The Latest: Trump says US should let China keep the drone

AP News
Posted: Dec 17, 2016 8:54 PM
The Latest: Trump says US should let China keep the drone

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

8:40 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says the U.S. should let China keep the U.S. Navy's unmanned underwater glider that it seized in the South China Sea.

Trump tweeted Saturday: "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!"

His tweet came after the U.S. military announced it had reached an understanding with China for the return of the underwater glider.

On Saturday morning, Trump took to Twitter to blast China for, as he described it, ripping the research drone out of the water.

According to the Pentagon, the drone was seized Thursday while collecting unclassified scientific data in the South China Sea, which China claims virtually in its entirety.


5:45 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is holding the final rally on his postelection victory tour in a football stadium in Mobile, Alabama, where he held the biggest rally of his campaign.

Trump said he's been told that once he's president he should stop holding such rallies. But the president-elect said he was going to keep doing them because it allows him to get his message out without going through the news media.

The raucous rallies have been his primary form of communication since the Nov. 8 election. He has not held any news conferences where he would have to take questions from journalists and done few interviews.

As at previous rallies, he went through a lengthy recap of his Election Night win, ticking off his victories state by state.

Trump was joined at Saturday's rally by GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, his pick for U.S. attorney general.


11:15 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (AHN'-geh-lah MEHR'-kuhl) is sending a top aide to New York next week to meet with President-elect Donald Trump's designated national security adviser.

That's according to the news magazine Der Spiegel, which reported Saturday on the expected meeting between Christoph Heusgen and Michael Flynn.

After Trump's election last month, Merkel pledged to "do everything to work well with the new president." She also said the basis for cooperation has to be "democracy, freedom and human rights worldwide, and to strive for an open and liberal world order."

Trump has previously criticized Merkel for her welcoming refugee policy in 2015.


10:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump's pick for White House budget director is a conservative congressman elected in the 2010 tea party wave. And South Carolina's Mick Mulvaney is a founder of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus.

That group helped push former House Speaker John Boehner from power and has caused heartburn for current Speaker Paul Ryan.

But Ryan calls Mulvaney "the absolute right choice" to serve as head of the Office of Management and Budget.

The Wisconsin Republican says Mulvaney "has been a conservative reformer from day one, proposing solutions to fix the budget process and our regulatory system."

The post requires Senate confirmation.


8:35 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has taken care of some White House business and is preparing for the final stop on his postelection "thank you" tour.

Trump says he intends to nominate Mick Mulvaney, a conservative Republican congressman from South Carolina who's viewed as a budget hawk, to be the White House budget director.

Trump calls Mulvaney a "very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation's finances and save our country from drowning in red ink."

The post requires Senate confirmation.

And Trump's set for a rally at a football stadium on Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama.

He's already tweeted: "THANK YOU ALABAMA AND THE SOUTH. Biggest of all crowds expected, see you there!"