President-elect Trump's transition team is holding daily media calls to update the press on how the transition is progressing. We will be posting the transcripts from these calls after they happen. Here is the transcript from Wednesday's call.
On the phone were transition team communications director Jason Miller and RNC communications director Sean Spicer.
OPERATOR: Good day, 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 to Sean Spicer and Jason Miller.
Please go ahead.
SPICER: Hey, good morning, everyone. It's Sean. Good morning and thanks for joining us again.
SPICER: We're 37 days out now from the inauguration. At this point, the president-elect has announced 12 individuals for his Cabinet. We're well over the 60 percent mark, and this is in contrast to President Obama in 2008 had nine folks nominated -- named for his Cabinet.
We've gotten over 75,000 applications, resumes through greatagain.gov for people that would like to work in a Trump-Pence administration, 23,000 letters and more -- more than 1,775 packages have been sent to the transition team.
The president-elect and the president have spoken to now over 70 world leaders, and in addition to the accomplishments of -- the honor of being named Time's person of the year, yesterday the Financial Times named Mr. Trump the person of the year.
This morning, the president-elect announced his intention to nominate Rick Perry, former governor of Texas, as the next secretary of Energy. Governor Perry is one of the most successful governors in modern history, having led Texas (inaudible) sustained period of economic growth and prosperity. Unlike the current education (sic) secretary, who negotiated the Iran nuclear deal, Governor Perry will negotiate deals that advance America's interests.
Governor Perry will execute President-elect Trump's vision to make America energy dependent, create millions of new jobs and protect clean air and water. He'll unleash an energy revolution as he did in Texas that will bring back new (ph) wealth to our country. He will implement the president-elect's rollback of the current administration's job-destroying executive actions and regulations. He'll work to eliminate all barriers to respond (ph) to energy productions.
He'll conserve our natural habitats, preserve the resources and encourage the use of natural gas and other American energy resources that will reduce emissions, reduce the price of energy and increase our economic output.
Governor Perry has earned the reputation for being a deal maker, having recruited (ph) some huge companies from all over the world to relocate in Texas as part of those deals. With the fact (ph) that under Governor Perry's leadership, he developed energy resources and infrastructure, made low-cost energy available to companies and families, while governor, he implemented a multibillion infrastructure program that connected rural wind farms to Texas' growing city, enabling more energy consumption to come from clean renewable sources. He led the nation and Texas in energy (inaudible) more windpower than any other state in the union. It's worth noting that Texas is the only state in the country with its own electric power grid (inaudible) which was overseen by the governor.
Also announced today, the president-elect announced three additional members to his strategic and policy forum that was announced earlier this month. The new members are Travis Kalanick, CEO and founder of Uber; Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla; and Indra Nooyi, the chairman and CEO of PepsiCo.
The forum, which is composed of some of America's most highly respected and successful business leaders, will be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their (inaudible) and knowledge as the president implements his economic agenda. The forum will be chaired by Stephen Schwarzman, the chairman and CEO and co-founder of Blackstone.
The president-elect's administration is gonna work with private sector partners to improve the business climate and make it more attractive to create new jobs across the United States, from Silicon Valley to the heartland (ph).
And in an update to the (inaudible), president-elect announced Stephen Miller as the assistant (ph) to the president -- as senior adviser to the president for policy. As we recapped yesterday, he announced his appointment of world-class CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, and I think by all means, you've seen a flood of business leaders, of government leaders and others come out to talk about what a successful business person he has been and what a great secretary of state he will make.
SPICER: He also held a productive day, meeting yesterday with his friend Kanye West. He talked to Bill Gates and former Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania.
Later today, we should have an additional release on executive committee members for the transition.
And with that, let me turn it over to Jason to talk about the schedule today.
MILLER: Thank you, Sean.
The president-elect begins his day today meeting with Zeke Emanuel, the vice-provost for global initiatives, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where they will be discussing health care policy. The president-elect will then be meeting with Secretary- designate Wilbur Ross, Commerce, to discuss trade policy.
After this, President-elect Trump will be meeting with Mr. Andy Beal, B-E-A-L, a member of president-elect -- of his Economic Advisory Council, and founder of Beal Bank. The president-elect will then be meeting with Ms. Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center.
And as reported, at two p.m., President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence will be holding a tech roundtable discussion with key technology executives and innovators to discuss how we can work together to bring tech jobs back to America. The very impressive list of attendees include Jeff Bezos from Amazon, Safra Catz from Oracle, Tim Cook from Apple, Alex Karp from Palantir, Brian Krzanich from Intel, Elon Musk from Tesla, Satya Nadella from Microsoft, both Larry Page and Eric Schmidt from Google, Chuck Robbins from Cisco, Ginni Rometty from IBM, and Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook.
