Like what you read below? Sign up for HUFFPOST HILL and get a cheeky dose of political news every evening!
Donald Trump tapped another Goldman Sachs guy for a top job, because apparently his strategy for draining the swamp involves a leveraged buyout of said swamp, firing the swamp’s entrenched managers, and then declaring the swamp bankrupt. Trump cheerleader Bill Mitchell is thinking about writing a book, so spare a thought for whatever sucker has to edit it. And new filings reveal Trump’s campaign paid his businesses $12 million during the campaign, so at this rate, he might be a real billionaire some day.
OBAMA MAY TRANSMIT THIS ABOUT VLADIMIR - This might reveal details on the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential race, which half the country has decided not to care about anyway. Akbar Shahid Ahmed: “President Barack Obama expects to receive a U.S. intelligence report on security breaches during the 2016 election before he leaves office on Jan. 20, his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, told reporters Friday…. The U.S. intelligence community announced on Oct. 7 that it believes hackers supported by the Russian government were responsible for meddling in the election process, including by targeting the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta and other notable political figures, like former Secretary of State Colin Powell.” [HuffPost]
Meanwhile… Putin’s tovarisch, President-elect Donald Trump, doesn’t seem to care much about actual U.S. intelligence reports, Reuters’ Mark Hosenball and Patricia Zengerle report.
AMERICA IS TRUMP’S BIGGEST MARK YET - And we ain’t seen nothing yet. S.V. Date: “Donald Trump’s presidential campaign sent Donald Trump’s businesses $2.9 million in the final days prior to and the weeks following his election…. The burst of spending brings to more than $12 million the total Trump has funneled back to his businesses since the start of the campaign. It continues his pattern of choosing to spend donors’ money at his own properties for events and on his own airplane for travel, even though it meant spending considerably more than comparable alternatives.” [HuffPost]
THE PRICE FOR CABINET SEATS IS HIGHER THAN EVER - Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy: “With his choice of restaurant executive Andrew Puzder to serve as his Labor secretary, President-elect Donald Trump has now tapped six big donors and fundraisers to serve in his administration, lining up an unprecedented concentration of wealthy backers for top posts. Together with their families, Trump’s nominees gave $11.6 million to support his presidential bid, his allied super PACs and the Republican National Committee, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal campaign filings. One single appointee — WWE co-founder Linda McMahon — contributed $7.5 million to back his White House run before Trump selected her to run the Small Business Administration this week. She and her husband Vince were also the top outside donors to Trump’s private foundation.” [WashPost]
Congressional Republicans don’t give a rat’s patootie about Trump’s ethics, because tax cuts.
BULLY PULPIT - Obama had ISIS. W had the Axis of Evil. Reagan had the Evil Empire. Trump has an 18-year-old kid. Jenna Johnson: “About a year ago, 18-year-old college student Lauren Batchelder stood up at a political forum in New Hampshire and told Donald Trump that she didn’t think he was ‘a friend to women.’ The next morning, Trump fired back on Twitter — calling Batchelder an ‘arrogant young woman’ and accusing her of being a ‘plant’ from a rival campaign. Her phone began ringing with callers leaving threatening messages that were often sexual in nature. Her Facebook and email inboxes filled with similar messages. As her addresses circulated on social media and her photo flashed on the news, she fled home to hide…. Five days before the election, she received a Facebook message that read: ‘Wishing I could f―-ing punch you in the face. id then proceed to stomp your head on the curb and urinate in your bloodied mouth and i know where you live, so watch your f―-ing back punk.’” [WashPost]
Chuck Jones, the union leader getting death threats from Trump supporters this week, told HuffPost Hill today he’s been getting mostly supportive messages since he stood up to Trump’s mean tweets yesterday. He’s hoping for a sitdown with the president-elect. Beer summit?
FIRST, THEY CAME FOR THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS - How soon before someone doxxes these civil servants? Catherine Traywick and Jennifer A. Dlouhy: “Advisers to President-elect Donald Trump are developing plans to reshape Energy Department programs, help keep aging nuclear plants online and identify staff who played a role in promoting President Barack Obama’s climate agenda. The transition team has asked the agency to list employees and contractors who attended United Nations climate meetings, along with those who helped develop the Obama administration’s social cost of carbon metrics, used to estimate and justify the climate benefits of new rules. The advisers are also seeking information on agency loan programs, research activities and the basis for its statistics, according to a five-page internal document circulated by the Energy Department on Wednesday.” [Bloomberg]
SWAMP RE-SWAMPED - Goldman Sachs always wins. Ben Walsh: “Trump’s latest pick continues that trend, with the president-elect choosing Gary Cohn, the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, to head the National Economic Council, NBC News reports. The NEC advises the president on economic policy, and its director works in the White House…. Trump’s decision to invite several Goldman Sachs employees to join his administration certainly defies the populist image he cultivated while he ran for office. The president-elect closed his campaign with an ad that bashed the political and financial establishment, pairing classically anti-Semitic phrases with images of Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein, billionaire investor George Soros, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and other finance figures.” [HuffPost]
Trump, who campaigned against the “elites,” says he prefers rich people.
