The Latest: Trump to visit victims of Ohio State attack

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 10:45 PM
The Latest: Trump to visit victims of Ohio State attack

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

9:45 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is planning to travel to Ohio State University to meet with some of the victims of the recent attack that left 11 people injured.

Trump is expected to arrive in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the plans but not authorized to discuss them before they are announced.

Authorities have said Ohio State University student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, stabbed students before being fatally shot by police. He first rammed a campus crowd with his car before hopping out with a knife.

Authorities have said Artan, a Somali immigrant, was inspired by Islamic State rhetoric, but they are still investigating the claim by the militant group that it had recruited the student.

Trump has denounced the immigration policies that allowed Artan into the country.

— By Jonathan Lemire

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8:20 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is officially announcing he will nominate retired Marine Gen. James Mattis to be his Defense Secretary, bringing his pick onstage in North Carolina.

Mattis briefly addressed the crowd in Fayetteville, thanking Trump for the nomination.

Fayetteville is the latest stop in Trump's "thank you" tour to salute his supporters. The venue is near several major military bases, including Fort Bragg.

Trump is also repeating his vow to reinforce the nation's military, believing it will lead to "peace through strength."

He says, "We seek to build up our arms not to seek conflict, but to avoid conflict."

Mattis will require a congressional waiver to accept the post since he has not been out of uniform for the required seven years.

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7:50 p.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is claiming a governing mandate for the Trump administration, calling on conservative activists to help the incoming White House pass an ambitiously conservative agenda.

Pence made little reference to still-simmering national divides in his address at a Tuesday night event honoring top donors to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank that's working closely with Donald Trump's transition effort.

"We truly do believe that our president-elect has secured a mandate for leadership," he said.

Despite winning the electoral vote, Trump is 2.6 million behind Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton in the popular vote. Clinton's lead there has sparked calls from Democrats to abolish the Electoral College.

Pence spoke in the "presidential ballroom" of Trump's Washington, D.C., hotel.

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5:50 p.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence is acknowledging that the son of Donald Trump's incoming national security adviser was helping his father with scheduling and administrative items. But Pence says "that's no longer the case."

Pence says in an interview with CNN that Michael Flynn Jr., the son of retired Gen. Michael Flynn, was helping his father during the transition.

Flynn Jr. sent numerous posts on Twitter about the conspiracy theories of Pizzagate, a fake news story that falsely suggested a Washington, D.C., pizza shop had played a key role in a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton.

Pence was pressed repeatedly by host Jake Tapper on whether a security clearance was requested for Flynn Jr. The vice president-elect declined to directly answer the question.

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4:35 p.m.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich is advising state electors not to vote for him in an anti-Donald Trump protest.

Kasich, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for president, told The Associated Press Tuesday he is not a candidate for president, the election was held and Trump was the winner.

He says the U.S. is divided, with raw emotions on both sides, but an anti-Trump protest vote will only further divide the country.

Kasich says unity is needed now and it's time for all to come together as Americans.

Trump won 306 electoral votes in the Nov. 8 presidential election, easily enough to make him president when the electoral college meets Dec. 19.

Electors are pledged to candidates but allowed to change their votes, though they almost never do.

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3:25 p.m.

When the Trump administration takes office in January, it's going to be back to the future for Republican senators — on Tuesday afternoons, anyway.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says Vice President-elect Mike Pence will periodically have Tuesday lunches with GOP senators. Senate Republicans have closed-door lunches together on Tuesdays to discuss legislation and politics, usually in the Capitol. Senate Democrats do the same thing.

Vice President Dick Cheney used to lunch frequently with Senate Republicans while he served under President George W. Bush from 2001 through 2008.

McConnell told reporters Tuesday that those lunches with Cheney were a big help to lawmakers. The Kentucky Republican says that gives them "access to the second most important person in the executive branch, on a routine basis."

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2:35 p.m.

After meeting with Donald Trump on Tuesday, Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son said he would invest $50 billion in the United States and "commit" to creating 50,000 new jobs.

Son said he "came to celebrate" Trump's new job, and said, "The U.S. will become great again."

As the founder and chief executive of Softbank, Son controls the U.S. telecom Sprint. Shares in Sprint spiked after the announcement was made. Son left Trump Tower escorted by the president-elect.

The financial details about the commitment and its time frame are unclear.

But Trump quickly took credit for the commitment, saying on Twitter, "Masa said he would never do this had we (Trump) not won the election!"

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12: 15 p.m.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he has spoken to President-elect Donald Trump by telephone and mentioned Chicago's status as a sanctuary city for immigrants.

Emanuel said Trump called him to talk about the White House transition. Emanuel is a former White House chief of staff to President Barack Obama and also worked in the Clinton administration.

Emanuel spoke about the call at an unrelated event Monday. The mayor said he discussed "a range of things" with Trump. He said he specifically mentioned Chicago being a sanctuary city, which means city employees and police officers can't ask residents about their immigration status.

During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to withhold federal funding for sanctuary cities.

Emanuel didn't offer more details about the call.

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11:25 a.m.

A spokesman for Donald Trump says the president-elect sold all of his stocks in June. The spokesman did not provide any proof or specify the stocks that were sold.

