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Drew Angerer/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate Gen. John Kelly for secretary of Homeland Security, according to two top transition officials familiar with the decision.

Kelly is a retired four-star general and the former commander of U.S. Southern Command. In addition to his experience leading troops overseas, he is known for his strong knowledge of border issues and the drug trade in South and Central America.

Kelly lost his son Marine 1st Lt. Robert Kelly in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2010.

Trump and Kelly last met at Trump Tower on Nov. 30. His office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

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Jeff Swensen/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — A new federal disclosure document indicates that former senator and presidential nominee Bob Dole facilitated contact between Taiwanese officials and members of Donald Trump’s campaign and transition teams over a six-month period this year.

Trump's phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen last week sparked controversy because it marked a break with decades of U.S. policy on China and Taiwan.

Dole and his law firm Alston & Bird, worked on behalf of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative (TECRO) to arrange for a series of meetings between Trump advisers and Taiwanese officials, according to documents filed last week with the Department of Justice.

The disclosure form — required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act — indicates Dole “arranged a telephone briefing with Trump campaign policy director” and “convened a meeting between embassy staff and Trump transition team.”

In addition to these encounters, Dole helped Taiwan secure favorable language in the Republican Party’s platform and arranged for a meeting between Sen. Jeff Sessions, who was eventually named Trump’s pick for attorney general, and Taiwan’s representative to the U.S., Stanley Kao.

The disclosure does not detail whether Dole set up last week’s telephone call.

The disclosure shows TECRO paid Alston & Bird $140,000 for their services from May to October.

The Wall Street Journal reported a transition official said Dole arranged for the phone call between Trump and Taiwan’s President. Dole told the WSJ in an interview that his firm played a role in arranging the phone call. “It’s fair to say that we may have had some influence,” Dole said.

A spokesman for Dole declined to comment on the Taiwan matter when asked by ABC News. TECRO has also declined to comment on the reports.

Dole’s firm was required to disclose its work for TECRO based on a federal law, which “requires persons acting as agents of foreign principals in a political or quasi-political capacity to make period public disclosure of their relationship with the foreign principal."

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Office of the Governor of Iowa(NEW YORK) -- President-elect Donald Trump has named Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as his pick for the next U.S. ambassador to China, Trump transition spokesman Jason Miller said Wednesday.

Branstad, who is the longest-serving governor in U.S. history, has accepted the offer, Miller said. He also noted that Trump announced the pick in closed-press remarks at a fundraiser in New York City Wednesday morning.

A formal paper statement announcing the pick is expected later Wednesday.

Branstad, 70, has a decades-long relationship with China's President Xi Jinping. The two first met in 1985 when Xi was part of a Chinese delegation trip to Iowa. Shortly after Trump's election last month, Branstad visited China on a trade mission.

Branstad, who campaigned with Trump in Iowa, met with the president-elect at Trump Tower Tuesday. Branstad's son Eric served as Trump's state director in Iowa.

The ambassador position will require Senate confirmation.

Branstad began his second stint as governor in 2011, after first serving from 1983 to 1999.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday it was "a tremendous honor" to have been chosen as Time magazine's "Person of the Year."

"It's a great honor, it means a lot, especially me growing up reading Time magazine," Trump said Wednesday morning on the Today show. "But to be on the cover of Time magazine as the 'Person of the Year' is a tremendous honor."

The cover of the magazine features Trump with the headline: "President of the Divided States of America." Trump called the headline "snarky," though he agreed the country is divided.

Donald Trump is TIME's Person of the Year 2016 #TIMEPOY

— TIME (@TIME) December 7, 2016

"I'm not president yet so I didn't do anything to divide," Trump said. "I mean there's a lot of division. And we're going to put it back together and we're going to have a country that's very well healed and we're going to be a great economic force and we're going to build up our military and safety and we're going to do a lot of great things."

Hillary Clinton earned the No. 2 spot on Time's "Person of the Year" list, while "hackers" came in third.

