U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign roundtable event in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S., October 28, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
President-elect Donald Trump (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo)

One day before U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s first meeting with a foreign leader, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japanese officials said they had not finalized when or where in New York it would take place, who would be invited, or in some cases whom to call for answers.

Uncertainty over the talks shows the difficulties in turning Trump from a freewheeling businessman into a sitting president with a watertight schedule and a fully functioning administration by his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Japanese and U.S. officials said on Wednesday the State Department had not been involved in planning the meeting, leaving the logistical and protocol details that normally would be settled far in advance still to be determined.

“There has been a lot of confusion,” said one Japanese official.

The meeting was only agreed to last week and Trump and his advisers have been busy in meetings at his headquarters in Manhattan’s Trump Tower in recent days to work out who gets which job in the new administration.

While world leaders sometimes hold loosely planned bilateral meetings at regional summits, it is unusual for foreign leaders to hold high-level diplomatic talks in the United States without detailed planning. Abe is on his way to an Asia-Pacific summit in Peru.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said that to his knowledge, Trump’s transition team had not been in contact with the department either to discuss the transition of government or to seek information ahead of his meetings with foreign leaders.

Trump is expected to use the Abe meeting to reassure Japan and other Asian allies rattled by his campaign rhetoric, advisers to Trump said.

But Trump, a brash outsider with no diplomatic or government experience, and Abe, a veteran lawmaker, have differences on policy issues such as free trade.

Several Trump aides did not immediately answer requests on Wednesday for comment about the Abe visit or contact between the transition team and the State Department.

TRANSITION SPECULATION

Speculation about top appointments to the Trump administration has intensified since the head of the team overseeing the transition, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, was removed last week and replaced by Vice President-elect Mike Pence.

Transition team officials said on Wednesday night that Trump planned to announce “landing teams” on Thursday that would begin setting up staff in key agencies, like the State and Justice departments.

They added in a conference call with reporters that those who begin working on the teams would have to sign an agreement not to lobby for five years after they leave the administration, keeping with a Trump campaign promise to institute a ban on lobbying for executive branch employees.

Trump on Wednesday denounced reports of disorganization in the team, singling out the New York Times for saying world leaders have had trouble getting in touch with him since his upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 presidential election.

The Republican real estate magnate said on Twitter he had taken “calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing @nytimes said. Russia, U.K., China, Saudi Arabia, Japan.”

The Times, a frequent target of Trump’s Twitter blasts, said on Tuesday that U.S. allies were “scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump” and blindly dialing in to Trump Tower to try to reach him.

The newspaper said Trump was working without official State Department briefing materials in his dealings with foreign leaders.

“The failing @nytimes story is so totally wrong on transition,” Trump tweeted, without specifying what it was in the article that was incorrect. “It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders.”

Trump and Pence had spoken to 29 foreign leaders, the transition team said on Wednesday.

Trump has mostly stuck to normal practice for a U.S. president-elect with the order in which he has spoken to foreign leaders on the phone since his election victory.

But some of his contacts have stretched the limits of the usual procedure.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an army general who seized power three years ago, appears to have been the first leader to speak to Trump after the election, ahead of closer allies like the leaders of Britain and Germany.

Sisi’s office called Trump last Wednesday and the incoming U.S. president told him it was “the first international call he had received to congratulate him on winning the election.”

Australian media reported that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was the second leader Trump spoke to, after the Australian ambassador to the United States got Trump’s personal phone number from Australian golfer and Trump friend Greg Norman.

Trump also talked on the phone to the leaders of Britain, Germany, Turkey and other allies.

But a phone call on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which the two men agreed to aim for “constructive cooperation,” raised eyebrows among Democrats and traditionalist Republicans worried about a resurgent Moscow.

Trump also met Britain’s anti-EU Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage at Trump Tower last weekend, ahead of any meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

State Department spokesman Kirby said: “There’s been no outreach to date” from Trump’s transition aides. “But it’s not for us to approve or disapprove of conversations that the president-elect is having or may have in the future with foreign leaders.”

‘ONLY ONE WHO KNOWS’

Despite fevered speculation, Trump has yet to say who will fill Cabinet positions such as secretary of state, treasury secretary or defense secretary. His team said that was not unusual and was in line with the timing of the transition of Democrat Barack Obama to the White House after he won the presidency in 2008.

Trump could add son-in-law Jared Kushner as a top White House adviser, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, has been a central adviser during the campaign and transition. The Trump transition team has repeatedly denied it is seeking high-level security clearance for Kushner.

A federal anti-nepotism law prohibits a president from hiring family members to serve in his administration, but the Journal said it was not clear if the law applied to a position inside the White House. It added Kushner had indicated he would avoid the issue by not taking pay for any White House work.

Kellyanne Conway, a senior Trump aide who served as his campaign manager, said she did not think Kushner was seeking an official role in the White House.

“I just hung up the phone with Jared, and we didn’t discuss that,” Conway told reporters on Wednesday night. “I think he just wants to be incredibly helpful to his father-in-law as he’s been all along.”

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will meet with Trump on Thursday, the transition team said. She emerged on Wednesday as a potential candidate for secretary of state.

After speculation emerged that JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon remained a contender for treasury secretary, the bank’s stock price dropped.

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Copyright © 2016 Capitol Hill Blue

Copyright  © 2016 Thomson Reuters. All Rights Reserved

22 COMMENTS

  1. When clearly no one in america believes there is anything remotely close to journalistic integrity, this article lends further credence as to that belief! the only thing screwed up is this articles take on things which is clearly political in nature and therefore disingenuous!

