iStock/Thinkstock(LANSING, Mich.) -- After a brief halt, the vote recount in Michigan will continue next week despite the efforts of Donald Trump's representatives to prevent it, officials announced Friday.
"The State Board of Canvassers today did not accept an objection from representatives of Donald J. Trump regarding the presidential election recount that was requested by Green Party nominee Jill Stein," a statement released Friday by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office read.
Recount activity in Michigan was halted on Thursday when the state's election board "received an objection from representatives of Donald J. Trump," the Michigan Secretary of State's office said Thursday.
According to the secretary of state's office, the recount will resume next Wednesday. According to MLive, the board voted 2-2 in a meeting Friday morning and because a majority was not reached, the recount can continue as planned.
On Monday, the Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified Trump as the winner of presidential election in Michigan. The Great Lake State was the last to be called in the election.
Stein has raised millions to request vote recounts in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania as well, and she has already paid for a recount in Wisconsin, which is currently underway.
If there is excess money from their fundraising, Stein's team said the campaign will consult with the Federal Election Commission guidelines on how best to proceed.
In a statement released Wednesday, Johnson said that recount efforts could cost Michigan taxpayers millions.
“It is unusual that a candidate who received just 1 percent of the vote is seeking a recount, especially when there is no evidence of hacking or fraud, or even a credible allegation of any tampering," the statement read. “The cost of this recount to Michigan taxpayers could easily reach into the millions of dollars. Based on Wisconsin’s estimate, Michigan taxpayers could be paying $4 million despite the $1 million the Green Party nominee must pay to have the recount."
The statement continued: “Nevertheless, county clerks have been gearing up to complete this recount under a very challenging deadline. They’ll be working nights and weekends. I know they will do a great job because we have some of the best clerks in the country here in Michigan.”
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- While Donald Trump's cabinet selection process is far from finished -- there are still eight spots that have not been announced -- nearly all of the picks that have been announced are wealthy individuals, in addition to himself.
By comparison, when then-President George W. Bush assembled his cabinet of millionaires after the 2000 election, media outlets called it the wealthiest cabinet in history, as The Washington Post pointed out.
But that pales in comparison to the wealth that will be represented in Trump's cabinet.
The Telegraphreported that Bill Clinton had seven multi-millionaires in his first cabinet as did Ronald Reagan; and George H.W. Bush had six multi-millionaires. In the case of George W. Bush, 13 of his 16 cabinet members were worth at least $1 million in 2001, the paper reported.
ABC News could not independently verify the net worth of any of Trump’s cabinet picks, but the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans and some public records offer a sense of their wealth.
At least one member of Trump's administration is on the Forbes 400 list. Wilbur Ross, his pick for commerce secretary, is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, according to Forbes, and ranks No. 232 on its list.
Two of Trump's picks for top-level positions come from extraordinarily wealthy families. Todd Ricketts, who is the son of the founder of TD Ameritrade, was tapped to be Trump's deputy secretary of commerce. His family is worth an estimated $5.3 billion, according to Forbes.
Betsy DeVos was named as Trump's pick for education secretary and her father-in-law is the co-founder of multi-level marketing company Amway. The DeVos family is worth an estimated $5.1 billion, according to Forbes.
Three of Trump's picks for cabinet positions -- subject to Senate confirmation -- have had to detail their financial standings because they're in public office or are married to someone who is: Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who was announced as Trump's pick for secretary of health and human services, Elaine Chao, Trump's pick for secretary of transportation, who is married to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Trump's pick for attorney general.
Federal financial disclosure forms allow the signers to identify income in ranges. The nonprofit and nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics estimates public officials' wealth based on their financial disclosure forms, providing the most accurate publicly available estimates of their income.
Price had a net worth estimate of $13.6 million in 2014, which was the most recent data available, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. That figure ranks him as the 44th wealthiest member of the House of Representatives on the Center for Responsive Politics list.
McConnell, whose disclosure forms jointly list both his and his wife's incomes and investments, had an estimated net worth of nearly $22.2 million in 2014, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
McConnell's 2015 disclosure form identifies certain income his wife received during that year, including a $50,000 payment for a speech she made for the Alliance for Public Awareness in Paris and a $25,000 payment for a speech to the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, D.C.
Sessions, who is in his fourth term as a senator from Alabama, had an estimated net worth of $7.5 million in 2014 and was the 24th wealthiest member of the Senate, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
ABC News could not independently verify the net worth of Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for treasury secretary, who worked at Goldman Sachs for 17 years before going on to found his own investment firm, Dune Capital.
Mnuchin led a group of investors who bought the failed IndyMac bank, rebranding it as OneWest Bank and eventually selling it last year, to CIT group for approximately $3.4 billion.