Trump complained last year after German President Angela Merkel was named Time's Person of the Year, and said he expected he would never earn the title.

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Stocktrek Images/Thinkstock(FAYETTEVILLE, NC) — The President-elect, returned to the trail Tuesday night in the second stop on his "Thank You" tour — introducing his defense secretary pick, Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to a crowd in North Carolina.

During the rally, he touched on a wide range of topics, but focused much of his energy on the military and patriotism just a few miles from Fort Bragg.

Trump once again appeared to take aim at those who would burn the American flag, saying that he would determine what should be done.

"We love our flag. And we don't like it when we see people ripping up our flag and burning our flag. We don't like it. And we'll see what we're going to do about that. Okay? We're going to see,” he told the crowd of thousands gathered at the Crown Coliseum.

His comments echoed those from last month.

The President-elect also commented on flag burning during his first stop on his ‘Thank You’ tour in Cincinnati last week.

"And do you agree with my stance that if people burned the American flag, there should be consequences. Right?"

But Trump’s current stance appears to be in opposition to what he believed in 2015.

In an interview with David Letterman on Jan. 8, 2015, just months before he launched his campaign, Trump agreed with Letterman "100 percent" that flag burning is a form of expression.

Trump introduced Gen. Mattis as "the right person to lead our defense department,” he said told the crowd.

"Mad Dog" plays no games, right?”

Mattis, former U.S. Central Command & Marine Corps commander, is not yet seven years removed from service and requires a congressional waiver to serve in the position. On Tuesday, speaking briefly at the rally, Mattis expressed his desire to serve.

"I look forward to being the civilian leader so long as the congress gives me the waiver and the senate votes to consent,” Mattis said.

Trump also touted a deal with Japanese Corporation, SoftBank, that he says will bring $50 billion and 50,000 jobs to the U.S.

"Did anybody see it? Masa,” Trump said in North Carolina. "Great guy of Japan...He's pledged that he's going to put $50 billion into the United States because of our victory. He wasn't investing in our country. 50 billion. 50,000 jobs. 50,000 jobs he's going to be investing in."

As Trump took his victory lap in front of loyal supporters in North Carolina, Vice-President elect Mike Pence addressed a Heritage Foundation gala in Washington, making the case to the capitol's conservative leaders that Trump will follow a shared agenda.

"He loves this country, he loves everything that has made America great before and he's going to fight every day to make America great again," Pence said to the crowd at the event, which was held in a ballroom at Trump's Washington hotel.

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ABC/Ida Mae Astute(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) -- Donald Trump hit the road again for the second leg of his post-election "thank you" tour, stopping in Fayetteville, North Carolina, Tuesday night to express gratitude to his supporters who helped him get to the White House.

After a busy day of meetings at Trump Tower in New York, the president-elect flew out later Tuesday for the 7 p.m. ET rally.

He was joined at the rally by retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, whom he formally announced Tuesday night as his pick for secretary of defense.

Mattis retired in 2013 after a 41-year career in the Marine Corps. He was a front-runner for the cabinet position of defense secretary after Trump met with him in Bedminster, New Jersey, last month. After the two met, Trump said he was impressed by Mattis.

Trump launched his "thank you" tour last week in Ohio, with a rally in Cincinnati where he said he "had a lot of fun fighting" Hillary Clinton.

He also teased the announcement of Mattis to rally attendees: "We are going to appoint 'Mad Dog' Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we're not announcing it until Monday so don't tell anybody. Mad dog. He's great. He is great," Trump said, using one of Mattis’ nicknames.

Trump will also travel later this week to Iowa and Michigan, two other key battleground states that were vital to his win.

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EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Trump team said Tuesday that Michael Flynn Jr. -- the son of Trump's national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn -- was forced out of the transition efforts amid controversy over a fake news story that he pushed on Twitter.

"The younger Michael Flynn was helping his father with some administration and scheduling duties early on in the transition process," Trump team spokesman Jason Miller said, adding that he is "no longer involved with the transition efforts."