Aide Jason Miller was responding to a question from reporters about whether Trump had stocks in Boeing. Earlier Tuesday, Trump said the government should cancel its multibillion-dollar order with Boeing for new Air Force One presidential planes.

Miller confirmed to the AP that he was referring to all of Trump's stocks. He said he was not aware if Trump had any stocks in Boeing at the time.

The AP has requested proof of Trump's stock sales, but Trump's transition team has so far not provided any.

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11 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is slated to attend the annual Army-Navy football game this Saturday in Baltimore.

Transition officials said Tuesday that Trump would attend the 117th annual game. He will sit on Navy's side of the field for one half of the game, and on Army's side for the other.

The game between the two military academies has long drawn commander in chiefs. President Barack Obama attended the game in 2011. President George W. Bush also attended the game while in office.

The game is held at a neutral site and in recent years has largely alternated between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Navy has won the game 14 straight years.

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10:47 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan is defending President-elect Donald Trump's phone conversation with the Taiwanese president, calling it "much ado about nothing."

The Taiwanese president called Trump last Friday.

Ryan told reporters Tuesday that it is "prudent" for Trump to accept congratulatory phone calls. Ryan says he himself spoke to President Tsai Ing-wen two months ago.

Ryan says not taking the call would be "considered a snub."

Taiwan split from China in 1949, but China still considers the island part of its territory and would consider it unacceptable for the U.S. to recognize Taiwan's leader as a head of state.

Trump advisers have made conflicting statements about whether the call was a congratulatory conversation or a signal of a new policy toward China.

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10:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has thanked Czech President Milos Zeman for his support, and the two have exchanged invitations to visit.

Zeman's office says Trump appreciated the fact that Zeman "was the only European president" to endorse him during the campaign against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

During the Tuesday phone call, Trump invited Zeman to visit him in the White House in April. Zeman's office says the Czech president returned the invitation by suggesting the president-elect visit Prague — and that invitation was accepted.

Their views of the fight against Islamic terrorism and political and economic cooperation between the U.S. and the Czech Republic were also discussed.

Zeman endorsed Trump with several other European leaders, such as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

Trump's former wife, Ivana is of Czech origin.

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9:50 a.m.

Donald Trump wants the government's contract for a new Air Force One canceled.

The president-elect tweeted that the contract with Boeing for a new presidential plane is costing $4 billion.

He later told reporters at Trump Tower that the manufacturer is "doing a little bit of a number" and the cost is "ridiculous."

Trump added that, "We want Boeing to make a lot of money, but not that much money."

The government has contracted with Boeing to build two or more new planes that would go into service around 2024.

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8:00 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence says the conspiracy-minded son of a key adviser to Donald Trump has no role in the president-elect's transition. Pence told MSNBC Tuesday that the son of retired Gen. Mike Flynn "has no involvement in the transition whatsoever."

The statement comes after Mike Flynn Jr. sent numerous posts on Twitter about the conspiracy theories of Pizzagate, a fake news story suggesting a Washington, D.C., pizza shop, Comet Ping Pong, plays a key role in a child sex trafficking ring run by Hillary Clinton. Police say the conspiracy theory led to violence Sunday when a North Carolina man fired a rifle in the restaurant as he sought to investigate the accusations. No one was injured, and the man was arrested.

Flynn Jr., who has accompanied his father to presidential transition meetings inside Trump Tower and lists the presidential transition website as part of his Twitter bio, tweeted Sunday night that, "Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it'll remain a story."

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7:44 a.m.

Donald Trump's choice for defense secretary will be with him at a Tuesday night rally in North Carolina.

That's according to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The Indiana governor told MSNBC Tuesday that Trump intends to officially announce the nomination of James Mattis to the helm of the Pentagon. The retired general will escort Trump to the rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The rally is part of Trump's tour of battleground states where voters helped him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. He'll be in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday and Grand Rapids, Michigan on Friday.

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7:14 a.m.

NATO's chief says the alliance and the European Union are moving forward on deepening cooperation, as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump insists European allies start pulling their own military weight.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters before chairing talks between NATO foreign ministers Tuesday that "we have a momentum now."

He said NATO and the EU would endorse 40 proposals for boosting cooperation on cyber security and hybrid threats, operations at sea and helping neighboring countries better defend themselves.

Stoltenberg said "questions have been asked with respect to the strength of the trans-Atlantic bond" and that the best way to respond is to boost NATO-EU cooperation.

Trump lambasted Europeans during the U.S. campaign for not paying their fair share of defense budgets and wants NATO to do more against terrorism.

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3:33 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is taking his show back on the road.

Trump is slated to hold the second stop of this "thank you" tour Tuesday in North Carolina, less than a week after his bombastic return to rallies at an Ohio appearance that felt more like a raucous campaign stop than a traditional speech by a president-to-be.

At that Cincinnati stop, Trump disparaged the media as "dishonest," inspired loud "Build the wall" chants and stunned his own aides with his surprise announcement from the stage that that he was appointing retired Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense.

The Tuesday appearance in Fayetteville will be followed by rallies in Iowa and Michigan later this week as Trump barnstorms the country to salute his supporters.