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 Thursday's call.
On the call were Jason Miller, the transition team's communications director, and Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee's communications director.
OPERATOR: Good day and welcome to the transition daily briefing call. Today's conference is being recorded.
At this time I'd like to Sean Spicer and Jason Miller. Please go ahead.
SPICER: Hey, good morning everyone, it's Sean. Thanks for joining us.
We are now 36 days from inauguration day. At this point, as of this morning, we have -- president-elect has now named 13 individuals to his Cabinet, far outpacing where any modern president has been at this point, including President Obama who was -- had -- had appointed 10 people to his Cabinet in 2008.
34 additional landing team members have been approved and sent to the White House which now puts that total of landing team member, at the various departments and agency, at over 250.
This morning President-elect Trump announced his intention to nominate Congressman Ryan Zinke of Montana to be the next Secretary of the Interior. The president-elect's statement was as follows, "Congressman Ryan Zinke has built one of the strongest track records in champion -- championing -- regulatory release force, management, responsible energy development and public land use issues. As a former Navy SEAL he has incredible leadership skills and an attitude of doing whatever it takes to win.
America is the most beautiful country in the world, and he's gonna help keep it that way with smart management of our Federal lands. At the same time my administration's goal to repeal bad regulation, use our natural resources to create jobs and wealth for the American people and Ryan will explore every possibility on how we can safely responsibly do that."
That statement in full is available on the transition site website.
As I've mentioned, Congressman Zinke is former commander of SEAL Team Six, is a Teddy Roosevelt Republican, a man of action who believes our treasured public lands are for the benefit, enjoyment of all the people.
He is the at large Congressman from the state of Montana. First elected in 2014 after serving a term in the Montana State Senate -- and 23 officers -- 23 years was an officer with the U.S. Navy as a SEAL.
If confirmed, as Secretary of the Interior, he will support the philosophy of managing public lands that call for multiple uses including economic, recreation and conservation.
He is a strong conservation advocate, earning praise for building quote "One of the strongest track records on conservation in public land use." He is a strong advocate for American energy independence and in supports an all encompassing energy policy that includes renewable, fossil fuels and alternative energy.
As you know, yesterday, the president-elect announced his intention to nominate Rick Perry to the Secretary of Energy. In addition President-elect Trump announced his congratulations to Ronna McDaniel as the next -- as they RNC Deputy Chair and Bob Paduchik -- that's P-A-D-U-C-H-I-K -- as the next RNC Deputy Co-Chairman, effective immediately.
The President Elect made the following statement, quote, "I'm excited to have a highly effective leader in Ronna McDaniel as the RNC Deputy Chair and I look forward to serving her as the party's Chairman in 2017. Ronna has been an extremely loyal to our movement and her efforts were critical to our tremendous victory in Michigan. I know she'll bring the same passion to the Republican National Committee.
Bob Paduchik is the right choice to serve as Deputy Co-Chair. In addition to being a key leader and helping us win big in Ohio, I'm confident he's going to work very hard to continue the excitement -- the excellent work, the RNC has done building the Republican Party to a record level of strength."
Ronna will immediately begin serving as Deputy Chairman and then the president-elect intends to -- intends to -- nominate her as the next chairman of the RNC at the RNC winter meeting in January that will take place in Washington, D.C.
SPICER: Yesterday the president and the vice president-elect held a tech summit here at Trump Tower with leaders in the tech industry.
There was a readout from the summit which is as follows, quote, "President-Elect Donald J. Trump met with more than a dozen of the greatest tech leaders in the country to begin a conversation and partnership in order to spark innovation and create more jobs in the U.S., particularly for working Americans.
During the meeting, the president-elect discussed the wide range of issues impacting both American workers and American companies, including specific innovative solutions that have blocked -- been blocked by narrow thinking in Washington.
The president-elect expressed an open mind and a willingness to listen which was greatly received by the industry leaders in attendance. The leaders in attendance also praised the ingenuity and energy of the American work force. And President-elect Trump suggested recommitting the tech leaders again in the future, perhaps as frequently as every quarter," end quote.
The leaders in attendance included Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Safra Catz of Oracle, Tim Cook of Apple, Alex Karp of Palantir, Brian Krzanich of Intel, Elon Musk of Tesla, Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Larry Page of Google, Chuck Robbins of Cisco, Ginni Rometty of IBM, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Eric Schmidt of Google.