The only member of Trump's cabinet whose wealth is completely unknown is Gen. James Mattis, who served in the military for 41 years and retired in 2013. His net worth could not be independently verified by ABC News and he has never had to publicly release financial disclosure forms.
As Trump continues to round out his cabinet, another multi-millionaire could be added to the list.
Mitt Romney is believed to be one of the contenders for secretary of state. During his failed presidential bid in 2012, Romney's campaign reportedly said that his net worth was around $250 million and Forbes estimated that it was closer to $230 million that same year.
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President-elect Donald Trump's pick of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be the next defense secretary will require a congressional waiver for him to assume the post, because he has not been retired from military service for more than seven years.
The pick has called attention to the requirement set in the National Security Act of 1947 that the head of the Defense Department must be a civilian. Any nominee with prior military experience must have been retired from active duty for seven years. Mattis retired from the Marine Corps three years ago.
The concept of civilian control of the U.S. military required by the law is one that dates to the nation's earliest days, and reflects the balance of powers outlined in the Constitution.
Here's a look at how civilian control of the military has become a trademark of American national security:
It Is in the Constitution
The concept of civilian control of the military was written by the Founding Fathers into the Constitution emerging from the colonial reality of citizen-soldiers.
Reflecting the balance of power established by the Constitution, the president was made commander in chief of the military, and Congress was given the authority to declare war and fund the military.
Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution states, "The President shall be the Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States when called into the actual Service of the United States."
The roles of Congress outlined in Article I, Section 8 include, "To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water; To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years; To provide and maintain a Navy."
When Was Civilian Control Required?
With the president as commander in chief, the day-to-day management of the nation's military was left to the secretary of war. With very few exceptions, civilians held the post of secretary of war, reflecting the constitutional authority given to the executive branch of government over the military.
But it was the National Security Act of 1947 that replaced the War Department with the Defense Department that also made it a requirement that only civilians could lead the department. That legislation also created the secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force, which, through additional legislation, also became civilian-only positions.
Seventeen of the 24 men who have served as defense secretary have had some kind of military service. Since most of their service years occurred during their youth, the seven-year gap requirement between military and civilian life did not come into play.
Only George Marshall's nomination in 1950 has required a congressional waiver similar to the one that Mattis will require to become defense secretary.
Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President-elect Donald Trump's glittering new hotel in the nation's capital was opened with much fanfare this fall.
But now the real estate mogul may find himself in the position of becoming both landlord and tenant for the historic property, presenting what could be a unique ethical dilemma for the future president. Background
The Trump International Hotel was constructed inside the landmark Old Post Office in Washington, D.C. In 2013, the General Services Administration (GSA), a federal agency, awarded Trump Hotels the right to lease the property for 60 years at a cost of $3 million each year. Trump spent $200 million renovating the 117-year-old structure, located at 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. Once Trump is sworn into office, he would effectively become both his own landlord and tenant because he will oversee the GSA.
But the terms of the agreement effectively forbid Trump from being a party in the lease, stating that “no ... elected official of the Government of the United States ... shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.” So what happens next?
Although Trump tweeted on Nov. 30 that he "will be leaving my great business in total in order to fully focus on running the country," he has yet to announce the specific plans.
When The New York Times asked Trump last month about potential conflicts of interest and ethics laws, he responded, “The law’s totally on my side. The president can’t have a conflict of interest."
As president, Trump has the power to pick the next head of the GSA. Once that individual is confirmed by the Senate, he or she could, in theory, rewrite the terms of the lease to remove the clause forbidding an elected official from being a party in the lease.
"Trump and the GSA could collude to remove the contractual prohibition or make it so he is not breaching the contract," according to Steven Schooner, a government procurement law expert who teaches at George Washington University. "However, removing that clause in no way removes any of the fundamental underlying problems. It in no way removes the conflicts of interest of the federal contracting system."
Even if Trump's children were to take over complete management of the family business, Schooner said the GSA could ultimately be choosing between the interests of taxpayers and those of the first family, who Schooner says would have the ability to renegotiate the lease every year with the GSA.
"Will the GSA employee who is managing the contract, and renegotiating the contract, is that individual going to act in the public's best interest or act to please the president, the president's children, or their boss who serves at the pleasure of the president?" Schooner asked rhetorically.
And while the terms of the lease do allow for the GSA to pull out under certain conditions, the agency at this point is continuing to hold up the terms of the lease and is deferring ethics questions to the Office of Government Ethics.
"It is the Office of Government Ethics that provides guidance to the executive branch on questions of ethics and conflicts of interest. GSA plans to coordinate with the president-elect’s team to address any issues that may be related to the Old Post Office building,” a GSA spokesperson told ABC News.
How could Trump resolve the situation?