FILL THE SWAMP WITH OIL - Peter Nicholas and Bradley Olson: “Exxon Mobil Corp. Chief Executive Rex Tillerson has emerged as the leading candidate to become President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, according to two transition officials, marking the latest twist in a multi-week search for the nation’s top diplomat.” [WSJ]
LOL RUDY - Tal Kopan and Daniella Diaz: “Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani has removed himself from consideration for a position in President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, Trump announced in a statement Friday.” [CNN]
TRUMP ADMINISTRATION POISED TO LITERALLY SELL AMERICA - Amy Harder and Michael C. Bender: “President-elect Donald Trump is expected to tap Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) to lead the Interior Department, according to a person familiar with the matter. Ms. McMorris Rodgers, a senior member of the House of Representatives, if confirmed by the Senate, would lead Mr. Trump’s efforts to open up federal lands and waters to fossil-fuel development and reverse environmental policies the Obama administration has pursued over the past eight years…. She supported legislation opening up federal waters to oil and natural-gas drilling, including the Atlantic Ocean, and preventing the Interior Department from regulating hydraulic fracturing, a controversial oil and natural-gas extraction technology.” [WSJ]
Like HuffPost Hill? Then order Eliot’s new book, The Beltway Bible: A Totally Serious A-Z Guide To Our No-Good, Corrupt, Incompetent, Terrible, Depressing, and Sometimes Hilarious Government
Does somebody keep forwarding you this newsletter? Get your own copy. It’s free! Sign up here. Send tips/stories/photos/events/
LOYALTY IS A ONE-WAY STREET FOR TRUMP - Still, it’s hard to feel badly for this gang. Alex Isenstadt and Kenneth P. Vogel: “They’ve been with him from the beginning — when no one believed he could win, and when the Republican Party establishment wanted absolutely nothing to do with him. But now, as President-elect Donald Trump builds out his administration, the loyalists who helped launch his campaign and powered its stunning early victories are growing worried they won’t be getting plum jobs.Many of them say they’ve heard nothing about their career prospects and, during furtive huddles, have been commiserating with one another about how they can’t seem to get their calls to top Trump transition brass returned.” [Politico]
Get yr hot Bill Mitchell news here, courtesy of HuffPost Hill’s Eliot Nelson: “Bill Mitchell, one of Donald Trump’s most outspoken backers on Twitter, tells HuffPost he’s meeting with publishers about writing a book. Mitchell doesn’t want to elaborate much on what the book would entail, other than that it would ‘detail my thoughts on the campaign.’ However, he says he is not ruling out other publishing options. ‘I may put together a coffee table book of some of my best tweets,’ Mitchell said, ‘what was happening when I tweeted this, what I was thinking.’ Asked if he would be interested in being the president-elect’s press secretary ― after all, few people have publicly defended Trump with such unwavering enthusiasm ― Mitchell was of two minds. ‘I would be great at that job. One of the things I’m good at is seeing the pattern in the chaos. I think I would be a very good press secretary,’ he replied. ‘On the other hand, I don’t want to work in Government.’”
TRUMP EYES ROMNEY’S NIECE FOR RNC - Awkward! Eliana Johnson, Kenneth P. Vogel and Alex Isenstadt: “Ronna Romney McDaniel has emerged as Donald Trump’s likely choice to lead the Republican National Committee, two sources familiar with the president-elect’s decision told POLITICO. McDaniel, the niece of 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is currently chair of the Michigan Republican Party. Trump’s decision could be announced as soon as Friday, a transition official said, when he is scheduled to visit Grand Rapids in the course of his post-election “thank you” tour. Several sources close to the decision-making process, however, said the final decision had not yet been made and it was possible that another top contender could be selected.” [Politico]
TRUMP MAKES UGLY INSINUATION ABOUT IMMIGRANTS - Violent crimes are always a good opportunity to trash innocent people. Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “President-elect Donald J. Trump said Thursday that the stabbing attack by a refugee last week at Ohio State University was a ‘tragic reminder’ of the need to take a hard line on immigration, arguing that his administration would put the safety of Americans first in a way the Obama administration never has. Mr. Trump, who visited the university’s campus on Thursday before speaking at a victory rally in Des Moines, said the attack — carried out by a Somali-born refugee who Mr. Trump has said should not have been in the country — had been ‘yet one more tragic reminder that immigration security is now national security.’ ‘No more games, folks, no more games,’ he told several thousand people in a large event hall in downtown Des Moines, packed with supporters wearing bright-red caps emblazoned with Mr. Trump’s ‘Make America Great Again’ mantra.” [NYT]
