OPERATOR: Good day. Welcome to the transition daily briefing call. Today's conference is being recorded.
At this time, I would like to turn the conference over to Sean Spicer and Jason Miller. Please go ahead.
SPICER: Hey, good morning, everyone. Thanks for joining us again.
SPICER: We are officially 30 days away from the inauguration of the 46th president. If you haven't seen it or if you're not on the releases, the Presidential Inaugural Committee released their schedule of the official events of the 58th presidential inauguration.
It's out. You can contact them, but just to give you a couple of the highlights. The committee had an extensive schedule of inaugural events to be held over a five-day span, starting on Tuesday prior to the inauguration, including several dinners honoring the president- elect, the vice president-elect, Cabinet secretaries, and a concert celebrating the American people, the swearing-in, the inaugural parade, and two inaugural balls, and a ball saluting our armed forces and first responders.
The official portion of the inaugural begins with the president- elect and the vice president-elect laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery the morning of Thursday, January 19th. And then they will continue on to a welcome celebration concert at the Lincoln Memorial that evening. On Friday, January 20th, the president- and the vice president-elect will begin their day with the inaugural swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol, and then the inaugural parade will occur down Pennsylvania Avenue.
Then the evening inaugural balls will take place at various locations. There are further details that will come. The president- elect has announced that he's attending two balls, as well as the armed forces ball that I just mentioned. On Saturday, the president- and the vice president-elect, at that time the president and the president-elect -- vice president will attend a national prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.
Members of the media and public will be notified by the PIC of any updates or changes in schedule. Many of the ticketed events are available to the general public and information can be found at the PIC website, www.58PIC2017.org, for those who are interested in obtaining tickets. Media credentialing for inaugural events is available at that same address, with at the end of .org\press. So it's www.58PIC2017.org\press.
At this point, switching gears, the president-elect and the vice president-elect have now had over 100 meetings with individuals to fill potential (inaudible) roles in their administration. As of this morning, we now have over 300 landing team members deployed across numerous agencies and departments in preparation for the transition to occur when the president- and the vice president-elect take office on January 20th. I think we should expect announcements on the president-elect's staff and additional positions in the White House either today or tomorrow. To recap, yesterday the president-elect had productive meetings with Mr. Luis Quinonez -- Q-U-I-N-O-N-E-Z -- who is the CEO of IQ Management, Inc.; Ms. Jovita Carranza-- first name is J-O-V-I-T- A, last name C-A-R-R-A-N-Z-A, the founder and CEO of the JCR Group; and Dr. Toby Cosgrove, C-O-S-G-R-O-V-E, the CEO and president of the Cleveland Clinic.
Yesterday, the vice president-elect held a series of transition meetings in D.C. with Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense-designate General Mattis, Secretary of Homeland Security-designate General Kelly, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development-designate Dr. Ben Carson, members of the national security team, and other current and former elected officials.
I'll now turn it over to Jason to talk a little bit about the rest of the schedule.
MILLER: Thank you, Sean.
Today, the president-elect will begin his day with a presidential daily briefing. He will spend the remainder of the day holding internal staff meetings at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. With regards to the rest of the week's schedule, President-elect Trump will remain at Mar-a-Lago holding meetings for the remainder of the week and will stay in Florida through the Christmas holiday.
MILLER: I would expect that tomorrow we'll have -- potentially have some additional information if there are any other off-campus stops in Palm Beach over the holiday weekend. Vice President-elect Pence will spend the Christmas holiday in Indiana.
And just as a reminder, we will hold the press call tomorrow morning at 10:30, but we will not have the press call on Friday and then nor Monday or Tuesday of next week. The daily press calls will resume then on Wednesday the 28th at 10:30 am.
And we'll just go ahead and open it up for a few questions.
OPERATOR: And if you'd like to a question, please signal by pressing star one on your telephone keypad. If you are using a speaker phone, please make sure your mute function is turned off to allow your signal to reach our equipment. Again, press star one to ask a question. And we'll pause for just a moment to allow everyone an opportunity to signal for questions.
And we'll take our first question from Blake Burman with Fox Business.
QUESTION: Merry Christmas to you. Thanks for doing this.