Even if Trump fully transfers the management of his business interests to his children, as he has indicated (he has also discussed the possibility of a blind trust), ethics experts tell ABC News that move does not adequately solve the conflicts of interest presented.
“Handing off management of the assets does nothing to minimize the conflict of interest that he has because he has a financial interest as the holder of the lease and then has indirectly an official role to play as the head of the U.S. government,” said Kathleen Clark, who serves on the DC Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee.
Beyond the hotel lease, attorney and former Republican Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter says an arrangement whereby Trump transfers control of his business to his children could spell trouble for the future president.
“The proposal he has made ... is an alternative that no ethics lawyer would suggest,” said Potter. “It’s a recipe for disaster for him and for his administration.”
Alternatively, ethics experts suggest Trump should do what every president before him over the last 38 years has voluntarily done: liquidate his assets or put together blind trusts, administered by an independent person or body, to prevent even the appearance of impropriety. While Trump has said that "legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations," it is not yet clear if those documents will rise to the level of liquidation or a blind trust.
“If president-elect Trump actually wants to put the interests of the public ahead of his private interests, there’s a way for him to do that, and it’s to divest himself of those private interests which will cause a conflict,” said Clark.
Philadelphia Police(PHILADELPHIA) -- A Philadelphia city attorney is in hot water after he was caught on camera involved in an anti-Trump graffiti incident.
Surveillance video from the early morning hours of Nov. 25 shows two men approaching a Fresh Market in Philadelphia's Germantown neighborhood before one of the men spray-paints an exterior wall. The second man can be seen standing by, with what appears to be a glass of wine in hand, as the first man works. Once he's done, the second man steps back and appears to take photos or videos of the first man's handiwork.
The second man has been identified by First Deputy City Solicitor Craig Straw as Duncan Lloyd, an assistant city solicitor in the law department. Straw said that Lloyd is cooperating with police in the ongoing investigation and that a "course of action" would be determined when more information is available.
"We do not condone this type of behavior from our employees," Straw said in a statement to ABC News.
The other man in the video has not been identified.
Video released by police shows the vandalized wall, which reads "F--- Trump" in black spray paint. Police estimated the damage to cost between $3,000 and $10,000 due to the composition of the stone facade on the wall.
Joe DeFelice, the chairman of the Philadelphia Republican Party, called on city officials to fire Lloyd "immediately" in a statement posted on the party's website titled, "Wine-Swilling, Blazer-Clad, Anti-Trump City Attorney: An Image of Bourgeois America, Enraged."
"The assistant city solicitor in question had ostensibly taken the law into his own hands, since a democratic election didn’t yield his preferred outcome," DeFelice said. "... Did the extra glass of Shiraz give him some sort of delusional confidence that there are no cameras on Germantown Ave? The taxpayers should be entrusting exactly none of our faith into this man. He should be fired from our city’s law department immediately.”
On Thursday, the city's mayor, Jim Kenney, called Lloyd's involvement in the incident a "dumb mistake," according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
"It's certainly hateful and inappropriate and unacceptable ... but people are human beings and they make mistakes and it's a dumb mistake," Kenney said. "It's hateful graffiti, hateful graffiti is never acceptable whether it's a city employee or not."
Lloyd has been employed with the City of Philadelphia since 2011, according to his LinkedIn page. He did not immediately return ABC News' request for comment.
ABC News(NEW WORK) -- Donald Trump has enlisted a number of top business leaders for an advisory committee in order to help "bring back jobs and Make America Great Again," according to a statement from his transition team.
The group, called the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, will be headed up by Blackstone co-founder Stephen Schwarzman and includes the CEOs of well-known companies.
General Motors CEO Mary Barra, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Wal-Mart Stores CEO Doug McMillon, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger are among the members of "The Forum."
The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC News.
Former CEOs like Jack Welch, who was the head of General Electric, Jim McNerney, the former CEO of Boeing, and Paul Atkins, who was the former commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, are also on the list of 16 members.
"This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth," Trump said in the statement announcing the group.
"My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America," he said.
The group will reportedly meet with Trump "frequently" and the first meeting is slated for the first week of February in the White House.
Here is the full list of people on the advisory committee:
Stephen A. Schwarzman (Forum Chairman), Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone
Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, Former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors
Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic
Jamie Dimon, Chairman and CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co
Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock
Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company
Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group
Doug McMillon, President and CEO, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing
Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners
Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM
Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY
Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric
Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The presidential election was called for Donald Trump nearly three weeks ago, but that has not stopped a potential recount of three important swing states that experts say will likely not change the outcome of the election.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has paid for a recount in Wisconsin and submitted a statewide recount request in Michigan, though that effort has been halted following an objection from Trump. Stein also hopes to trigger a smaller scale recount in Pennsylvania.