The decision came from President-elect Donald Trump himself, two Trump transition officials said. Flynn Jr. is accused of pushing the "Pizzagate" conspiracy theory in a flood of tweets Sunday and Monday, prompted by gunplay at Ping Pong Comet Pizza in Washington, D.C.

The suspect in that case allegedly went to the eatery to investigate a fake news story involving Hillary Clinton and campaign manager John Podesta.

"Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many "coincidences" tied to it," Flynn Jr., said in one of his tweets.


Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story. The left seems to forget #PodestaEmails and the many "coincidences" tied to it.

— Michael G Flynn???????? (@mflynnJR) December 5, 2016


Edgar Welch, 28, allegedly drove to Washington from Salisbury, North Carolina to "self-investigate" "Pizzagate" and fired one shot from an assault rifle inside, sending patrons fleeing. There were no reports of injuries.

Metro police called the back story “a fictitious online conspiracy theory” and charged Welch with assault.

It was unclear if Welch entered a plea.

General Flynn has also used his social media as a platform to promote fake news stories involving Hillary Clinton. He has not commented on his tweets.

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Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Retired four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly, the former head of U.S. Southern Command, who has met with president-elect Trump several times in recent weeks, has emerged as a strong contender for secretary of homeland security, ABC News has learned.

Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has been another contender.

Kelly's name was confirmed by multiple senior Trump transition sources as garnering serious consideration.

The DHS position has been one of the trickiest to fill: the agency is one of the largest in the federal government and is one of the most challenging posts, given the broad and evolving security threats.

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Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Donald Trump isn't the first to complain about the price of a presidential air fleet.

Back in 2009, President Obama expressed concerns about cost overruns for a new set of presidential helicopters. At the time, the Pentagon's contract with Lockheed Martin Corp. to develop a new fleet of helicopters, which are dubbed Marine One when the president is aboard and also shuttle other government officials, had reached an estimated $11.2 billion --- nearly twice the original $6.1 billion estimate.

The topic has come to the forefront again after President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the government should cancel its order with Boeing for a new Air Force One, citing cost estimates of the project.

At a Fiscal Responsibility Summit with the president in 2009, Sen. John McCain brought up the skyrocketing cost of the presidential helicopters.

"Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think that there's any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have -- have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money," McCain said.

President Obama replied: "By the way, I've already talked to [Defense Secretary Robert] Gates about a thorough review of the helicopter situation. The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me."

"It is an -- an example of the procurement process gone amok, and -- and we're going to have to fix it," he added.

When the president made his remarks, the Pentagon had already initiated an automatic review of the program because the expected costs exceeded more than 50 percent of the original target price. Three months later, the Pentagon ordered Lockheed Martin Corp. to halt its work on the fleet. The government had already spent more than $3 billion on the aircraft when the work on the contract was stopped, according to reports at the time,

In 2014, the Navy awarded Sikorsky Aircraft, now owned by Lockheed Martin, a $1.24 billion contract to build a new fleet of VH-92A, which will replace the current helicopter fleet used by President Obama and other government officials. Lockheed says it will produce 21 operational and two test aircraft with full production expected to conclude in 2023.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest argued Tuesday that the Obama administration did not cancel the Marine One program entirely.

"That Marine One project was one that was further in development, and it was clear that the expected cost was much greater than originally expected and that was based on how far the project had advanced at that point. Our country was also in rather historically difficult circumstance," Earnest told reporters Tuesday on Air Force One.

"It wasn't a situation where President Obama entirely cancelled a program. He said the way it has operated so far is too expensive so he asked the professionals at the Department of Defense to go back, re-initiate the program, and see if they could get the cost projections under control," Earnest added.

"I expect that that effective management of that program will result in a new presidential helicopter that President-elect Donald Trump will be glad he has," he said.

