70 year old Donald Trump shook up his White House transition team Friday, putting running mate Mike Pence in charge and naming a cohort of Washington insiders — and three of his children — to help nail down picks for his future cabinet.
The reshuffle by the Republican president-elect came after thousands of angry protesters took to the streets for a second straight night, sign of the acute tensions coursing through the nation after the most divisive campaign in memory.
In Portland, a march by some 4,000 protesters turned violent, with cars vandalized and projectiles thrown at police, who used rubber bullets and pepper spray to disperse the crowd. Twenty-five people were arrested.
On Friday, the real estate tycoon-turned-world-leader was ensconced in his luxury Manhattan apartment at Trump Tower. As the aides who guided him to victory marched in to help Trump map out the way forward, he announced he was elevating Vice President-elect Mike Pence to lead the transition.
He also included three of his children and his son-in-law Jared Kushner on the team — a move likely to raise eyebrows, since the tycoon earlier announced that should he win he would place his vast business interests into a blind trust operated by Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump and Ivanka Trump.
And in a clear shift with the tone of his abrasive campaign, he named a string of insider figures from the very establishment that he railed so strongly, including Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus.
“Drain the swamp” became a popular Trump refrain in the closing weeks of the race as he vowed to end the ways of the US capital.
Trump tweeted Friday that he had a “busy day” ahead. “Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government!”
Predictions swiftly turned to who would serve as his chief of staff, with the names of Priebus and Steve Bannon, the combative political operative who came from conservative news organization Breitbart to chair Trump’s campaign, thrown about.