Hillary Clinton's team said it will join the recount effort, which President-elect Trump has called "sad."
Here's what you need to know about the various recounts:
What is happening in Wisconsin?
Stein and Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, who ran as part of the American Delta Party, filed petitions on Nov. 25 in Wisconsin to hold a recount in that state.
Stein sent a wire transfer of $3,499,689 to Wisconsin elections officials for the recount.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission confirmed that it had received that amount from Stein on Nov. 29. Officials said the total cost may be closer to $3,898,340 after discovering an error in their original calculations.
The state's recount started Dec. 1. Why are they asking for a recount?
According to Stein's statement announcing the recount filing, "the three states were recommended for scrutiny by election integrity experts and advocates because of the vulnerability of their voting systems and various indicators of concern - including unexplained high numbers of undervotes."
Stein's campaign manager David Cobb said in the statement that "the recount was not filed in order to change the election outcome, which is unlikely, nor to favor any one candidate. We are pursuing this recount to verify the integrity of the election result." Will the outcome of the election change because of the recount?
It's impossible to say for certain, but no one involved in the recount efforts so far has said that Trump's presidential rival Clinton could emerge victorious.
"I fully expect, given the history of how elections are conducted in Wisconsin ... that the outcome is not going to be different" than the current unofficial results, Mark Thomsen, chair of Wisconsin's elections commission, said at a news conference on Nov. 28.
Trump's lead over Clinton in Wisconsin
Trump’s win in Wisconsin was one of a series of surprises on election night; the Badger state had not voted for a Republican president since the 1984 election.
According to the Wisconsin Elections Commission, there were a total of 2,975,313 votes cast in the state, and Trump beat Clinton by more than 27,000.
Stein had 31,006 votes in the state; De La Fuente earned 1,514.
When will we have answers?
The recount started Dec. 1 and needs to be completed by Dec. 13, which officials have already warned may be a tight turnaround.
“It will be a significant challenge to complete a statewide recount of nearly 3 million votes in less than two weeks,” the elections commission memo read.
The recount is going to be done by both hand and machines, depending on the county. The commission denied Stein's request for the entire recount to be done by hand because it does not have the authority to give such an order, Reid Magney, the commission's public information officer, told ABC News.
Forty-eight of the state's 72 counties will be completing the recount by hand, while 14 counties plan to use optical scanners and 10 counties plan to use a combination of optical scanners and hand counts, though those numbers may change, Magney said.
County clerks in each of the counties will send a summary email to the commission either at the end of each night or early the next morning during the recount, and the commission will post a spreadsheet with ward-level data on the recount daily, Magney said.
Who is paying for this?
More than $6 million has been raised for the legal and recount costs, according to Stein's official fundraising recount site. The money will go toward funding recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
According to a member of Stein's press team on Monday, that money came from more than 137,000 donors and the average donation has been $45.
If there are any excess funds, Stein's press team said the campaign will consult with the Federal Election Commission guidelines on how best to proceed.
According to the fundraising page set up by Stein, she and her team expected the filing fee in Wisconsin to cost $1.1 million -- less than a third of what Wisconsin elections officials estimated -- along with $600,000 in Michigan and $500,000 in Pennsylvania. Attorney fees are expected to cost millions of dollars more. The money raised will also pay for the recruitment of recount observers.
Stein has made it clear that the money will only be used for the recount campaigns.
"We are raising money into a dedicated account for a recount campaign. The money cannot be used for anything else. It cannot be used for my campaign. It cannot be used for the Green Party. It can only be used for the recount," Stein said during an interview on ABC's "The View."
Are other states taking similar action?
Recount requests have now been received in all three states that Stein had listed on her site as goals: Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson confirmed that a recount request from Stein was received. She said in a statement released Nov. 30 that county clerks "have been gearing up to complete this recount under a very challenging deadline."
Johnson expressed bewilderment at Stein's efforts.
"It is unusual that a candidate who received just 1 percent of the vote is seeking a recount, especially when there is no evidence of hacking or fraud, or even a credible allegation of any tampering. The cost of this recount to Michigan taxpayers could easily reach into the millions of dollars. Based on Wisconsin’s estimate, Michigan taxpayers could be paying $4 million despite the $1 million the Green Party nominee must pay to have the recount," she said in a statement.
The recount process in Michigan was immediately halted on Dec. 1, however, after the state's Bureau of Elections "received an objection from representatives of Donald J. Trump."
In a statement, the bureau -- without explicitly stating where it is in the recount process -- said that "Under Michigan law, the recount is halted when the Board of State Canvassers resolves the objection."
The bureau's board is slated to meet on Dec. 2 and if the objection is accepted, the recount "would be ended," but if the objection is denied, the recount would restart two business days later, on Dec. 6.
