Trump Also Plans Second Meeting With Mitt Romney

NEW YORK (CBSnewYork/AP) — As President-elect Donald Trump worked to fill out his Cabinet Tuesday, a former vice president made an appearance at Trump Tower and went unrecognized.

Spotted, but barely noticed entering Trump Tower Tuesday was former Vice President Dan Quayle. He was all but invisible to a selfie-seeker grabbing a shot with Kellyanne Conway, and also initially to reporters nearby.

As CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported, Quayle had breakfast with Vice President-elect Mike Pence Tuesday morning before visiting Trump transition headquarters.

“Things are in good hands, he’s moving forward, and he’s going to make America great again,” Quayle said.

Meanwhile, Trump picked Georgia Rep. Tom Price Tuesday to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

A six-term congressman and orthopedic surgeon, Price has been a leading critic of President Barack Obama’s health care law. If confirmed by the Senate, he’ll be a leading figure in Republican efforts to repeal the measure.

Trump won praise from Republicans for his pick of Price to serve as health and human services secretary. On Twitter, Trump adviser Newt Gingrich called Price “the right leader to help Congress replace Obamacare.”

But incoming Senate Democratic leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Price “has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want” for programs that help seniors, women, families and those with disabilities. His nomination, Schumer said, is “akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”

In addition, Trump has picked Elaine Chao to become transportation secretary, a Trump transition official said Tuesday.

The announcement was expected later in the day, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Chao, 63, was labor secretary under President George W. Bush and the first Asian American woman to serve in a president’s Cabinet. She also is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

The president-elect appeared to still be torn over his choice for secretary of state. He summoned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to New York for dinner Tuesday night to discuss the post for a second time. He was also meeting with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who was getting new attention from Trump’s team. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, another new contender.

The president-elect appeared to still be torn over his choice for secretary of state. He summoned former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to New York for dinner Tuesday night to discuss the post for a second time. He was also meeting with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who was getting new attention from Trump’s team. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, another new contender.

Trump’s decision to consider Romney for the powerful Cabinet post has sparked an unusual public backlash from some of his closest aides and allies. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has warned that it would be a “betrayal” to Trump supporters if he selected Romney.

Three people close to the transition team said Trump was aware that Conway planned to voice her concerns about Romney in public and they pushed back at suggestions that the president-elect was angry at her for doing so.

Transition aides said Trump was likely at least a few days away from a decision on secretary of state. Romney has supposed from Vice President-elect Mike Pence, who is heading the transition efforts.

Romney was fiercely critical of Trump throughout the campaign, including his preparedness for the foreign policy and national security decisions that confront a president. Still, he is said to be interested in serving in the administration and held a lengthy initial meeting with Romney before Thanksgiving.

Other top Trump allies, notably Conway, have launched a highly unusual public campaign against a Romney nomination. Conway’s comments stirred speculation that she is seeking either to force Trump’s hand or give him cover for ultimately passing over Romney.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a loyal Trump ally, was initially seen as the leading contender to helm the State Department. But questions about his overseas business dealings, as well as his public campaigning for the job, have given Trump pause.

Trump is now said to be considering Giuliani to head the Homeland Security Department, according to those close to the transition process.

Even as he weighed crucial Cabinet decisions, Trump appeared distracted by outside forces or eager to create distractions himself. He took to Twitter early Tuesday to declare that “nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag.” He warned that those who do should face “perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!”

Trump offered no context for his message. The Supreme Court has ruled that flag burning is protected by the First Amendment.

One of Trump’s heroes, late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, gave the deciding fifth vote in a decision that called flag burning protected speech.

“Burning the flag is a form of expression,” Scalia said in 2012. “Speech doesn’t just mean written words or oral words. Burning a flag is a symbol that expresses an idea”

The topic had U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) seemingly tired of Trump questions.

“My time is devoted to try to make sure this nation is secured, not to comment on every comment of Mr. Trump’s,” McCain said. “Now that may be your priority, and that may be your priority.”

The president-elect spent the weekend tweeting his opposition to a recount effort in up to three states that is led by Green Party candidate Jill Stein and joined by Hillary Clinton’s team. He also falsely claimed that millions of people had voted illegally in the presidential election and provided no evidence to back up the baseless charge.

Trump is planning a so-called victory lap – a rally in Cincinnati on Thursday, and perhaps a stop in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday.

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