closest aides arrived, one by one, waving to journalists as they entered elevators to Mr. Trump’s offices.
Those included David Bossie, the deputy campaign manager; Steve Bannon, the campaign chief; and Hope Hicks, the campaign spokeswoman. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and a staunch Trump supporter, arrived just before 10 a.m., a few minutes after Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trump’s former campaign manager. Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director, also headed up to the top floors.
The latest name to be swept into the speculation maelstrom is Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase. He is said to be a candidate for secretary of the Treasury, according to a report by CNBC, although the banker — who was close to President Obama — has repeatedly denied being interested in the job.
And the speculation could be short-lived. In 2014, Mr. Trump mocked Mr. Dimon during an interview with his biographer, Michael D’Antonio. Mr. Trump dismissed Mr. Dimon, a fellow New Yorker, as being too willing to settle lawsuits — something the president-elect proudly declares he never does.
“I watch this guy, Jamie Dimon, settle every case,” Mr. Trump told Mr. D’Antonio, according to transcripts of the interview obtained by The New York Times. When Mr. D’Antonio notes that Mr. Trump seems “bugged by that,” Mr. Trump responds that he is.
“I can’t believe he does it,” Mr. Trump says. “I can’t believe he gives away billions of dollars. He gets sued. I’m dying to sue him so he gives me a billion dollars.”
Whether that exchange suggests that Mr. Trump would not offer the Treasury job to Mr. Dimon is unclear. Aides to Mr. Trump have declined to confirm who is on the shortlist for cabinet posts. And despite the president-elect’s return to Twitter on Thursday night, he has so far said nothing specific about his possible picks.
For now, Mr. Trump is firmly ensconced in Trump Tower, where he returned after his whirlwind day at the White House and Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for secretary of the Treasury. Credit Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Trump Tower has been transformed into a kind of fortress by the Secret Service and the local police. The building has now been ringed by Jersey barriers and concrete blocks marked with “NYPD.” The Secret Service has set up checkpoints on each end of 56th Street near the tower, and pedestrian access has been restricted around the building.

Inside, Mr. Trump and his top aides are accelerating efforts to evaluate possible candidates for various positions.
There are some indications that the transition effort was slow to start up, perhaps the result of Mr. Trump’s upset victory, which caught much of the political world by surprise. At least a few of the people helping organize the search for Mr. Trump were tapped at the last minute, while others have been preparing quietly for weeks.
At the Pentagon and the State Department, officials of the Obama administration said Thursday that they had not yet heard from Mr. Trump’s transition team about beginning the complex work of transferring responsibilities and authority. A spokesman for the State Department said he did not have “any firm word” on when briefings might begin for designated officials from the new government.

Even as Mr. Trump moves to create a new administration, his transition team is being reshaped. It has been led by Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey since May, when Mr. Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee. That was over the objections of Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
The transition team was treated as something of a backwater. Mr. Trump appeared to care little about it, and the adviser who was most involved with it, Paul Manafort, left the campaign in August. With Mr. Trump preparing to take office in less than 90 days, the transition work has abruptly come to life again, but with a lag in who might get slots.
For now, the vice president-elect, Mike Pence, will play a more prominent role, according to two advisers to Mr. Trump, as will Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. Both Mr. Pence and Mr. Sessions have been involved in the transition since it began, but Mr. Christie’s role may now change, according to the advisers.
Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley investor, was offered a role on the team and is under consideration to lead it, according to one person briefed on the matter.
Still, the pending reorganization hasn’t stopped a steady flow of potential appointees from being mentioned.
The critical position of chief of staff — the gatekeeper for the president inside the West Wing — is expected to come down to a choice between Mr. Bannon, the editor of Breitbart News who was chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign, and Reince Priebus, chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Mr. Giuliani told CNN on Thursday that he might accept an appointment as attorney general, saying that “there’s probably nobody that knows the Justice Department better than me.”

Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and Mr. Trump’s campaign finance chairman, is said to be a serious contender for Treasury secretary (though Carl Icahn, the investor, and Representative Jeb Hensarling, Republican of Texas, have also been mentioned in the news media).
Correction: November 11, 2016 
An earlier version of this article misidentified the state Senator Jeff Sessions represents. It is Alabama, not Arizona.

Michael Barbaro, Maggie Haberman and David Streitfeld contributed reporting.

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