NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President-elect Donald Trump broke with protocol Tuesday night, departing Trump Tower and going to dinner without notifying his press contingent.
Reporters spotted Trump’s motorcade and followed it to the 21 Club, 21 W. 52nd St. CBS2 is told Trump had dinner there with his family.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump had a visit from his former foe, U.S. Sen. and former Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Trump on Tuesday also huddled with Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss decisions such as filling out Trump’s Cabinet, including top national security posts.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller cast the meeting with Pence as a significant step in the process toward nominating Cabinet secretaries.
“If the vice president-elect is getting together with the president-elect to discuss names, I would say it’s getting serious,” Miller said.
Trump said in a tweet Tuesday night that no one knows the Cabinet finalists but he.
Giuliani and former UN Ambassador John Bolton are said to be favorites for Secretary of State.
Giuliani, 72, would be an out-of-box choice to serve as secretary of State. As a former mayor, federal prosecutor and top Trump adviser, Giuliani is known for his hardline law-and-order views.
But some grumble about Giuliani’s work for foreign governments – including Qatar in the Middle East – and his support for a war that the president-elect opposed.
“The thing Donald Trump said over and over again — he opposed the Iraq War, and he learned that lesson, that regime change in the Middle East is not a good idea — I don’t see Giuliani coming out with statements like that,” said U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky).
Bolton has years of U.S. foreign policy experience, but he has also raised eyebrows with some of his hawkish stances, including a 2015 New York Times op-ed in which he advocated bombing Iran to halt the country’s development of nuclear weapons.
A spokeswoman for Giuliani did not immediately respond to a request for comment about his interest in the job. But during an appearance in Washington late Monday, Giuliani said that Bolton would be a “very good choice” to serve as secretary of state. Asked if there was anyone better, Giuliani replied: “Maybe me, I don’t know.”
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker also expressed interest in the State Department post and said his team has had “some conversations” with Trump officials. However, the Tennessee Republican told MSNBC there were others who were more “central” to Trump’s presidential campaign for the post.
Former Trump campaign finance chair Steve Mnuchin was recommended as treasury secretary.
Trump was also considering tapping Richard Grenell as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a move that would bring some experience and diversity to his nascent administration. Grenell, who served as U.S. spokesman at the U.N. under President George W. Bush, would be the first openly gay person to fill a Cabinet-level foreign policy post.
As for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, he suggested that he is planning to remain governor of New Jersey rather than joining the administration.
The transition planning comes amid an intense and extended backlash from Trump’s decision on Sunday to appoint Steve Bannon, a man celebrated by the white nationalist movement, to serve as his chief strategist and senior adviser.
Until joining Trump’s campaign this summer, Bannon led a website that appealed to the so-called “alt-right,” a movement often associated with efforts on the far right to preserve “white identity,” oppose multiculturalism and defend “Western values.”
Trump also announced Sunday that Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus will serve as White House chief of staff.
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