President-Elect Donald Trump is reshaping his transition team, elevating Vice President-elect Mike Pence to lead the efforts while adding a host of loyalists to the operation.
Pence takes lead as Trump reshapes transition team
The new roster makes clear that the Trump transition will look a lot like the Trump campaign. Many top surrogates will serve as transition co-chairs, including Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). Most of those names have already been floated as potential top officials in the new Trump administration.
And other top supporters, including Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, GOP megadonor Rebekah Mercer and Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon, will join the efforts officially.
A source familiar with the internal deliberations confirmed to The Hill that Bannon is being seriously considered as chief-of-staff. Reports also point to Priebus as another top frontrunner for the post as Trump’s right-hand man.
“Together this outstanding group of advisors, led by Vice President-elect Mike Pence, will build on the initial work done under the leadership of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from day one,” Trump said in a statement put out by the transition.
“The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington. Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation — specifically jobs, security and opportunity. This team is going to get to work immediately to Make America Great Again.”
Pence, who has strong contacts in Washington from his six terms in Congress, will take the helm from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Christie and his allies have been powering the transition effort for months — a tumultuous period during which he’s also been dealing with court proceedings over the Bridgegate scandal.
The rest of the transition team includes a who’s who of Trump’s largest supporters. Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, Tennessee Rep. Marsha Blackburn, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, New York Rep. Chris Collins, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino, campaign finance chairman, Steven Mnuchin, California Rep. Devin Nunes, campaign finance committee member Anthony Scaramucci and tech investor Peter Thiel are all on the team.
Trump’s three oldest children — Donald, Eric and Ivanka — round out the list.
The team’s staff is another extension of the Trump campaign. Campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, deputy campaign manager David Bossie, communications director Jason Miller, press secretary Hope Hicks, top policiy aide Stephen Miller, social media director Dan Scavino and campaign counsel Don McGahn all return with similar roles on the transition. Republican National Committee chief-of-staff Katie Walsh will also advise the team.