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ABC News(TAMPA, Fla.) — President Obama trumpeted his national security record Tuesday at Florida's MacDill Air Force Base, saying the U.S. is “breaking the back of ISIL” and diminished the profile of terrorists, calling them "thugs" and "murderers."

“No foreign terrorist organization has planned and executed an attack on our homeland in the last eight years. And it is not because they didn’t try,” he said, pointing to the intelligence gathered by the men and women at MacDill.

The president also used the speech to target President-elect Donald Trump’s experience and desire to use waterboarding as an interrogation technique.

Obama said staying “true to our laws” strengthens America and prohibiting torture like waterboarding has not led to a decrease in intelligence.

He hailed diplomatic solutions like the Iran nuclear accord as a strategy that has made America safer.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- President-elect Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday that the government should cancel its order with Boeing for a new Air Force One, citing costs of the project.

"Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!" Trump said in his tweet.


Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016


Trump then made a surprise appearance, emerging from the elevators at Trump Tower in New York City before scheduled meetings and commented on the project.

"Well, the plane is totally out of control. It's going to be over $4 billion. It's for Air Force One program, and I think it's ridiculous," Trump said. "I think Boeing is doing a little bit of a number. We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money."

It's unclear what prompted the tweet. The subsequent lobby appearance came within an hour after the Boeing CEO was quoted in a Chicago Tribune op-ed as being critical of Trump's trade policy.

"I'm not a political pundit or prognosticator -- we have too many of those -- but anyone who paid attention to the recent campaigns and the election results realizes that one of the overarching themes was apprehension about free and fair trade," Dennis Muilenburg said last week in remarks before the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, according to the Tribune.

The Air Force announced in January 2015 that the Boeing 747-8 aircraft has been chosen as the upgrade for Air Force One from the current VC-25 model, which is also manufactured by Boeing. There would be two new aircraft that would go into operation in 2024

"The presidential aircraft is one of the most visible symbols of the United States of America and the office of the president of the United States," Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James said in a statement at the time.

"The Boeing 747-8 is the only aircraft manufactured in the United States when fully missionized meets the necessary capabilities established to execute the presidential support mission while reflecting the office of the president of the United States of America consistent with the national public interest," she added.

Boeing said in a statement Tuesday that the company is "currently under contract for $170 million to help determine the capabilities of these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the president of the United States."

"We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the president at the best value for the American taxpayer," the company added.

The main differences between Air Force One and a regular 747 are state-of-the-art navigation, electronic and communications equipment, as well as the interior, which includes offices, a conference/dining room and living space for the president and first lady, according to Boeing's website.

Boeing has long been mulling a retirement of the 747 line. Air Force One is filled with communications gear and defensive gear and costs much more than a regular 747 aircraft.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The NYPD has been providing additional security for Donald Trump in New York since Election Day to the tune of about $500,000 day -- and New York Democrats want the federal government to pay for it.

Top New York City-area House Democrats appeared with NYPD Deputy Commissioner John Miller on Capitol Hill Tuesday to call on Congress to provide NYC with $35 million that he said will cover security expenses between Election Day and the inauguration.

The figure covers the cost of extra officers assigned to cover Trump Tower, along with the overtime they accrue.

"New York taxpayers must not pick up the tab," said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-New York, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

Should Trump's family remain in New York City, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-New York, and other New York Democrats want the president-elect to cover the additional costs of securing Trump Tower.

The Trump family has said Melania Trump and Barron Trump will remain in New York through the spring, so Barron can finish school in the city.

Miller said the security plan and the cost -- devised with the Secret Service -- takes into account the difficulties of securing a skyscraper on one of the busiest streets in New York City.

Asked about those difficulties, Miller said: "If I could have picked a place to secure, it would have been among the very last."

Lowey and other New York Democrats want the funding included in the year-end spending bill Congress is expected to pass this week.

Money for the city is "in the mix" for the spending bill, according to a spokesperson for House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky.

As of Tuesday afternoon, House Republicans had floated a counteroffer that included less federal compensation than what the New York Democrats had initially requested.