Pennsylvania Secretary of State spokeswoman Wanda Murren told ABC News that the Green Party has filed a lawsuit contesting the election and asking for a statewide election contest, which she noted is not technically called a recount under their guidelines.
Similar to what happened in Michigan on Dec. 1, the Trump campaign filed court papers in Pennsylvania on Dec. 2 opposing Stein’s case.
“She has to prove that the election was illegal in some way. A judge will decide if a recount will happen,” Murren said of Stein.
Murren said that between 200 and 300 petitions for precinct recounts have been filed, but an unknown number of them were duplicates or submitted after the deadline, so it remains unclear how many of the state’s 9,163 precincts could potentially have contests.
Two of the three states in question -- Wisconsin and Pennsylvania -- have already begun required audits of their elections, which is done by checking the results of a random sample of voting machines to make sure the technology actually works.
Michigan has 16 Electoral College votes, Wisconsin has 10 and Pennsylvania has 20.
The final Electoral College count is Trump with 306 votes, Clinton with 232.
How Trump has responded
Trump tweeted that the recount was a “scam” on behalf of the Green Party and he used a portion of Clinton’s concession speech in which she said the election results must be accepted in an effort to diminish the efforts.
According to Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias, Clinton campaign's legal team will follow Stein's lead in participating in the recount process in Wisconsin and will also join her if she moves forward in Pennsylvania and Michigan, as promised.
Elias said that the Clinton team takes concerns over potential hacking or altering of results "extremely seriously" but also made it clear that they were not the ones who started this process.
“We are getting attacked for participating in a recount that we didn't ask for by the man who won election but thinks there was massive fraud,” Elias tweeted on Nov. 27.
On. Nov. 27, Trump made what others say is a baseless claim that “millions of people” voted illegally, and “I won the popular vote if you deduct” those allegedly fraudulent votes.
Kay Stimson, spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State, told ABC News that the organization has "no information that can help to explain what sources or information are behind the basis of the tweets," referring to Trump's comments about the "millions" of illegal votes and alleged fraud in Virginia, California, and New Hampshire.
On the state level, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released a statement slamming Trump.
"It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him. His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a President-elect," Padilla said in the statement.
Federal law mandates that any recounts need to be completed 35 days after the election, or by Dec. 13.
The electors who make up the votes in the Electoral College are slated to meet in their respective states on Dec. 19 and then send their decisions to Washington. The National Archives states that the electoral votes need to be received by the president of the Senate, which is Vice President Joe Biden, and the archivist by Dec. 28.
ABC/Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- After taking a victory lap Thursday with his first post-election rally, Donald Trump is returning to the task of assembling a cabinet and staff for his incoming administration.
The president-elect has no public events planned on Friday but is expected to hole up in Trump Tower for meetings with various public figures.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is among those scheduled for a meeting. Bondi is on Trump's presidential transition team as one of its many vice chairs.
During the election, Trump faced questions over a $25,000 check that the Donald J. Trump Foundation sent to Bondi's fundraising committee in 2013. Critics said the donation looked like an attempt to sway Bondi's office against joining a lawsuit against the now-defunct Trump University. Trump and Bondi said the contribution had no link to her office's ultimately deciding not to join the lawsuit.
Unrelated to the question of whether the contribution was intended to influence Bondi, the donation to her political fundraising committee was found to violate tax laws and led to an Internal Revenue Service penalty of $2,500 penalty against the foundation this year, according to the Washington Post. Last month, Trump settled all of the three lawsuits against Trump University for $25 million.
Trump is also set to meet Friday with former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton, who has emerged as a contender for the vital position of secretary of state.
And the president-elect is to meet with former Defense Secretary Bob Gates.
Trump and Gates, who headed the Department of Defense under Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, were openly and highly critical of each other during the presidential race. But Gates is expected on Friday to make his second trip in two days to Trump Tower. On Thursday, he met with retired Gen. Mike Flynn, whom Trump has picked to become national security adviser.
Among others expected to meet with Trump in New York Friday are Georgia Sen. David Perdue, retired Rear Adm. Jay Cohen and Heidi Heitkamp, a Democratic senator from North Dakota.
Sen. Heitkamp, in a statement, said she "appreciate[s] the president-elect inviting [her] for a meeting."
“Every single day, my work is motivated first and foremost by how I can be most helpful to the people of North Dakota," the statement read. "They are my driving force and have been throughout my career in public service. Whatever job I do, I hope to work with the president-elect and all of my colleagues in Congress on both sides of the aisle to best support my state.”
ABC News(NEW YORK) — President-elect Donald Trump's senior adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared to dodge answering whether Trump's unsubstantiated claim that "millions" voted illegally is true when she appeared on ABC's Good Morning America Friday morning.
