President-elect Donald Trump returned to his perch high above Manhattan on Monday, meeting with former rivals and longtime allies a day after he indicated he had worked out agreements to fill major posts in his administration.
Trump, after spending the weekend receiving a parade of visitors at his golf course in New Jersey, was set to do the same at Trump Tower. Among his scheduled visitors: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who ran against him in the Republican primary, longtime ally Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House of Representatives, and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
“We’ve made a couple of deals,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf club on Sunday. He gave assurances that “incredible meetings” would be bringing “incredible people” into the government. “You’ll be hearing about them soon.”
Trump made a flurry of brief public appearances over the weekend, often with Vice President-elect Mike Pence at his side, to provide quick updates on his progress in building a government. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee in 2012, was “under active and serious consideration” for secretary of state, Pence said. Trump himself said retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis was an “impressive” prospect for defense secretary.
Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser for the transition, said Monday the president-elect wanted to hear viewpoints from across the political spectrum, including from “Never Trumpers” who she said “are looking forward to having a say in what happens next.” She also said that Trump would receive a visit from Hawaii Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who resigned her post in the Democratic National Committee after endorsing Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton.
“Not all of them [his visitors] will be in his Cabinet and his federal government, but they are all incredibly important in offering their points of views, their experience and certainly their vision of the country,” Conway said.
The businessman who is now the president-elect also apparently is considering options to lead the Commerce Department, meeting with investor Wilbur Ross. “Time will tell,” Ross told reporters when asked if he wanted a post.
Between conversations Sunday, Trump revealed he was making transition plans for his family, too. He told reporters that his wife, Melania, and their 10-year-old son, Barron, would move to Washington when the school year ends.
Trump posted Sunday that he was considering General James Mattis for the post of secretary of defense.
The comments indicated Trump is looking outside his immediate circle as he works toward rounding out his foreign policy and national security teams. On Friday, he named a loyalist, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, as his national security adviser.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, and Trump exchanged bitter insults during the campaign, and Mattis has not been considered a Trump confidant. The appointment of more establishment figures could offer some reassurance to lawmakers and others concerned about Trump’s hard-line positions on immigration and national security and his lack of foreign policy experience.
Trump told reporters Sunday that one of his most loyal and public allies, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, was also a prospect for secretary of state “and other things.” Giuliani at one point had been considered for attorney general, but Trump gave that job to Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.