OPERATOR: Good day, everyone, and welcome to the transition daily briefing call. Today's conference is being recorded.
At this time, I'd like to turn the conference over the Jason Miller and Sean Spicer. Please go ahead.
MILLER: Good morning everybody and thank you for joining us. Big news on (ph) the day. The president-elect will be announcing General James Mattis as his pick for secretary of Defense.
General Mattis (inaudible) multiple levels in his 43-career -- 43-year career as an infantry Marine through the ranks. As lieutenant in (ph) the Western Pacific, he served as a rifle weapons (ph) platoon commander in the Third Marine Division. As a captain in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, he commanded a rifle company and (ph) a weapons company in the First Marine Brigade. As a major, he was the battalion officer at the Naval Academy Prep School and commanded Marine recruiters in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.
As lieutenant colonel, he commanded an assault battalion (inaudible) Iraqi mine fields (ph) in Operation Desert Storm. As a colonel, he commanded 7th Marine Regiment, and on Pentagon duty, served on the Department of Defense -- served as the Department of Defense executive secretary. As a brigadier general, he was the senior military assistant to the deputy secretary of Defense. Following 9/11, he commanded the first Marine Expeditionary Brigade and Naval Task Force 58 in operations against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.
MILLER: As a general, General Mattis served concurrently as the commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and as NATO supreme allied commander for transformation. Before retiring in 2013, he was the commander of the U.S. Central Command, CENTCOM, directing military operations, over 200,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen, Marines and allied forces across the Middle East.
He is co-editor of the book, "Warriors and Citizens: American Views of our Military."
So that will formally be announced this evening in Fayetteville, North Carolina, where General Mattis will be joining President-elect Trump on stage.
And other news that's big today, I want to make sure everybody saw the new polling out from Politico and Morning Consult, showing that 60 percent of voters say Carrier's decision to keep some manufacturing jobs in Indiana gave them a more favorable view of the president-elect. That includes not only 87 percent of self-identified Republicans, but also 54 percent of independents, and 40 percent of Democrats.
As far as the president-elect's schedule for today, note that the president-elect began his day receiving the presidential daily briefing. He'll be in meetings throughout the day.
I'll go ahead and turn it over to -- actually I'll go through today's schedule here. The first meeting that the president-elect has, actually he's still in at the moment, with Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil. And he'll be meeting with District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser; then Governor Terry Branstad of Iowa. Then he'll be meeting with Ms. Laura Ingraham, radio talk show host and political commentator. And then we'll be departing for North Carolina. I look forward to being back in the Tar Heel State.
And I'll hand-off to Sean Spicer to run through the rest of the week.
SPICER: Hey, guys. Thank you.
Let me just kind of lean in a little about what we know so far for the rest of the week. On Wednesday, the president-elect and other members of his senior team will be in New York at a transition fund- raising breakfast first thing, and then later in the morning, he will meet with Governor Pat McCrory of North Carolina. Thursday, we're still building-out final schedule for the day, but in the evening, the president-elect and the vice president-elect will have a rally as part of their thank-you tour in Des Moines, Iowa at the Iowa Event Center. And then on Friday, they will hold a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both of those events, and I apologize, are at seven p.m. Further details can be found on the campaign website and Facebook site.
On Saturday, the president-elect will be attending the Army-Navy football game in Baltimore, Maryland. Details will come later in the week as far as his activities there and, you know, who he'll be going to the -- who will be hosting him throughout the game. But in keeping with a time-honored tradition, he will spend half of the game on the Army side and then half on the Navy side, who will win their 15th straight game, I'm sure.
I have a little bit of a Navy bias.
Quick transition update. The president-elect is filling out his Cabinet at the fastest rate since at least 1968 and possibly even further back, but that's as far as we can track it now, which is really an indication that the transition is working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively.
At this point, the president-elect and the vice president-elect have held over 80 meetings with some of these highly qualified individuals that you've seen come in and out, who are being considered for various posts within the administration. And an analysis that the Daily Signal just did shows that the president-elect is outpacing his predecessors going back at least 40 years.
SPICER: And that includes actually President H.W. Bush, who had been a sitting vice president at the time. Four of the previous six president-elects had not named any Cabinet officers at the time that he has now going into this phase.
In the fourth week of the transition, President-elect Trump named five nominees; Secretary Chao, Congressman Price, Mr. Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross and General Mattis. President Barack Obama announced his first nominee, Secretary Tim Geithner, in the fourth week. And the president-elect is clearly doing what he said he would do, surrounding himself with the best people.
So with that, I'll be glad to take a few questions.
OPERATOR: Thank you. If you would like to ask a question, please press star one on your phone. Please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. Again, that's star one for any questions. And we'll pause a moment.
And we'll take our first question from Jennifer Jacobs with Bloomberg.
QUESTION: Morning, guys.
On the tweet about the Air Force One, how does he know that it -- the program would cost $4 billion? And what exactly is he after? Is he after a lower price? Is he -- does he want no new plane (ph) at all because he's just content to fly around in a 30-year-old version? What exactly is he looking for?
MILLER: Thanks, Jennifer.
