The Latest: Trump son to stop raising money for charity

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2016 12:46 AM
The Latest: Trump son to stop raising money for charity

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

12:45 a.m.

One of President-elect Donald Trump's sons will stop directly raising money for his namesake charitable foundation, saying he worries the donations will be perceived as a way to buy access to his father.

Eric Trump said Wednesday that it pained him to cease soliciting donations for his organization, which raises money in the name of children's cancer.

The foundation has come under scrutiny in recent days after posting an online auction for coffee with his sister Ivanka.

Eric Trump told The Associated Press that "it's an extremely sad day when doing the right thing isn't the right thing."

News of his decision was first reported by The New York Times.

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5:05 p.m.

The head of Boeing is saying he promised President-elect Donald Trump that the manufacturer would complete the Air Force One project for less than the $4 billion the president-elect had claimed it would cost.

Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday told reporters outside Trump's coastal Florida estate that his meeting with the president-elect was "very productive."

Trump earlier this month had ripped Boeing over the cost of the program to replace the aging presidential aircraft.

But Muilenburg said that Boeing "would get it done for far less" than the $4 billion that Trump claimed, though he did not suggest what the aircraft manufacturer had estimated for a cost.

Muilenburg also did not provide a timetable for the completion of the presidential planes.

4:55 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is naming one of the nation's richest men to be a special adviser on issues regarding regulatory reform.

Carl Icahn, a veteran of Wall Street who founded his own securities firm, was named by Trump on Wednesday.

Icahn, an early Trump supporter, is estimated to worth more than $16 billion. Trump in a statement said the 80-year-old Icahn, one of the nation's leading investors, is "not only a brilliant negotiator, but also someone who is innately able to predict the future, especially having to do with finances and economies."

During his campaign, Trump repeatedly vowed to cut back on the number of government regulations on American business owners. Icahn said in a statement American businesses "have been crippled" by regulations.

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4:50 p.m.

Indiana governor and Vice President-elect Mike Pence says Donald Trump will work to preserve the social safety net helping those who struggle.

Pence made the remark Tuesday during a visit to an Indianapolis homeless shelter. He says economic prosperity is the "antidote" to the challenges many face. But he added that it's important "to continue to provide the resources for social services organizations that come alongside our most vulnerable citizens."

He also expressed confidence that President-elect Trump will be able to work with Congress to make sure there's funding for social services.

The vice president-elect is back in Indiana for the Christmas holiday. He says his son Michael will be married during a ceremony at the Indiana governor's residence.

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3:55 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has named a fierce critic of China, economist Peter Navarro, to lead a newly created White House trade council.

The University of California-Irvine professor, who advised Trump during the campaign, will serve as head of the new White House National Trade Council and as director of trade and industrial policy.

In a statement, the Trump transition team said the creation of the council "demonstrates the president-elect's determination to make American manufacturing great again."

Trump says China's unfair trade practices are responsible for wiping out American factory jobs and has threatened to impose taxes on Chinese imports. U.S. manufacturers have cut 5 million jobs since 2000.

Navarro, author of "Death By China," also endorses a hard line approach toward relations with China.

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3:01 p.m.

The CEO of Boeing is meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago just weeks after a public flap over the cost of the Air Force One project.

Dennis Muilenburg is meeting with Trump on Wednesday. Earlier this month, Trump said that the price of two new Air Force one planes was "out of control" and suggested he didn't want to go ahead with the project at that cost.

Boeing has the multi-billion dollar contract to replace the aging presidential aircraft. Trump at the time said he wanted "Boeing to make a lot of money but not that much money."

Trump is also expected to meet later with Marillyn Hewson, the head of Lockheed Martin. Lockheed Martin manufactures the F-35 fighter jet, the cost of which Trump has also criticized.

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2:32 p.m.

A battle is brewing on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee over Rex Tillerson's personal income taxes.

Senate Democratic aides say Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to be secretary of state, told the panel late last week that he would, if asked, provide lawmakers with his and his wife's federal and state tax returns for the last three years.

The aides say the tax information would shed substantial light on any possible foreign "entanglements" that Tillerson may have from his decade as Exxon Mobil CEO.

But the aides say the Trump transition team informed the committee this week that it won't be getting the material ahead of Tillerson's confirmation hearing, which is scheduled for next month.

They say Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee's Republican chairman, is siding with the Trump team and won't force Tillerson to turn over the returns.

The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the internal discussions of the committee.

—Richard Lardner

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2:04 p.m.

Donald Trump says the truck ramming attack at market in Berlin is an "attack on humanity and it's got to be stopped."

The president-elect made the comments in brief remarks to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida following a top-secret security briefing. He said the violence in Germany validates his assessment of Islamic-inspired threats.

He said, "all along, I've been proven to be right," adding that he's been, "100 percent correct."

With Trump during Wednesday's remarks were his pick for national security adviser, retired Gen. Michael Flynn, and his incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Trump also said he talked to President Barack Obama two days ago, but not since then.

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11:31 a.m.

Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump's controversial first campaign manager, is starting a political consulting firm and will not be joining the Trump administration.

But Lewandowski won't be far. His new firm, Avenue Strategies, will be located about a block from the White House.

Lewandowski led Trump's campaign through his improbable victory in the Republican primary, but he clashed the president-elect's family and was fired. Still, he remains close to Trump and says he considered "multiple opportunities within the administration."

Lewandowski is forming the firm with Barry Bennett, a former adviser to Ben Carson, Trump's nominee to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Bennett also briefly advised the Trump campaign.

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10:46 a.m.