Trump inaccurately wrote in a tweet last week that millions of people voted for Hillary Clinton illegally — a claim without any known basis in fact.
"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally," Trump said.
Clinton currently leads the national popular vote by more than 2.3 million votes.
When asked by ABC's George Stephanopoulos if it is appropriate for Trump to make false statements like that, she said, "Many people are questioning the victory. You got people spending millions of dollars, wasting money and time in the Clinton and [Jill] Stein camp in Wisconsin, Michigan, tried in Pennsylvania to recount. So not everybody has ... accepted the election results."
"But to your question," Conway continued, "the president-elect has been talking to different people including Kris Kobach, [secretary of state] of Kansas, about voting irregularities or the number of illegal votes that may have been cast, and I believe that he bases his information on that."
Asked again by Stephanopoulos if the statement by Trump is true, Conway responded, "Well, he's been receiving information about the irregularities and about the illegal votes, particularly from sources, officials like Kris Kobach as I mentioned, but he is messaging to his supporters and to the rest of the country the way he feels."
Conway said Trump won because he had a message that connects with Americans. Addressing the Americans who did not vote for Trump, Conway said that they now "can't get past the grief, denial and anger stages and into the acceptance stages," which she said "really defies what Secretary Clinton and President Obama themselves had said" about coming together as a nation.
Though Clinton won the popular vote, Conway said Trump will still reach those Americans who did not vote for him, because he will "be the president of all Americans, including those that did not vote for him."
Conway was also asked about Trump's rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, Thursday night, where some Trump supporters chanted in reference to Clinton, "Lock her up."
"That's the way they feel," Conway said, "And there would be officials who are in charge of such things in the Trump administration who may look at that again. But Donald Trump made very clear last week as the president-elect that he's moved on from that. That he's focused on ... more focused on things, like health care, immigration, bringing jobs back."
When Conway was pressed on whether the Trump administration may pursue prosecution against Clinton, Conway replied, "No, I'm not suggesting that at all. That would be something I would not be able to say."
"But reminding everybody what the president-elect said last week," she continued, "He's moving on to focus on the future, not the past and he has said to The New York Times on the record he thinks that the Clintons have suffered enough. Of course, the Department of Justice, the different committees, the FBI perhaps can take a different look, but nobody expects and nobody is talking about that right now."
ABC News(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said that the Team of Rivals in a Trump White House is real.
“I think what Donald Trump is doing and looking at and interviewing people for is something so much bigger than any one thing. He is trying to do what is best for the country," Lewandowski told ABC News' Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Klein in this week's "Powerhouse Politics" podcast.
"And I am very confident that Donald Trump is going to come to the right decision for the country and if that is Mitt Romney or it is Jon Huntsman or it is somebody else who is potentially in the works, or John Bolton or whoever that person is, I am fully confident that Donald Trump is going to put aside any personal feelings he has to make sure that the best people are out or working for the federal government. I don’t know who that person is going to be.”
Lewandowski said Romney’s attacks on Trump during the election were not disqualifying. They were just part of the political game and exposed Romney for the politician that he is.
“I am not surprised. You know why? Because politicians will always be politicians. Right? And they will say what they think the American people want them to say," Lewandowski said.
Lewandowski said he didn’t expect a Trump announcement on secretary of state this week: “I don’t think that decision has been made. But what I do have full confidence in is that Donald Trump is going to pick the right person to represent our country overseas. Secretary of state is a huge job. And it is far from done. I think it will be at least early next week before that decision is announced."
Lewandowski also revealed that the president-elect is getting the presidential daily briefing every morning and spending most days talking to people about filling positions in his White House.
“How are we going to fill out the West Wing, who do we have coming in, what executives, like the Carrier deal, is a great example of Donald Trump in action, early on, saving 1,000 jobs from going to Mexico, we saw this with Bill Ford, also," Lewandowski said. "This is somebody who is willing to pick up the phone and call CEOs of companies that says ‘I want to be sure your jobs are staying in the U.S.’ I think this is a big win today for Donald Trump.”
ABC News(CAMBRIDGE, Mass.) — Top officials from the Trump and Clinton campaigns clashed angrily Thursday over questions of mandates and alleged associations with white supremacists — leaving a conference designed to draw lessons from the election turning at times into a shouting match over campaign tactics.
The gathering of top campaign aides to all the major presidential candidates, held at Harvard University Wednesday and Thursday, revealed raw emotions and outright anger between staffers who tangled largely from afar over a grueling campaign.
During the far-ranging series of conversations, a Clinton aide called FBI Director James Comey's letters regarding the email investigation a "game-changer" and a former Trump aide said he thought the race was over after Trump criticized the war hero credentials of Sen. John McCain.