I'd say with regard to this, when you look at the -- the cost of the two new Air Force Ones plus the research and development of the overall program cost, it's a pretty big number. I think this really speaks to the president-elect's focus on keeping costs down across the board with regard to government spending.
I think people are really frustrated with some of the big price tags that are coming out for programs even in addition to this one, so we're gonna look for areas where we can keep costs down and look for ways where we can save money. Obviously, the -- the exact details for which we'll push forward as we start getting into specifics after the president-elect is sworn in, but I think the -- the message has clearly been (inaudible) try to save taxpayers money.
OPERATOR: And we'll take our next question from John Roberts with Fox News.
QUESTION: Good morning. Good morning from a soggy Fayetteville.
Question for you. Last week, you told us that there were four finalists for secretary of state, and then he continues to meet with potential candidates for secretary of state. So can you -- can you give us some sort of characterization of the fluidity of the process at this point?
MILLER: Yeah. I'd say that the -- the president-elect is continuing to go through the process and make sure that he's getting this important pick right. And as I said before, not only is it a matter of making sure that's someone who will be able to articulate the administration's world view on the international stage, but also someone with whom the president-elect is able to clearly connect with and have the same vision for what we're trying to do for our country, someone who's very good at making deals and someone who's going to represent us proudly.
MILLER: So as the -- the process continues to move along, the president-elect is meeting with a number of different people, some of whom are actual candidates for the position, others who have advice and suggestions on what type of person should be picked for this role. And the president-elect will let us know when he's ready with the final decision.
OPERATOR: And again, that's star one for questions. We'll pause a moment.
And we'll take our next question from Katherine Faulders with ABC News.
QUESTION: Hey, guys. I just want to go back to the Air Force One thing for a second. Has the transition team been in touch with the Pentagon or Boeing on this contract? And -- and does President- elect Trump think there shouldn't be a new aircraft at all?
MILLER: Thanks, Katherine.
So again, I'll defer to other folks on the transition team for that answer and I'll have something immediate for you on that front. But again, I -- the point that the -- the president-elect was making here was that a $4 billion price tag is a very big number. I think taxpayers want to make sure that we're seeing absolute accountability and that the government is doing the best to drive (ph) costs down. And so we're gonna look for those opportunities to do so at every stretch.
But for the exact details, we can get into that more after the president-elect is sworn in on January 20th.
OPERATOR: And we'll take our next question from Hunter Walker with Yahoo News.
QUESTION: Hey, guys. Good morning.
I have seen a tweet from 2013 where the president-elect was saying he bought stock in Boeing. Do you guys have any idea if he still has any current position (ph) in Boeing?
MILLER: The president-elect sold all of his stock back in June.
QUESTION: OK. Thank you.
OPERATOR: And we'll take our next question from David Katoniz (ph) with U.S. News.
QUESTION: Hi, guys.
I was wondering if President-elect Trump has a timeline for his naming of secretary of State? By the end of the week? By the end of -- before the holiday? Does he feel that's important? And would you be able to say that the list of candidates he's considering has grown from last week?
MILLER: Thanks, Dave.
SPICER: Is that -- is that specific just to -- just to state or are you asking overall?
QUESTION: I'm asking just for secretary of State.
MILLER: Go ahead, Sean, if you want to get this one.
SPICER: No, I -- look, I think he's made it clear from the beginning that he's gonna take the best and the brightest people. He's really intrigued by -- by the ideas and opinions that people have had. And so as he, you know, hears of more potential people that -- that could share in his vision, then he wants to hear from them.
And so you continue to see the list of people -- and again, I think one other point that I would -- I would refer you back to is something that Jason and I have said multiple times, which is, you know, there is a lot of speculation. We've never confirmed, for the most part, with the exception of some obvious ones like Governor Romney and Mayor Giuliani, who exactly is meeting with him for what specific jobs.
And I think a lot of times, that's how he prefers it. He comes in, wants to have a conversation with them, wants a back-and-forth of ideas and -- and opinions, and then thinks about whether or not they're right for a particular position or whether they express an interest in something.
SPICER: So I think to ascribe all of these individuals to particular jobs is -- is a little premature. Again, some of it is him just having a conversation with them and then figuring out is there a potential position, you know, Cabinet or otherwise, or any other way that they might be able to help him advance the agenda.
MILLER: No. No. I would agree.
We'll take one more question here.
OPERATOR: Thank you. And we'll take our final question today from Michael Warren with Weekly Standard.
QUESTION: Hi, guys.
Could you just clarify what role Michael G. Flynn had with the transition? Mike Pence said that he had no involvement in the transition whatever -- whatsoever. But it's been reported that he did have an official government transition e-mail address. Could you comment on what his role was? Is still with the transition? What was he doing for the transition? And -- and has he been fired or let go from the transition? What -- what's his status currently?
MILLER: Great. Thank you, Mike.
The younger Michael Flynn was helping his father with some administration and scheduling duties early-on in the transition process, and he is no longer involved with transition efforts.
OK? Well, thanks everybody.
Sean, did you have anything else to add?
SPICER: I didn't. Thank you all.
OPERATOR: Thank you. And that does conclude today's conference. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.