Obama Asks Appointees for Resignation Letters

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By Cheryl Bolen and Nancy Ognanovich

Nov. 10 — President Barack Obama has asked all political appointees to submit their resignation letters effective no later than the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, the White House announced as part of its ongoing transition process.

Obama met with Trump in the Oval Office of the White House to discuss the transition process and the eventual transfer of power on Jan. 20, 2017. “My No. 1 priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our president-elect is successful,” Obama said following the meeting.

“We discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties,” Trump said. “I very much look forward to dealing with the president in the future, including counsel.”

Capitol Hill Visit

In a subsequent visit to Capitol Hill, Trump said changes to the nation’s immigration laws and health-care policy will be among the top priorities for his administration when it takes office next January.

Trump, emerging from a roughly half-hour meeting with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), said he will be looking “very strongly” at changes to immigration laws early next year, including border security, but refused to answer reporters’ questions about whether he will carry through with a pledge to block Muslims from immigrating to the U.S.

Trump also said his administration will be tackling health-care policy, but didn’t specifically mention repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “We have a lot to do. We’re going to work very strongly on immigration, health care, and we’re looking at jobs, big league jobs,” he told reporters after the meeting.

Staffing and Organization

Obama and Trump spent a large portion of their meeting discussing the importance of properly staffing and organizing a White House operation, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

“That’s complicated business,” Earnest told reporters at the White House. “And any White House is expected to be structured in a way to deal with multiple challenges or even multiple crisis at the same time.”

On policy, Obama and Trump had the opportunity to discuss some foreign policy and domestic issues, Earnest said.

Some of those foreign policy issues came up in the context of the president’s upcoming trip to Greece, Germany and Peru, where he will attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders’ Summit, Nov. 18-20, Earnest said.

Transition Process

Separately, the White House issued a lengthy fact sheet outlining the many steps of the transition process, which started early in 2016 and has been led by White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.

This week, agency review teams selected by the president-elect will begin to reach out to their designated counterparts at agencies across the government, the fact sheet said.

The president-elect’s agency review teams will receive detailed briefings that have been prepared by current administration officials, the fact sheet said. Those briefings include organizational charts, budget materials, briefings on key agency priorities and areas of responsibility, and other materials describing the essential functions of that agency, it said.

Simultaneously, the president-elect’s transition team will establish policy teams that will work out of office space provided by the General Services Administration, the fact sheet said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Cheryl Bolen in Washington at cbolen@bna.com; Nancy Ognanovich in Washington at nognanov@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Paul Hendrie at phendrie@bna.com

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