  2. “Uncertainty over the talks shows the difficulties in turning Trump from a freewheeling businessman into a sitting president with a watertight schedule and a fully functioning administration by his inauguration on Jan. 20.” Seriously? More media slanting against Mr. Trump. I have yet to meet any highly successful business person who doesn’t keep an extremely tight schedule. TV broadcasters, and numerous others, such as very successful doctors and attorneys, also keep very tight schedules. Poor, poor reporting.

  3. He can’t rely on hearsay and hyperbole. This is not the campaign where groups of uneducated Americans roar with applause over every silly thing he says. He has to actually produce now. It’s embarrassing to watch him.

  4. Image in mind: very large easily angered blond bull in very small china shop. The US is now an official banana republic led by Donald Trumpasconi.

  5. Everyone needs to back off. give him a chance. He has had no time to prepare his staff and no one is giving him any help. Can you do better in just a few days? If leaders of other countries are so insecure that they have to meet with Mr. Trump now before he is up to speed you should be talking about them instead of our future President. I would be honored if President Trump asked me to do anything to assist him. Mr. President I would be proud to serve you in anyway possible. I would support any person who was elected to serve this great country of The United States Of America. anyway possible

  6. America`s Got a lot to lose with Trump ???? if he can`t go buy the Rules like other Presidents Have ,,, America Trade with other Counties are important for America to stride in making our country stronger .? But with a ( Clown ) who don`t know Jack America will not be a GREAT COUNTRY !

    • The free trade agreements we have with other countries are what’s sinking the American economy and the reason for high unemployment rates. NAFTA was a crock of s**t that screwed the UAW. The trade act Obama signed was another death warrant for American jobs. Tariff taxes on the big three importing carsmade in Mexico are needed to put a stop to the bs. The “rules he should be playing by” aren’t rules, they’re acts that make presidents like Clinton and Obama money

  7. Typical reporting, Everyone needs to chill…I have never seen a President elect do more than he has so far in the same amount of time….

    • Sounds totally disorganized to you? And you believed the same liars when they told you Hillary was going win the election easily! Get a clue bud. Stop worrying so much about the Japanese leader’s feelings and more about your country’s direction! There are bigger fish to fry!

  8. This is a Yahoo presentation,–?? Yahoo you do not tell Trump how to run his business-period!! You know fully cabinet staffing is a HUGE endeavor ,,,trying to demonizeTrump with you play off Abe against him is Yahoo, cute. but not real world cute!

    We the pubic can easily easily see through your jealously, frustration!!

    Its time for a new administration , way past due! The country is moving on with or without Yahoo,, !!I

    Its time to get the message , start with positive comments. In the article –Transition Speculations to finish was excellent ,, appreciated,, lets keep it moving in that direction, making your USA a great place to live. !! Thank you for reading ,,!

  9. The Media called the election so very poorly. That having been said they are now going to do EVERYTHING they can to screw him while he is getting ready for office and while he is in office!

  10. The question is, since the media so obviously has had it out for Trump since he started his campaign, can you really trust anything they say about him from here on out?

  11. Surprise surprise. He was never qualified to be President and he is unfit emotionally, psychologically and mentally to do the job. It didn’t take long to see that this emperor never had any clothes and those who thought he did will see his inadequacies blow up in his face sooner rather then later. “He is not my President!”

  12. This is to you , the media. You are standing naked in front of the people of America , and you are under the impression that you are clothed . You agenda is known, and we know that you are mere puppets to your masters. We read your words and believe little . Even Woodward has made comments about your lacking. Your viewers are fewer and to stay a;live you will have to merge. The Times, the Post, CNN , MSNBC etc etc have the respect rated about the same as congress. Who really listens to you. The easily manipulated sheep . With those people I have to say your psych warfare upon them is evil genius. Your integrity is nowhere to be found.
    Make no mistake the numbers against you and your master grow daily, and unlike those you control, we are fearless, and you have little idea how fearless we are. We know you. We see you and understand the method and agenda. Trump and his movement allow you to expose yourselves more and more. We the people of the United States of America are becoming awake to the globalists that wish to put control in the hands of the very few.; You care not of our nation, and in fact wish the blending of people, culture, borders, religion and 1 currency. You will determine the value of that currency. I know that you will continue to have success to the fulfillment of your dreams. In the end you will fail, because your foundation is built upon a crumbling lie that embraces your vanity, greed, arrogance, and you worship one that was doomed from the beginning. For me to say awaken would require you yourselves to realize or to doubt the labor you undertake. The movement was here before Trump. He is the imperfect leader chosen as we await our perfect leader, who will be totally opposed to the force that has taken control of many. To some we would rather go hungry than to eat at you table. As the lines become less blurred to more and more , and your strength grows remember, where there is much evil , goodness abounds and also grows. I know the outcome as do others, and that gives us the strength.

  13. Shouldn’t this website be designated as a “fake news” website by Yahoo and Google?

    Only Kool-Aid drinking, diaper-pin wearing, sobbing liberals are gullible enough to swallow this yellow journalism propaganda.

    ATTENTION – ALL YOU LIBERAL-LOSER, PRETEND-JOURNALIST, DEMOCRAT PARTY STENOGRAPHERS OUT THERE – WE ARE ON TO YOUR GAME AND WE’RE NOT BUYING WHAT YOU ARE SELLING!!

    We understand that the party bosses have sent out their memo to you all – every “news” story must include the following narrative – “Donald Trump, one of the most successful businessmen ever, is a clown with no idea how to run anything. He’s in over his head because he is not one of “us” – the super-smart liberal elites.”

    Well, guess what – you’re not that smart. It took you guys until 9pm on the night of the election to realize that all of your polls and pundits were wrong, and you didn’t have a clue about what was going on in the real world outside your liberal bubble.

Comments are closed.