The president-elect also held productive meetings yesterday with Mr. -- Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Secretary Designate Wilbur Ross, Mr. Andy Beal, Ms. Paula White and Congressman Darrell Issa.
I now, will turn it over to Jason to go through today's takeoff.
MILLER: Thank you very much, Sean.
The president-elect began his day to day meeting with Mr. Joel Kaplan, the vice president for U.S. Public Policy at Facebook. Mr. Kaplan formerly served as White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy and in several other roles in the administration of former President George W. Bush.
President-elect Trump Will be also meeting today with Mr. Pete Hegseth, Fox News commentator and veteran of the U.S. Army National Guard. In addition to serving in the military, Mr. Hegseth is the former CEO of Concerned Veterans for America and the former executive director of Vets for Freedom.
The president-elect will then be meeting with Mr. Dan DiMicco, a number of the U.S. Trade Rep Landing Team and current Chairman Emeritus of Nucor Steel. Mr. DiMicco previously served as CEO of Nucor Steel for 13 years and has extensive experience overseeing a large steel company impacted by trade policy.
President-elect Trump will meet with Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, Peter King, as well as Suffolk County Chairman John LaValle. Both of them were very supportive on the campaign trail.
The president-elect will then hold a meeting with the U.S. Conference of Mayors here, at Trump Tower. Attendees of the meeting will include Mayor Mick Cornett, from Oklahoma City; Mayor Mitch Landrieu, from New Orleans; Mayor Stephen Benjamin, from Columbia, South Carolina; Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, from Burnsville, Minnesota; and Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of the United States Conference of Mayors.
The president-elect will then be meeting with Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Secretary Kobach -- and that's K-O-B-A-C-H -- is a constitutional attorney who is widely known as one of the country's foremost experts on immigration law and border security.
As Kansas secretary of state, Secretary Kobach passed the most comprehensive election reform package in the country, the SAFE Act, which requires voter ID at the polls and proof of citizenship for new voter registrants.
MILLER: In conclusion of these meetings today, the president- elect and vice president-elect will travel to Hershey, Pennsylvania, for a Thank You America rally, at 7:00 pm at the Giant arena, where we're expecting a big-league turnout this evening.
And as a reminder, tomorrow night at 7 PM, President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence, will hold the next, thank you America rally, in Orlando, Florida at the Central Florida Fairgrounds.
And wrapping up the week on Saturday at 3 PM, the president-elect will hold a, thank you America rally, in Mobile, Alabama at the Ladd Peebles Stadium where he will be joined by U.S. Senator and future Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
We will now take questions.
OPERATOR: Thank you.
If you have any questions, please press "star one."
We'll take our first question from Peter Alexander with NBC.
QUESTION: Hey, guys. Appreciate you taking the call.
Given the new reporting from NBC that Vladimir Putin played a direct role in the Russian hacking of the election process in one form or another, here, or at least the process that led up to it, I just wanted to get a sense from you, if you have a reaction to that today.
And Donald Trump this morning tweeted about it, he said if Russia or some other entity was hacking, why did the White House wait so long to act, why did they only complain after Hillary lost. Obviously this was public, dating back to June, when it was first reported and in October, the DNI and others talked about the fact that Russia was involved in a hacking.
So I guess my questions are what are Donald Trump's plans? What will he do as president if it's determined that Russia was involved in the hacking? And given the fact that earlier, he said that it was ridiculous. He said that it could be Russia, China, or someone else sitting on a bed. Has his position changed on whether Russia was involved in the hacking?
MILLER: Peter, was there a question there, or is that just a series of comments? I think we've addressed this the last several days in a row.
QUESTION: My question is has his position changed? This morning he said if Russia or some other entity was hacking, so has his position changed or does he still believe it could be Russia, China, or somebody else?
MILLER: Well, I'd let the president-elect's tweets speak for themselves. I'd say the continued efforts to try to delegitimize the election at certain point -- certain point got to realize that the election from last month is going to stand, whether it's the recount or continued questions along this line, and we're moving ahead and put together successful administration that's ready go to work serving the American people.
OPERATOR: We'll take our next question from Connell McShane with Fox Business Network.
QUESTION: You know, guys there was another tweet this morning about the media for Mr. Trump, saying the media tries so hard to make my move to the White House as it pertains my business so complex, it actually isn't.
So, since today's the day the news conference was supposed to be held, are you guys able to expand at all more than you the last few days on the reasons for that delay until January in terms of what might be known in January, say about Mr. Trump's business interest that is not known now?