Clinton aides lit into their Trump counterparts for running a campaign that a top Clinton spokesperson said provided a “platform for white supremacists,” citing bringing former Breitbart chief, Steve Bannon, on the team.
“I would rather lose than win the way you guys did,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri.
Bannon has denied being a white nationalist and members of the Trump team have defended him. Trump has disavowed support from white supremacists and said he is the "least racist" person.
“No you wouldn’t, respectfully,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway countered. She said the Clinton side was ignoring the flaws of their candidate and her campaign operation.
“How about, it’s Hillary Clinton — she doesn’t connect with people,” Conway said.
When Trump aides touted campaign tactics that included an aggressive candidate travel schedule — helping power a sweep of battleground states, and a clear Electoral College victory — Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook fired a salvo back.
“I would just say, Hillary did win the popular vote,” Mook said. At latest count, Clinton led by nearly 2.5 million votes, according to the Associated Press.
That provoked sighs and anger from the six Trump aides seated across from the six Clinton aides in a crowded conference room at the Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics.
“Oh, God, you guys,” said David Bossie, a Trump deputy campaign manager.
“Hey guys, we won — there’s no need to respond,” Conway said. “He was the better candidate — he won.”
Countered Clinton pollster Joel Benenson: “Two-and-a-half million Americans thought she was the better candidate.”
The conference revealed no consensus about how precisely Trump won — not even from the current and former Trump aides in the room. Clinton campaign leaders rejected the notion that Trump was chosen because of his potential to lead on the economy, and they cited the desire for change as the biggest long-term obstacle they had to confront.
Mook cited the letters sent by Comey regarding Clinton’s emails as a “game-changer.”
“If you ask me the single biggest headwind in the race, it was the two letters from James Comey,” Mook said.
“If the election had been three days later, we would have won,” Palmieri added.
Palmieri said she wishes she had pushed for a fourth debate, since the Clinton campaign felt those exchanges highlighted Clinton’s superior grasp of policy. Intriguingly, Conway and Bossie said Trump would probably have agreed to another such matchup.
The Clinton campaign also expressed frustration with Trump’s mastery of the media, and felt the coverage on Clinton was tougher than it should have been because of the assumption that she would win the presidency.
“He got all the coverage, and you guys [in the press] only covered her when she talked about him,” Palmieri said.
But they could not agree on a specific change in the campaign that might have changed the outcome. Mandy Grunwald, a senior Clinton adviser who also worked for Sen. Elizabeth Warren, said it’s fair to speculate on whether Warren or Bernie Sanders being on the ticket with Clinton would have made a difference — along with any other potential explanation, since the race wound up being so close.
“My general view about the general is everybody’s right” in their diagnoses of why Clinton lost, Grunwald said. “Everybody who’s got a theory of what we should have done, knock yourselves out.”
Aides to Trump’s vanquished primary opponents were similarly unable to point to strategies that might have stopped Trump, once he gained momentum after the first debate last summer.
“That’s the theme of the whole primary: Nothing mattered,” said David Kochel, a former top aide to Jeb Bush.
Trump aides didn’t pretend to always get their boss, either. Trump’s first campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, revealed that after Trump famously insulted Sen. John McCain, he advised Trump that he should apologize.
When he didn’t, and instead doubled down on the remarks by slamming McCain’s record on protecting veterans, Lewandowski said he was certain a campaign tailspin was imminent.
“I told my wife, I think the campaign’s over, I’m coming home,” Lewandowski said.
He said he also advised Trump not to attack the judge of Mexican heritage who was presiding in a lawsuit against his Trump University venture — another piece of advice the candidate ignored.
The campaign learned to trust Trump’s instincts, where the spirit of his message was more important than the literal substance. He cited the proposed Muslim ban, which Lewandowski said took days’ worth of deliberations and careful staging for it to be announced on a decommissioned aircraft carrier in South Carolina.
“The media wants to focus on what the statement said,” Lewandowski said to scattered laughter from attendees, “but the visuals and the timing did not happen by happenstance.”
He added: “This is the problem with the media: You guys took everything Donald Trump did so literally. And the problem with that is the American people didn’t.”
Tony Fabrizio, a Trump pollster, was more blunt: “Everybody in this room needs to pull their heads out of their a----.”
ABC News(CINCINNATI) -- While President-elect Donald Trump teased an action plan for his administration at his first post-election rally Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio, he spent most of the evening taking a victory lap, touting his election night win over two dozen times as he recounted his campaign successes and mocked the media coverage of the election.
Trump told the crowd he "had a lot of fun fighting" Hillary Clinton and smiled as the crowd chanted "lock her up" as rally-goers had during the campaign.
Trump once said he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's use of a private email server, and even said during the second debate "you'd be in jail" under his administration.