DURBIN AND GRAHAM DREAM OF A HUMANE AMERICA - Elise Foley: “Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) unveiled legislation on Friday to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation under President-elect Donald Trump ― now the question is whether it will work. The bipartisan bill, called the Bridge Act, would effectively maintain the protections of President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. More than 740,000 young people were granted deportation reprieve and work permits under the program, but could now lose those protections, should Trump follow through on a promise to end DACA immediately upon taking office.” [HuffPost]
TRUMP’S LABOR SECRETARY PICK IS A REAL EXPERT ON LABOR LAW - But not in a good way. Dave Jamieson: “President-elect Donald Trump named a fast-food chief executive to be the next labor secretary Thursday. If confirmed, Andrew Puzder ― the head of CKE Restaurants, which owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. burger chains ― would be responsible for enforcing the country’s labor laws and holding unscrupulous employers accountable. Puzder apparently has some experience when it comes to wage law enforcement, albeit on the other side…. Puzder would be coming to Washington directly from the top of an industry that the Labor Department is responsible for policing. Wage theft is a widely documented problem in the fast-food business, which pays some of the lowest wages in the country. Labor Department investigators often find that restaurants have failed to follow minimum wage and overtime law.” [HuffPost]
WHEN ELECTORAL COLLEGE MEMBERS DEFY THE POPULAR VOTE - But maybe don’t get your hopes up this time, liberal Twitter. Nina Agrawal: “Since 1900, there have been only nine faithless electors who defected for individual reasons, including one who abstained from voting altogether. Here’s a rundown of who they were and why they did it.” [LA Times]
TRUMP BARNSTORMING FOR LOUISIANA SENATE CANDIDATE - Ken Thomas and Jonathan Lemire: “Tending to party politics, President-elect Donald Trump is rallying supporters in Louisiana on Friday ahead of the state’s Senate runoff election, aiming to pad the Republican majority he will inherit. Trump was campaigning for Republican John Kennedy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and then making another stop on his ‘thank you’ tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that helped him prevail against Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month’s election.” [AP]
MANHATTAN WILL NEVER LOVE YOU, DONALD TRUMP - Alexander Burns: “Mr. Trump has long been an intermittent source of irritation for New Yorkers, from his days as a tabloid exhibitionist to the long months of the 2016 campaign. But that clash has reached a new and potentially explosive phase since Nov. 8, as he has transformed his signature building — home to his penthouse apartment and business headquarters, and previously his campaign office — into a base of operations for his frenzied presidential transition. By signaling that he plans to keep a presence in New York after taking office in January, Mr. Trump, a Republican, has animated a confrontation unlike any in modern American politics: between a president who clings to his hometown and yearns for its affection, and a city that wishes he would simply disappear.” [NYT]
INBOX: “Governor McCrory Finalizes Boundary Between North and South Carolina.”
A LEFTIST CONSPIRACY THEORY, FOR A CHANGE - Ex-Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) looks like he’s facing a long prison term for corruption, but some extra-woke former aides think something’s rotten in Center City. William Bender, Chris Brennan, and Jeremy Roebuck: “It’s not looking good for ol’ Chaka. But Fattah wouldn’t even have been convicted in June if Bartle hadn’t dismissed the lone holdout on the jury. That’s the theory, at any rate, at a mysterious new website called thefattahcase.com, which claims to be run by a dozen former Fattah staffers - all of whom insist on anonymity…. The website includes more than 300 pages of documents and seeks to poke holes in the government’s case.” [Philadelphia Daily News]
BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR - Here’s an amazing story about a gay Mike Pence lookalike who’s raising money for progressive causes, via HuffPost’s JamesMichael Nichols.
BREAK OUT THE LONG JOHNS - Angela Fritz: “Winter’s first polar vortex blast, already taking shape in the Arctic this weekend, targets the Lower 48 next week. By Tuesday, temperatures below zero will plunge south into the northern plains and Midwest. Over the course of a few days, the cold air will blast across the country to the Northeast…. What will likely be the coldest air since last February will barge into the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast late next week. Daytime temperatures from Washington to Boston will struggle to climb above freezing. Overnight lows will surely be in the single digits and teens, if not below zero in parts of New England.” [Washington Post]
- Here is a giant stroller for grown-ups to ride around in. Millennials!
- This 97-year-old WWII vet playing the Star-Spangled Banner on the harmonica is… just wow.
- A dog who spreads holiday cheer around the hospital, in his own tiny Volkswagen bus.
@vineyille: “What do you mean you lost it?”
Ben Carson looking for the department of housing and urban development under the couch: I lost it
@DanaSchwartzzz: Tom Cruise has succeeded like 6 times in a row why do they still think these missions are impossible
@aedwardslevy fake gnus
Got something to add? Send tips/quotes/stories/photos/