"No decisions have been made," the spokesperson said in an email.

Mayor Bill de Blasio asked Congress to approve the $35 million in a letter sent on Monday, though the White House's Office of Management and Budget sent the formal request for $35 million to Capitol Hill two weeks ago.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Amidst his broadening search for a secretary of state, President-elect Donald Trump is slated to meet Tuesday with ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, according to a senior Trump transition officials.

The Texas oil executive is under consideration for the United States' top diplomat, the official said.

The emergence of new names indicates that Trump may be conflicted about his short list and may be facing persistent division in his inner circle of advisers over the key choice. The Trump transition team says Trump is considering as many as nine candidates for secretary of state, with the selection process appearing to be far from over.

Tillerson, who has worked at Exxon for more than 40 years, has been at the helm as CEO since 2006. He has no formal diplomatic experience. While Tillerson was CEO of ExxonMobil, the company issued a statement on Nov. 4 supporting the Paris climate agreement.

In 2013, Tillerson was also awarded the Order of Friendship by Russian President Vladimir Putin -- a symbolic gesture of his closeness to the Kremlin. Tillerson was at one time responsible for Exxon's holdings in Russia and the Caspian Sea as well as operations offshore of Sakhalin Island, Russia, according to his bio on the ExxonMobil website.

Trump has been criticized for his perceived closeness to Russia and questions about his posture towards the country were a recurring issue in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Erin Schaff for Hillary For America(WASHINGTON) -- It's been less than a month since Election Day, but that hasn't stopped some from speculating on who will seek the presidency in 2020.

When asked if he would consider a run for the White House again, Vice President Joe Biden remained open to the possibility.

“I am going to run in 2020 for president. What the hell man, anyway,” Biden told a group of reporters on Capitol Hill Monday night, according to the Washington Post.

When asked if he was joking, Biden said, "I'm not committing not to run. I'm not committing to anything. I learned a long time ago fate has a strange way of intervening."

Biden, who's served in government for nearly 46 years, said something similar about his presidential ambitions in an interview with ABC News.

“I don't plan on that,” Biden told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos in July. “But, you know, I’ve learned a long time ago, you don't say anything for absolutely certain.”

He also said he plans on remaining committed to promoting the issues he cares greatly about, including fighting cancer and combating domestic violence.

Biden will be 78 if he runs for president in 2020.

Biden was a Democratic candidate for president in the 2008 election and the 1988 election. The vice president toyed with running in 2016 but ultimately made the decision not to run.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Former Vice President and climate advocate Al Gore met with Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City Monday.

Gore said he had a "lengthy and very productive session" with the president-elect, who has previously called climate change a "hoax."

"I found it an extremely interesting conversation and to be continued and I’m just going to leave it at that," Gore told reporters of the meeting with the president-elect "... It was a sincere search for areas of common ground."

Gore also met with Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

The meetings with the two Trumps came against the backdrop of a New York Times report that the future first daughter also last week met with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, an outspoken advocate on climate change issues. According to that report, the actor gave Ivanka Trump a copy of his documentary “Before the Flood.”

Politico has also reported that Ivanka Trump intends to make climate change one of her “signature issues” with her father in the White House. The transition team has yet to specify what role the future first daughter may play in a Trump administration but has referred to her as an adviser to the transition.

While the specifics of Ivanka Trump’s views on the issue of climate change are not publicly known, the Trump transition made clear as recently as Friday that the future administration will take a different approach to the issue than the Obama administration has.

On Friday, a leaked internal memo said that the president-elect supports the completion of the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which the Army Corps of Engineers on Sunday blocked from running through a disputed piece of land. Native Americans and environmental advocates say the pipeline threatens sacred sites and a local water supply.

Still, Trump has indicated a willingness to moderate his previous positions on climate change since winning the election. While he vowed to "cancel" the Paris climate agreement while on the campaign trail, he told the New York Times recently that he is looking at the accord "very closely" and has an "open mind."

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