A Democratic senator is questioning President-elect Donald Trump's pick for Treasury secretary about his vow to undo some financial regulations and his stake in a bank that profited from the foreclosure crisis.

In a letter on Wednesday, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown posed 11 questions to Steve Mnuchin, the former Goldman Sachs executive. The questions range from whether he would be a strong defender of the Dodd-Frank law that imposed financial regulations after the 2008 economic meltdown to whether OneWest, a bank that foreclosed on thousands of homeowners after the housing crisis, got help from the FDIC.

Mnuchin headed a group of investors who owned the bank, which foreclosed on more than 36,000 families in California alone — most in minority neighborhoods — according to the California Reinvestment Coalition. Brown is on the Senate Finance Committee, which will consider Mnuchin's nomination.

This story has been corrected to reflect that Brown is on the Senate Finance Committee, which will consider the Mnuchin nomination. An earlier version said he was not on that committee.

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10:35 a.m.

A leader of Donald Trump's transition says the president-elect is no longer interested in his catch phrase "drain the swamp" of Washington.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said his understanding is that Trump "now just disclaims that. He now says it was cute, but he doesn't want to use it anymore." Gingrich made the remark in an interview that aired Wednesday on National Public Radio.

Trump has said he never loved the phrase. But it has continued to be a popular feature on his post-election tour. And his aides say he remains committed to his underlying swamp-draining policies, such as banning outgoing Trump transition and administration members from lobbying for five years.

Transition spokesman Jason Miller said Trump's "ethics reform policies are full speed ahead." Miller added of the new president and his team: "We're going to change the way business is done in Washington and start putting the American people first."

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7:20 p.m.

The Israeli ambassador to the United States is urging the incoming Trump administration to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Trump and his nominee for U.S. ambassador to Israel have pledged to move the embassy. But previous Republican presidents have made that promise without following through.

Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer says it would be a "great step forward" for peace. He tells a Hanukkah reception at the Israeli embassy in Washington that it would send a "strong message against delegitimization of Israel."

The U.S. and nearly every other country have their embassies in Tel Aviv. Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, but Palestinians claim part of Jerusalem as the capital for a future Palestinian state.

U.S. presidents have repeatedly waived a law requiring the embassy to be moved.

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2:40 p.m.

Donald Trump's children may see his move to the White House as a way to raise money for pet causes.

Two recent fundraising pitches featuring the incoming first family were meant to benefit charities. But they also raised the possibility the Trumps are inappropriately selling access.

Eric Trump tried auctioning coffee with his sister, Ivanka, to raise money for a children's hospital. Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are named as part of a fundraiser that offered the chance to rub elbows with their father during Inauguration weekend.

These events are dissolving as quickly as they become public, suggesting the family is learning on the fly what's acceptable.

The Ivanka Trump coffee has been canceled. And on the Inauguration event, Hope Hicks, a Trump spokeswoman, said the sons "are not involved."

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Noon:

President-elect Donald Trump is considering Jovita Carranza, who worked in President George W. Bush's administration, as his choice for U.S. trade representative.

Trump is meeting with Carranza at his home in Florida on Tuesday. Carranza served as deputy administrator of the Small Business Administration under Bush.

Trump is also meeting with businessman Luis Quinonez, who runs a company with military and health care ties. Quinonez is said to be under consideration as Veterans Affairs secretary.

With just a handful of Cabinet posts to fill, Trump is facing some criticism for a lack of diversity in his senior team, which currently includes no Hispanics. The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials said Tuesday that it was "deeply concerned" at the lack of Hispanics considered for top jobs.

Carranza was a member of Trump's Hispanic advisory council during the campaign.

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10:14 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is rejecting calls for a special Senate investigative committee focused on possible interference in U.S. elections by Russia and other countries.

McConnell says a finding by U.S. intelligence officials that Moscow hacked Democratic emails in a bid to elevate Donald Trump "is a serious issue, but it doesn't require a select committee."

The Republican leader says in an interview with Kentucky Educational Television that he is "very concerned" that "the Russians were messing around in our elections," but said the Senate intelligence committee is able to investigate it.

Senators including Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican John McCain of Arizona have called for a special Senate committee to investigate efforts by Russia, China and Iran to meddle in U.S. elections.

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8:40 a.m.

Donald Trump is taking issue with Bill Clinton's criticisms of him.

Clinton told a weekly newspaper in New York state earlier this month that Trump "doesn't know much." Clinton went on to say: "One thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him." The ex-president also claimed that the president-elect called him after his election victory over Hillary Clinton.

First of all, Trump said in a two-part tweet Tuesday, "Bill Clinton stated that I called him after the election. Wrong, he called me (with a very nice congratulations)."

Trump added that Clinton is the one who "'doesn't know much'... especially how to get people, even with an unlimited budget, out to vote in the vital swing states (and more)." The Clinton campaign, Trump says, "focused on the wrong states."

Trump fired off those tweets the morning after he formally won the presidency in Monday's Electoral College tally.

Bill Clinton made his comments to The Record-Review, serving the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge.

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3:10 a.m.

Jumping ahead of investigators, President-elect Donald Trump is blaming Islamic terrorists for deadly violence in Turkey and Germany and vowing anew to eradicate their regional and global networks.

Authorities in both countries were still investigating Monday when Trump issued a pair of statements condemning the attacks. The White House had already described the episode in central Berlin, in which a truck rammed into shoppers at a Christmas market, as an apparent terrorist attack.

Trump called the brazen shooting of Russia's ambassador to Turkey as he attended a photo exhibit "a violation of all rules of civilized order." He says a "radical Islamic terrorist" had assassinated the diplomat, Andrei Karlov.

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