MILLER: Hey, Blake.
QUESTION: Hey. Just a few questions.
First, the president-elect has been sending out a series of tweets today about the popular vote and the electoral college. Why does he feel the need to revisit that? Is my first question, and then separately, on the search, are we getting any closer or is he getting any closer to the V.A. -- selecting that position? And can we read into anything of no scheduled meetings today? Does the president- elect have the pool of candidates that he wants or is this just for (inaudible) for the holidays?
MILLER: Thanks, Blake. A couple of different things here, going in reverse order.
So with regard to the meetings that he's holding today, there are a number of different, whether it be staff or organizational meetings and such, that he's doing. As we mentioned, he's doing the -- he has a presidential daily briefing today. So a number of things that the president-elect has scheduled that he's doing that are more internally focused.
And with regard to the overall search process for the remaining Cabinet positions and more specifically to V.A. and Ag, I don't know how imminent any announcement will be coming. We still have not been given indication that the president-elect has made a final decision on either front. And so, until we're at the point that we know that, then we don't want to speculate as far as time tables.
Now, with regard to the earlier question regarding the president- elect with his tweets, I'll go ahead and let those speak for themselves. But this is something that the president-elect has discussed, both on the Thank You rally tour that he's had and in other occasions, so there's nothing new here.
QUESTION: All right, thank you.
OPERATOR: And moving on, we'll take our next question from Tony Bertuca with Inside Defense.
QUESTION: Gentlemen, thank you for taking the call.
My question goes to the memo that leaked out of the Pentagon that purports to list some of the president-elect's defense priorities. There's been some criticism that Russia is not explicitly listed in those priorities. Can you talk about what the president-elect's defense priorities are, especially with regard to -- to Russia and things that were listed on the memo?
And then also, I've got a follow-up question about plans that are listed to help eliminate the Budget Control Act and increase defense spending, especially since the OMB chief is going to Representative Mulvaney, who has talked about cutting defense spending in the past. So the two seem like a fiscal odd couple in that respect.
MILLER: Thanks, Tony.
So a couple of different things that you asked (inaudible).
First and foremost, important to keep in mind that the president- elect is not yet sworn in until the 20th of next month. We are 30 days away here. So a number of aspects of the Cabinet and the administration are still coming together and some of the policies that you're asking about, a little bit -- I think that's a little bit premature to start getting into when we're still trying to form the overall government.
With respect to your -- your initial point, I'll remind you that the DOD landing team has had more than 100 briefings with all the major component organizations of the Department of Defense and (inaudible) their sub-component (ph) since November 28th. And these briefings have addressed a breadth of policy plans, intelligence, budget, organizational issues.
And with more specific regard to the memo that you brought up, you know, this was something that was created from a very brief internal introductory conversation between the transition landing team prior to a briefing by one of the defense organizations. And as I said earlier with this being a bit premature, the notes from the meeting are not comprehensive policy. I think to go and read into it any further than that I think would be -- I think would be erroneous. So a bit early.
We'll have plenty of time for going into more specifics, both as we move through the Cabinet confirmation process and Rex Tillerson and General Mattis and other who will be involved with this (inaudible) to get to work.
QUESTION: Do you have a list of priorities for defense you can share with us yet? Or maybe a subject matter expert who I could chat with, maybe off-line about this?
MILLER: That's premature at the moment.
OPERATOR: And moving on, we'll take our next question from Michael Auslen with Tampa Bay Times.
QUESTION: All right, thanks for taking my question. I just wanted to ask if anyone from the transition is meeting with any local elected officials in Florida while the president-elect is in Palm Beach over the next week? MILLER: On that particular one, I'm not aware of any specific meetings that are happening. But again, don't know if -- if there might be. That's something I can definitely ask other folks on the team if they have anything lined up.
Obviously, Florida is a very important state to the president- elect, a place where he spends a lot of time. But as far as -- if there's anything more specific that's happening on this particular trip, I don't have anything to share at the moment.
OPERATOR: And moving on, we'll take our next question from Shawn Donnan with Financial Times.
QUESTION: Hi. Thanks so much for doing this call. Two questions.
