WASHINGTON – President-elect Donald Trump and his team are battling back against charges of chaos and infighting as they race to set up an administration.
The incoming Republican administration even received an unlikely boost from outgoing Vice President Joe Biden, who said “no administration is ready on Day One.”
Trump stayed out of the public eye Wednesday, meeting with a stream of visitors at his New York skyscraper. But he took to his Twitter account to dispute reports of internal tension, declaring the transition operation was proceeding “so smoothly.”
Trump’s team said Wednesday night that it would be rolling out teams to interact with federal agencies during the transition, starting with national security advisers who would work with officials at the State, Justice, Defense and other national security departments.
REED SAYS TRANSITION IS TYPICAL OF NEW ADMINISTRATION TAKING OVER
Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning, NY 23), who represents Chautauqua County in Washington, is also commenting on the Trump transition, saying it’s not uncommon for an incoming administration to hit a few rough spots when preparing to take over.
“I think a lot of what is being reported on is traditional, transition type of political reporting that is out there,” Reed said. “Obviously, every team goes through its own learning curves. It goes through its ups and downs and I think this team is going through that process as we speak. But I’m very confident, given Donald Trump’s business mindset, that he is executing and he will be ready on day one.”
Reed also said that he has heard concerns about Steve Bannon, Trump’s choice for chief strategist, but also said that he trusts that Trump is using his business experience to bring in people who can help the country. He said that people who are labelling Bannon an racist and white supremacist are using extreme and reckless rhetoric.
“I hear those concerns but I believe these conclusions, the rhetoric, the reckless type of labeling of him as a person, is something that I think is extreme and I don’t think is wise, in terms of putting a label on someone,” Reed said.
Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, a politically conservative website, served as chief executive officer of Trump’s presidential campaign.
His selection for chief strategist in the Trump administration has drawn criticism from civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers. The Southern Poverty Law Center – which tracks hate groups in the country – labeled Breitbart part of the “extremist fringe of the conservative right. Racist ideas. Anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant ideas –– all key tenets making up an emerging racist ideology known as the ‘alt-right.’”
The Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other white nationalist groups have also all praised Trump’s selection of Bannon. Former KKK leader David Duke said the choice was “excellent,” according to The Hill.
LEADERSHIP STABILITY IN CONGRESS BALANCES WHITE HOUSE TRANSITION
As the White House continues to deal with transition between now and January 20 when President-Elect Trump is sworn in as the next Commander in Chief, things are quite the opposite on Capitol Hill, where it appears the Republican Majority will maintain the same leadership in the next session.
Earlier this week House Speaker Paul Ryan was unanimously nominated to serve once again as Speaker when the new term begins in January. Much of the other house leadership positions will also stay in place.
Congressman Reed said that by having no other nominees besides Ryan, House Republicans are showing they are unified as they prepare for a new year in government.
“Obviously if there was a contest to be had, Tuesday was the day for members to step forth and put their hat in the ring,” Reed said. “That did not happen and I think that’s a testament to Ryan and his leadership and I also think that’s a testament to the president-elect. That was a good step forward and it allows us, as we move into the next administration, to executive and deliver to the American people.”
Reed also said that with both the President and Congress on the same page, Americans will likely to see a new culture, where representatives move past gridlock and get things accomplished.
“I think you’re going to see a culture of leadership. I think you’re going to a culture of putting the American people’s interests first and foremost in all of the decisions that are made,” Reed said. “And as we go forward, I think the opportunities exist when it comes to things like tax reform, the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, the border and immigration reform – you’re going to see visible concrete examples of us following through on what the American people, I believe, have asked us to do.”
Reed made his comments on Wednesday during his weekly conference call with regional medial.