NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Vice President-elect Mike Pence will lead President-elect Trump’s transition team, replacing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Trump picked his transition chairman and other leaders on Friday. It’s his biggest staffing announcement since he won the election this week.

Christie will now serve as vice chairman.

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, sources said Christie had gradually been stepping back from his role for a few weeks. It came after two of his top aides were convicted in the Bridgegate scandal.

Christie reportedly was pushing to include so-called never-Trumpers or critics in the new administration, and perhaps that wasn’t popular.

There’s also the older baggage that Christie prosecuted New Jersey real estate magnate Charles Kushner for tax evasion. His son Jared is now married to Ivanka Trump.

Christie is joined on the executive committee by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

“Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one,” said Trump. “The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington. Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation – specifically jobs, security and opportunity. This team is going to get to work immediately to Make America Great Again.”

A statement says more than a dozen other people will also advise Trump on transition matters. The full team is as follows:

  • Congressman Lou Barletta
  • Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn
  • Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi
  • Congressman Chris Collins
  • Jared Kushner
  • Congressman Tom Marino
  • Rebekah Mercer
  • Steven Mnuchin
  • Congressman Devin Nunes
  • Anthony Scaramucci
  • Peter Thiel
  • Donald Trump Jr.
  • Eric Trump
  • Ivanka Trump
  • RNC Chairman Reince Priebus
  • Trump Campaign CEO Stephen K. Bannon

In the meantime, the campaign is starting to decide who might be in the cabinet.

One possible candidate who ducked questions on Friday, was Rudy Giuliani.

“I have no expectation. All I do is give my advice. Donald’s been my friend for 28 years. All of my work on behalf of him has been out of great loyalty and friendship to him,” Giuliani said.

President-elect Trump had kind words for Hillary Clinton during an exclusive interview with Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes. It was the Republican’s first in depth discussion since his upset victory.

“She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said, ‘congratulations Donald — well done,’ and I said, ‘I want to thank you very much. You were a great competitor.’ She is very strong and very smart,” Trump said.

He also spoke with former President Bill Clinton.

“He couldn’t have been more gracious, he said it was an amazing run. One of the most amazing he has ever seen,” Trump said.

In a policy surprise, the Republican softened on repealing Obamacare.

“With the children living with their parents for an extended period,” he said, “…very much try and keep that. It adds cost, but it’s very much something we’re gonna try and keep.”

He also said the repeal and replacement would take place simultaneously.

On the Democratic side, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was having no part of any national kumbaya.

“White nationalists, Vladimir Putin, and ISIS are celebrating Donald Trump’s victory… We must first put the responsibility for healing where it belongs: at the feet of Donald Trump, a sexual predator who lost the popular vote and fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” he said in a statement.

Meanwhile, demonstrators on both coasts continue to protest the election results.

The protests came to a head in Portland, Oregon, where thousands of marchers chanted, “We reject the president-elect!” while some lit firecrackers, sparked small blazes and used rocks and baseball bats to break the glass of businesses and vehicles parked at dealerships.

Officers began pushing back against the crowd that threw glass bottles and a trash can, making 26 arrests and using flash-bang devices and pepper spray to force people to disperse. The protest’s organizer on Friday decried the vandalism and said the group planned to help clean up.

In New York, there were much smaller and more peaceful crowds. Protesters gathered outside Trump Tower and chanted angry slogans and waved banners bearing anti-Trump messages.

The president-elect Thursday night tweeting that the participants, were “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!”

Friday morning, Trump appeared to change his tone in a new tweet.

“Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country,” he wrote. “We will all come together and be proud!”

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (3)
  1. Gensu Sasaki says:

    •Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is the one Trump “favored” with a $25,000 “donation”..A simple coincidence?

  2. What’s there to worry, soon – LOL. It will back to business as usual inside the Capital Beltway … with the good old boys network, loyal to his run, again. America remains as divided as ever – 100 days of civil disobedience and unrest, going beyond inauguration, I’m afraid. Oh, wait – how “secured” is that twitter account he is using.

  3. Ugh! Maybe no details because it was a 144 character tweet.
    My take on “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government!” Shouldn’t that make folks feel better than “announcing My choices for MY cabinet positions”

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