First of all, do you expect to make any more announcements this week on Cabinet level appointments, and particularly on the U.S. trade representative's office? Should we expect something soon on that?
And secondly, has the president-elect -- or does the president- elect have any reaction to President Obama's move yesterday to withdraw more than 100 million acres of the -- for the Arctic offshore waters from oil and gas leases?
MILLER: Thank you. Going in reverse order, there. Don't have an immediate reaction to the first point.
Regarding the second point, potentially we could see additional announcements. But again, with these positions being as important as they are, the focus is making sure that the president-elect picks the person he wants to go with and that he's comfortable that he's picking the absolute most highly qualified, best person at each of the positions. And if that happens to happen this week in advance of the holiday, we'll get that out there right away. Otherwise, we'll put those out there as soon as that's finalized.
OPERATOR: And moving on, we'll take our next question from Katherine Faders with ABC News.
QUESTION: Hey, guys.
Quick question on the inauguration stuff. I saw the statement you released yesterday saying that the opening day event and details were merely initial concepts and that Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump weren't involved in any capacity. Can you guys clarify, you know, why in the first place the children were listed on there and is this some -- you accusing the organizers of fraud in any way?
And just a -- a second point about it, who's signing off on the involvement with these inaugural events and does the president-elect still plan to -- is he going to attend the opening day nonprofit event on January 21st and the inauguration weekend? And if so, will he meet donors there?
MILLER: OK, want to make sure that you saw the statement that the transition team put out yesterday. I'm going to go ahead and read that to you. The opening day event and details that have been reported are merely initial concepts. They have not been approved or pursued by the Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsmen and supporters of conservation efforts which align with the goals of this event, however they are not involved in any capacity.
And so, let me -- just to be clear on that final point, there is no involvement of this with Don Jr. or Eric, nor do they plan on being involved with it so I think that statement speaks pretty clearly for itself.
OPERATOR: And moving on, we'll take our next question from Jason Noble with Des Moines Register. QUESTION: Hi, thanks for taking my call.
There was a photo yesterday of Iowa businessman Bruce Rastetter at Trump Tower. I wondered if he's being considered for any administration post.
MILLER: Do not know if Mr. Rastetter is being considered for a particular post. Obviously someone who comes with a wealth of knowledge and is very well known in Iowa politics, but don't have any particular updates on his meeting with transition officials.
OPERATOR: And we'll take our last question from Kevin Liptak with CNN.
QUESTION: Hey, on the presidential daily briefing today, I wondered if you can say how many of those the president-elect has now received whether he's developed a favorite style of receiving them whether it's in person or the phone or if he's receiving any briefing materials beforehand or after-hand. And along those same lines, I'm wondering if you guys plan or if the president-elect plans to fill the role of senior adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism.
That's the job that Lisa Monaco holds now. Has he interviewed any candidates for that job or do you have a timeline for when he might fill it?
MILLER: Thank you.
Don't have a specific timeline for filling that position. I know that the teams have been hard at work on looking at the next round of administration nominations and appointees, but don't have an update on -- on that particular spot.
With regard to the PDB, we haven't put out -- haven't put out any additional information about -- I guess you'd say a readout, so to speak, obviously by the very nature of the PDB, that's something that isn't exactly conducive to a traditional readout.
MILLER: But the one thing I will say, is that the president- elect is receiving numerous briefings whether it's from his national security team with General Flynn and others as well as the formal PDB. So he's very much up to speed on what's going on and fully ready for -- to be sworn in next month and take over the role as commander in chief.
SPICER: Hey, Kevin. It's Sean.
I think -- I -- we've addressed this in the past, but just to be clear. The president (sic) gets a briefing every single day from his national security team. And so -- just so you're crystal clear on that (inaudible). And then the details of the other ones are -- are (inaudible) have been addressed as well.
OPERATOR: And I'll turn the call back over to the speakers for any additional and closing remarks.
MILLER: That's everything I have, so thank you, everybody.
Sean, I don't know if you had anything.
SPICER: No. Have a great day. We'll see you tomorrow for the -- our last one before Christmas.
MILLER: Thanks, everyone.
OPERATOR: Once again, that does conclude today's conference. Thank you for your participation. You may now disconnect.