Again, this is an amazing group of tech industry leaders that the president-elect has brought together before he's even taken office to talk about how we can start winning again as a country and as an economy and as a tech sector. At the completion of this roundtable, the president-elect will continue tech industry discussions with Mr. Elon Musk and Tim Cook from Apple.
And as a reminder, looking ahead to the next couple of days here, we'll have Thank You America rallies in the following locations: Thursday at 7 p.m. in Hershey, Pennsylvania at the Giant Arena. Friday at 7 p.m. the president-elect will be in Orlando, Florida at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. And looking ahead to Saturday at 3 p.m. in Mobile, Alabama, the president-elect will be at Ladd-Peebles Stadium to finish out the week.
On that, we'll go ahead and open it up to a few questions.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
If you'd like to ask a question, please signal by pressing star- one on your telephone keypad. If you're using a speakerphone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment.
And again, please press star-one to ask a question. We will pause for just a moment to allow everyone an opportunity to signal for questions.
And we'll go to Peter Alexander from NBC.
QUESTION: Hey, Jason, Sean. Good morning to you guys.
Just want to get your thoughts right now. The GSA has told members of Congress that Donald Trump needs to fully divest his ownership of the Washington, D.C. hotel property that he recently opened up, to avoid a breach, basically saying it -- his becoming president would be in violation of the lease. Is there any comment from the transition on that specifically?
QUESTION: And also, to Mike Flynn's new -- Mike Flynn Jr.'s new tweet this morning about the Washington Post reporting about Flynn, and some intelligence that he inappropriately shared back in 2010 according to Army documents.
MILLER: Thank you, Peter.
With regard to the -- the first question, this will be something that comes up at the press conference the president-elect will now be holding in January. So this will be one of the business items that will be discussed. And I don't have any additional comment at this time regarding the second question (ph).
OPERATOR: Thank you. We will go next to Zeke Miller from Time.
QUESTION: Hey, guys. Thanks for doing the call.
I was hoping you could clarify the nature of Ezekiel Emanuel's meeting with the president-elect? Obviously, he's one of the architects of Obamacare. Is this -- is this (inaudible) conversation with President Obama about keeping the preexisting condition that folks under 26 covered?
SPICER: This is Sean.
I think -- look, I think the president-elect is very clear that Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced, and he's looking at all ideas. I think even folks like Dr. Emanuel have talked about ways in which it can be improved upon and I think this continues to show the open mind which he approaches all of these problems. We've seen -- you know, even with the tech council today, a lot of these folks were not very supportive of him, but he understands as president, his job is to do what's right for the country to move this -- to move our people our nation forward.
And so he's gonna meet with all sort so people that he agrees with, the he disagrees with. But if they have ideas that can make the country better, and in this case our health care system better in terms of affordability and accessibility, he's gonna want to hear their ideas.
OPERATOR: Thank you. We'll go next to Chuck Raasch from St. Louis Post Dispatch.
QUESTION: Hi, Jason. Hi, Sean. Thanks for doing this.
You -- you may have read or have seen that a number of Republican senators have expressed concerns about the secretary of state nominee and the relationship with -- with Vladimir Putin, among others. Has -- has the president-elect reached out to any of these senators? And kind of what is your -- what is his overall sense of -- of that opposition? Is he concerned about the nomination because of what these Republican senators have been saying?
SPICER: Hey, Chuck. It's Sean.
I -- I think quite the opposite. When you look at the number of folks that came out across the spectrum yesterday to praise Rex Tillerson, it was quite overwhelming and I think the president-elect was truly humbled by the level of support, number of people who saw what he saw in Rex Tillerson, which is a world-class leader that has relationships throughout the globe.
You saw several stories today about him standing up to different leaders to make sure that he gets the best deal possible. That's why the president chose him. I think him having a relationship with Putin to make sure that he understands what America's interests are and fighting for American interests is exactly the kind of reason (inaudible).
The more and more that senators hear and meet and understand who Rex Tillerson is, both as a successful businessman and as an amazing individual, they're gonna -- they're gonna be overwhelmed. I wouldn't be surprised to see (inaudible) go higher and higher by the day because he is truly a spectacular individual and I think, as I mentioned, the president was just taken by the level of support that came from all (inaudible) yesterday on behalf of his choice for secretary of state.
MILLER: Chuck, this is Jason.
I (inaudible) what Sean said that when you look at some of the impressive caliber people who've stepped up and said that they're supportive of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, as (ph) we talk about Condoleezza Rice, Jim Baker, Dick Cheney, Bob Gates, some very impressive foreign policy players who've -- very experienced who've realized that in Rex Tillerson, we're sending a world-class negotiator who has the relationships and the deep geopolitical understanding on a region-by-region basis all around this entire world going to get this job done.
