Friday, December 09, 2016


Rudy Giuliani won't be Donald Trump's secertary of state or have any other job in his Cabinet:
President-elect Donald Trump says Rudy Giuliani is taking himself out of consideration for a position in his administration.

Giuliani, a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, was an early front-runner to be secretary of state. But he faced questions about his overseas business ties and Trump began looking at other candidates, including Mitt Romney.

In a statement, Trump says Giuliani would have been an "outstanding" Cabinet secretary in several roles. He says he respects the former New York City mayor's decision to remain in the private sector.

Reince Priebus, Trump's incoming White House chief of staff, says Giuliani was vetted by the transition team for possible conflicts and "passed with flying colors."
I like the way this is being presented as his decision (the headline of this AP story is "Giuliani Takes Himself out of Running"), and I'm struck by the un-Trump-like graciousness with which Priebus says that Giuliani didn't have any troubling conflicts of interest. Nevertheless, Giuliani was clearly pushed out by Priebus on behalf of the GOP's establishment wing. Priebus scored another victory, and this was one more defeat for Steve Bannon. Here's what New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman wrote yesterday, when Giuliani was still theoretically in the running:
The Priebus-Bannon power struggle is playing out most prominently in Trump’s search for a secretary of State. According to sources, Bannon has advocated for naming Rudy Giuliani, while Priebus has made the case for a more moderate choice. When concerns were raised about Giuliani’s business conflicts hurting his chances to be confirmed by the Senate, Bannon lobbied Trump not to settle for Mitt Romney and to expand the search for new candidates to include ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, and Senator Bob Corker, a source close to Bannon told me.
I'm not sure if that means Romney will be secretary of state now, but we also learned this today:
Ronna Romney McDaniel is expected to be Donald Trump’s pick to be the next chairwoman of the Republican National Committee (RNC), according to two sources with direct knowledge of the deliberations.

McDaniel [is the] the chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party....

McDaniel is the favored choice of current RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, according to two sources with direct knowledge of Priebus's thinking....

McDaniel ... is Mitt Romney's niece....
I've been telling you about the Priebus-Bannon war, which Priebus is winning in a rout, to the delight of the Koch brothers and other tax-averse, regulation-hating, social-safety-net-despising fat cats. You may not believe that Bannon genuinely regards himself as a champion of ordinary Americans, but I think that's his myth of himself. The Trump-Priebus administration, the Carrier deal notwithstanding, isn't even pretending to be pro-proletarian anymore. And in bureaucratic battles, Bannon is proving to be completely overmatched. So I'm not sure he'll even stay with Trump until the inaugural.


Jimbo said...

There are so many laughable, post-truth aspects of this. The idea that Giuliani was carefully checked for business COI while the PEOTUS is riddled with such. Also, on what planet is the CEO of Exxon-Mobil a populist choice? The proposed Trump Cabinet nominees are like some ridiculous parody of an extreme RW cabinet or, as someone said, like a parade of Batman villains. Still, most of those nominated are going to quickly find out they can't behave like banana republic dictators. What a mess.

Ken_L said...

It was surprising to see Breitbart criticise one of Trump's cabinet picks. A warning shot from Bannon that he could make life very difficult for Trump if there's a falling out? Who knows.

Yastreblyansky said...

Or a victory for Paul Manafort (who still lives, have I mentioned this?, in Trump Tower, and Carter Page, since the out-of-nowhere front-runner Rex Tillerson comes to us from Exxon and Rosneft.