MILLER: Well, thank you very much.
I would say somewhere to what we've -- we've said recently that the president-elect being one of our country's most successful business leaders obviously has a great number of businesses, great number properties and developments, that he has put together and, quite frankly, that takes time.
MILLER: As he transitions away from being the leader of this very successful company to becoming solely focused on being president of the United States. They're obviously internal considerations, as far as what the structure will look like for family members that will be taking the reins of the business and I think the priority here is to make sure that we get it right. And if that takes a little bit more time, than I think that's -- I think the American people understand that, and I think they realize this when they voted for this successful business leader, as opposed to a politician in the last months election.
And so, I wouldn't say they're necessarily new details, but the president-elect is focused on this, does look forward to having a press conference next month to start going through this and -- in greater detail, so thank you.
OPERATOR: We'll take our next question from Leo Shane with Military Times.
QUESTION: Hi, yes, thanks for the call.
You mentioned (inaudible) will be in today to talk to -- to president-elect. I know veterans groups have expressed some concern that there hasn't been an ACH (ph) secretary appointment yet, especially given the president-elect's emphasis on veterans' issues during the campaign.
Should they be worried about this? What should they make of, I guess, the small number of folks coming in and talking about this position right now?
MILLER: Thank you very much, another good question.
So I had an opportunity to chat with the president-elect on this very topic the other day. And again, this is a another one where this position is so important to make sure that we get right, that there is -- not only is there an unwieldy bureaucracy to deal with, we're talking about lives of people who have gone and sacrificed everything on behalf of this country, who need help, and out our country has a debt that we need to repay them.
And so, as the president-elect is going through this process, There obviously needs to be -- whoever takes this position will be someone to understands how the bureaucracy works, someone who isn't afraid to get in there and institute some very strong reforms, and to make sure that we're delivering for veterans. Sean, do you have anything you want to add on this?
SPICER: I'd just say look, two things. One is, you know, you've got the fastest clip that anyone's ever been at in modern history. So -- but I think to Jason's point, this isn't an area to your question frankly, this is an area that he cares deeply about, reforming the V.A., making sure that the person that comes in and does this has the appropriate skill cell to -- to address the many challenges that -- whether its lending or health care, our veterans deserve.
This is, as you correctly mentioned, an area that's near and dear to his heart, and one that he really wants to make sure is addressed appropriately, quickly and successfully.
OPERATOR: We'll take our next question from Fred Lucas with the Daily Signal.
QUESTION: Yes, thanks for taking -- thanks for taking the question.
I wanted to talk to you about the regulation from the Obama administration. Take (ph) it just yesterday that prohibited states from defunding Planned Parenthood. Is that something the president- elect plans to reverse when he takes office?
And also, there has some talk that I've heard that there might be an announcement of a Supreme Court justice before he takes office. Could you address that as well?
MILLER: Thank you very much.
On the first one, I know that the -- the policy team is reviewing a number of different options for day one, executive orders, as well as additional executive orders during the first 100 days.
There has not yet been a final list that's put forward, but as most of you saw Stephen Miller, whose our national policy director who's announced in that position by the president-elect, is working with the team to get those put together.
So, no announcement just yet, but I would say, stay tuned. In additionally, with regard to Supreme Court, that's also something that's actively being discussed, but I wouldn't want to go and -- and set an arbitrary time table at this point.
Obviously it's a matter of the -- the utmost importance. The president-elect had previously put out a list of 20 very, highly qualified individuals from which he would select. I know they've continued to narrow that list down. He himself has said that that's probably a shorter list of five or six folks that are near the top that that's being narrowed down to.
And -- but again, this -- this is another one where it's of absolute utmost priority so need to make sure we get this one right.
OPERATOR: We'll take our final question from Courtney Weaver with Financial Times.
QUESTION: Hey there.
I was wondering -- do you have confirmation dates yet for Tillerson and Mattis?
MILLER: I'm not aware of those confirmation dates being sent yet. But obviously we're moving as quickly as possible. As soon as we have confirmation dates for those positions or any of the others we'll make sure that we get them out to everyone.
OPERATOR: And this does conclude our question and answer session.
I would now like to turn the conference back over to our speakers.
SPICER: Hey, guys, have a great day. Enjoy the snow if your in New York and we'll see you tomorrow morning.
MILLER: All right, thanks, everyone, appreciate it.
OPERATOR: This does conclude today's conference call. Thank you all for your participation. You may now disconnect.