US President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter to reassure voters all was under control regarding his transition to the White House and running the government.
“Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions,” he tweeted. “I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!”
Very organized process taking place as I decide on Cabinet and many other positions. I am the only one who knows who the finalists are!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2016
He was referring to the process of making key appointments in preparation to take over the White House.
Mike Rogers, a former Republican congressman from Michigan, suddenly left Trump’s transition team. He had been mentioned as a possible pick for CIA director.
Rogers said preparing and advising the team had been “a privilege” and that he plans to continue to “provide advice and counsel as needed to the incoming Trump administration” in an exit statement.
It was my privilege to have worked on the Trump Transition Team. https://t.co/8L3DVb4xZj
— Mike Rogers (@RepMikeRogers) November 16, 2016
No explanation was provided by Trump, but the fact that Rogers had worked with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie may have been a deciding point. A source called Rogers’ dismissal part of a “Stalinesque purge” of those close to Christie, NBC News reported.
Trump removed Christie as the head of the transition team on November 11, because Christie’s name was involved in political scandals. NBC News reported another theory, citing multiple sources who said Christie’s loyalty to Trump was deemed insufficient.
Soon after, Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser Jared Kushner was firing officials associated with Christie, such as Rogers. Matthew Freedman, a lobbyist who was leading the group’s planning for the White House National Security Council, was also fired, officials told the New York Times (NYT).
A transition official told the NYT that when Christie was a federal prosecutor, he had sent Kushner’s father to jail.
Trump has replaced Christie with Vice-President-elect Mike Pence. Pence has ordered the removal of all lobbyists from the transition team, a team member told the Wall Street Journal.
“After exchange [with] Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away,” tweeted Eliot Cohen, former senior state department official during the George W Bush presidency, marking a departure from his positive remarks made days before.
“They’re angry, arrogant, screaming ‘you LOST!’ Will be ugly.”
After exchange w Trump transition team, changed my recommendation: stay away. They're angry, arrogant, screaming "you LOST!" Will be ugly.
— Eliot A Cohen (@EliotACohen) November 15, 2016