I think this is something that the president-elect was very impressed by during their initial meeting and in subsequent conversations. And I think this is why it will be such an impressive pick.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
And we'll go next to Ben Kasimar (ph) from The Hill Newspaper.
QUESTION: Hey guys, thanks as always.
I just want to see if you can talk a little bit about the reports that Wayne Berman is being considered for USTR and if the president, sort of -- yeah, confirm if he's in those talks.
And I guess also, if the president-elect is concerned at all about Mr. Berman's more conventional history on trade that may not entirely line up with the America First platform.
MILLER (?): Thank you, Ben (ph), appreciate that.
I'd say it's probably too early to start diving in and talking about specific names at that position but as soon as we have an update we'll share that, as well.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
We'll go next to Cameron Joseph from New York Daily News.
QUESTION: Hey, guys, thanks for doing this call.
I wanted to go back to the first question about the -- the GSA report on Trump's hotel. And just more broadly, I want to talk a little bit, are you guys just not gonna discuss any details with any of Trump's potential conflicts of interest until the president-elect makes his own statement in January?
And do we have a -- any sense of a set date for that? And are you still guaranteeing a press conference, at this point?
MILLER (?): Thanks, Cam. I think we went through that in detail on the very first question since we have additional details for when that press conference will be, we'll certainly make those details available to the press course (ph) that are able to cover it.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
And we'll go next to Emily Stephenson from Reuters.
QUESTION: Hi thanks for taking my question, I appreciate it.
I wanted to ask you about reports today in China Daily that China is going to penalize the U.S. automaker for monopolistic behavior.
I'm curious, have you all looked into those reports, if you are concerned that this is retaliation for any of the kind of tough comments that President-elect Trump has made about China recently and if you're in any conversations with China about penalties against U.S. companies.
MILLER (?): Thank you, Emily.
Obviously, were aware of the news reports, I imagine this will be a topic of conversation when the president-elect and Mr. Ross get together later today.
I think it'd be a little premature to get out and offer specific commentary on this. But I do think that the president-elect has made very clear that he stands out there and fight for American companies and American jobs and that's something he has not been shy about doing so far and it's not something that we're going to be shy about going forward.
So if we have anything additional on that one going forward we'll be sure to let you know.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
We'll go next to Samantha Reyes from CNN.
QUESTION: Hi yes, thanks for taking my question.
It's actually Athena Jones. A couple questions on conflict of interest. One is there's been reports that we've confirmed that Don Junior and Eric Trump had involvement in this election of discussions over interior secretary and I believe secretary of state.
But they're also supposedly going to be running Donald Trump's businesses. So do you have any response to concerns about a conflict of interest there, whether it's appropriate for them to be sitting in?
QUESTION: And then also, when it comes to another conflict, the president-elect said I think last week that he had sold his stock portfolio during the summer. Can we expect that he'll provide any documentation or proof showing that, maybe at this press conference that's coming up in January?
And the last thing is, on the intelligence briefings, we understand that he's now -- the president-elect is now getting them three times a week. I guess the question is, is there -- what message does it send if the president-elect himself doesn't want to sit in on these meetings?
Does he want to have his vice president and his national security adviser being more, I guess, up to date on conflicts facing the world than he is? So, your response to those.
SPICER: Hey, Sean (inaudible), we're going to take these in reverse order.
Let me answer the PDB question first. As I mentioned to your colleagues in Chino (ph) yesterday, the president is getting the PDB three times a week right now. He is meeting with General Flynn on a daily basis to get an intel update.
So in some cases, he is getting an intel briefing every single day; in some cases, twice. So I think that -- that it would be false to say that he's not getting an intel briefing every day. Every single day he's getting a briefing. Three times a week it's the actual PDB.
Jason is going to touch on the other two.
MILLER: Yes, thank you for your several questions.
We're going back to the very first one. I would say that the transition team has been very transparent in the fact that Donald Trump, Jr. is on the transition team; that he is someone who is helping us on this government, put things together.
So that's -- we've announced that right from the beginning. And so, it only makes sense if a transition team member was active in the process. And the second part regarding the business record. We previously provided a list and I would imagine as this process goes forward there will be additional -- financial information will be put forward.
But much of that will be discussed as we move into January and have the actual press conference and complete the process.
OPERATOR: Now I'll turn it back over the speakers for any additional or closing remarks.
MILLER: Thanks everybody for joining the call this morning.
And, Sean, anything else from your end.
SPICER: See you guys later. Thank you.
MILLER: All right. Thanks everyone.