But he backed off of those threats after winning the election, saying "I don't want to hurt the Clintons. I really don't. She went through a lot. And suffered greatly in many different ways," in an interview with The New York Times.
Relying on prepared remarks and a teleprompter to map out a broad agenda that includes tax reform, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and immigration reform, Trump also veered from his script. He joked that Clinton's supporters didn't realize she lost the election, and to ask the crowd if they supported his tweet earlier this week proposing penalties for flag-burning -- which the Supreme Court has defined as protected speech.
He also responded to criticism of his early Cabinet picks, specifically Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor known as the "king of bankruptcy" for some of his investments. Trump has offered Ross the position of commerce secretary.
"This guy knows how to make money," Trump said, adding that he plans to follow through on his campaign promise to fill his Cabinet with the "greatest killers you have ever seen."
Trump also surprisingly said that he will "appoint" retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be his secretary of defense, joking that the announcement was scheduled to be made next week.
A Trump transition official tells ABC News that the Ohio rally will be just one in a series of rallies Trump plans to hold across the country leading up to his inauguration.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration announced on Thursday its support for requiring women to register for the military draft.
National Security Council spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that while the administration remains committed to an all-volunteer force, support for universal registration represents a "commitment to equity."
"The act of draft registration has long served as a powerful reminder to our nation's youth that public service is a valued part of American citizenship. And as old barriers for military service are being removed, the administration supports -- as a logical next step -- women registering for the Selective Service," Price said in a statement.
The pronouncement from the White House comes after the administration last year took another step toward equalizing gender roles by opening up the opportunity for women to serve in combat roles that were previously reserved for men only.
The Pentagon echoed the administration announcement, affirming that the Secretary of Defense sees the universal draft as the next step in establishing equality across the military.
"While Secretary Carter strongly supports our all-volunteer approach and does not advocate returning to a draft, as he has said in the past, he thinks it makes sense for women to register for selective service just as men must," Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. "His decision last year to open all combat positions to qualified women only strengthens our all-volunteer force by giving us access to 100-percent of America's population so we can recruit and retain the most qualified individuals who can meet our standards and remain the finest fighting force the world has ever known."
The pronouncement from the Obama administration, while symbolic, is little more than a statement of support.
In order for women to actually be mandated to sign up for the draft, it would require an act of Congress to alter current law. There is little evidence of support for such a measure in Congress, with the administration announcement coming on the heels of Congress eliminating the women-in-the draft provision from the National Defense Authorization Act.
ABC/Randy Sager(NEW YORK) -- The transition team for President-elect Donald Trump is encouraging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run to be the next chairman of the Republican National Committee.
According to a source familiar with the deliberations, Christie wants to run and has been discussing the idea with the Trump transition team for several days.
The team believes the role is ideal for Christie because it puts him in a high-profile position and does not require Senate confirmation.
ABC News reached out to Christie and the RNC for comment but did not immediately hear back.
Reince Priebus, the current RNC chairman, has been chosen to be Trump's chief of staff.
The RNC chair is elected by the committee's 168 members. If Christie is seen as the clear choice of Trump, that will likely clear the field of any challengers.
Christie has been one of Trump's most prominent supporters since ending his own presidential campaign earlier this year. Trump announced in May that Christie would lead his White House transition team but replaced him after Election Day with Vice President–elect Mike Pence.
Christie served as the chairman of the Republican Governors Association from 2013 to 2014.
Earlier this week, he said he wanted to remain as governor through the end of his term. "I am completing my term," he said at a news conference Tuesday. "Now, I said this on the radio last week, and some people said it was equivocal because I said, if a president of the U.S. comes and asks you to do something, you don't say no before they even ask. I am telling you I am completing my term.
"Now, I will also tell you that if something extraordinary happens in the world where my service is needed, I will consider any requests that are made," he added.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Even if you no longer care about Hillary Clinton's "damn emails," as Sen. Bernie Sanders once put it, the State Department is still under court order stemming from a freedom of information lawsuit to release the documents.
Even Donald Trump backtracked on his threat to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Clinton's use of that controversial private email server, but the State Department today published about 1,000 pages -- mostly near duplicates of previously released emails.
In all, the agency has been made to review and release more than 55,000 pages of email.
The latest documents come from the nearly 15,000 emails the FBI recovered during its investigation into Clinton's handling of sensitive information on a controversial private email server.
Only 5,600 of those 15,000 emails turned up by the FBI have been deemed work-related, but it's not clear how many of them actually consist of new material.
"For instance, a 'near duplicate' would be substantively identical to previously released emails, but for a top email in the chain stating 'Please print,'" State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner said last month when he was describing the last batch of released email.
Ultimately, the FBI decided it would not recommend any criminal charges against Clinton for use of a private email and handling of classified information.