Trump picks Chao for transportation secretary

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NEW YORK (AP) – The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump and his administration (all times EST):

11:37 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump has picked Elaine Chao to become transportation secretary, according to a Trump source.

The source has knowledge of the pick by spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the pick, which is expected to be announced Tuesday afternoon.

Chao, 63, was labor secretary under President George W. Bush and the first Asian American woman to serve in a president’s Cabinet. She also is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

Chao came to the United States from Taiwan with her family at 8 years old. Her family settled in New York, where her father became a wealthy shipping magnate. She became head of the Peace Corps and deputy secretary of Transportation before taking over the Labor Department.

As Labor secretary, her job was to protect the nation’s workforce, including setting safety standards and addressing issues related to wages and retirement. She updated overtime regulations for “white-collar” workers and rules intended to force unions to disclose more details on their financial condition to members.

-By Jonathan Lemire

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11:21 a.m.

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting with Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general.

It’s the first time a Trump Cabinet nominee has met with a member of Congress on Capitol Hill. Sessions is a Republican senator from Alabama who sits on Grassley’s committee. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected have the votes to confirm Sessions to Trump’s Cabinet.

Grassley says the panel plans to hold a confirmation hearing before Trump’s inauguration Jan. 20.

Senate Democrats in a letter called for a “fair and thorough” hearing and said the attorney general must be “the people’s lawyer, not the president’s lawyer.”

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10:35 a.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the election was “pretty fair,” rejecting President-elect Donald Trump’s talk of voter fraud and independent Jill Stein’s recount effort.

The Wisconsin Republican was interviewed Tuesday by WCLO radio in his hometown of Janesville, Wis. Ryan said he didn’t see “any evidence of systemic fraud.”

Trump has claimed, without evidence, that millions voted illegally in three states that Democrat Hillary Clinton won – California, New Hampshire and Virginia. Stein has raised millions of dollars to finance recount votes in Wisconsin and is pressing for new counts in Pennsylvania and Michigan – states that Trump won.

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10:20 a.m.

The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party is announcing plans Tuesday to seek the Democratic National Committee chairmanship.

Ray Buckley’s bid comes as the Democratic National Committee is deciding how to move forward after major losses in the presidential contest and races nationwide. Buckley says the DNC “from top to bottom needs urgent reform.”

New Hampshire was a bright spot for Democrats at the top of the ticket this year, with outgoing Gov. Maggie Hassan winning a U.S. Senate seat and Democrats taking both congressional seats.

Buckley’s competition includes Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison and former DNC chairman Howard Dean.

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10:15 a.m.

Donald Trump’s spokesman says the president-elect is poised to name a transportation secretary.

Jason Miller tells Fox Business Network that Trump is expected to name the person to his Cabinet Tuesday afternoon.

Pennsylvania Republican congressman Lou Barletta has been a leading candidate for the position and is scheduled to meet with Trump Tuesday.

Barletta is a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and chairs the panel that oversees federal management of emergencies and natural disasters. He also serves on the House committees on homeland security and education and the workforce.

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10:10 a.m.

The No. 2 Republican in the House is dismissing President-elect Donald Trump’s baseless claim of voter fraud in this month’s election as well as the effort by independent Jill Stein to press for a recount in several states.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in an interview with The Washington Post on Tuesday that he trusts the results. He said: “I don’t have a problem, I think it’s time to govern.”

Trump tweeted on Sunday that there was voter fraud in McCarthy’s home state of California, New Hampshire and Virginia without providing any data to back up his claim.

McCarthy also said: “The election’s over I’m not into this recount.” Stein is pushing for a recount in several states where Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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8:20 a.m.

Donald Trump says that anyone who burns an American flag should face unspecified “consequences,” such as jail or a loss of citizenship.

The president-elect’s tweet is a direct conflict with free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It comes as he prepares to name a secretary of state.

He tweets: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” It was not clear what prompted the tweet Tuesday morning.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment.

Wisconsin congressman Sean Duffy suggested on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday that Trump’s tweet was wrong. He said, “We want to protect those people who want to protest….I disagree with Mr. Trump on that.”

Duffy is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s panel on oversight and investigations.

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7:45 a.m.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader, is strongly criticizing Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Schumer said in a statement early Tuesday that the Georgia congressman “has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood.”

Schumer said those programs have helped millions of Americans, including “seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable health care.”

Having Price as HHS secretary, Schumer said, “is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”

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7:38 a.m.

A Trump spokesman says Rep. Tom Price, Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, will have as his top mission replacing the so-called “Obamacare” health care law.

Jason Miller said Tuesday in a CNN interview that Price, an orthopedic surgeon and current Georgia congressman, will “lead the charge” on repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which Trump targeted during his presidential campaign.

Miller says the law “is imploding” because of increasing premiums and other costs.

The law has extended health care coverage to millions of previously uninsured people, and Trump has said he plans to keep some of its provisions, including allowing people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance.

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7:30 a.m.

Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services says he’ll work to ensure a health care system based on “sensible rules.”

Georgia congressman Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon, says the system should work for patients, families and doctors. But he adds in a statement that it should be balanced to “protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.”

The president-elect nominated Price on Monday to head the agency. If Price is confirmed by the Senate, he’ll play a central role in repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Trump is expected to name more members of his administration this week.

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3:20 a.m.

Donald Trump’s hunt for a secretary of state is veering into dramatic terrain, with the president-elect summoning Mitt Romney back for a second look as a top aide leads a public pressure campaign against the pick.

Trump has a follow-up meeting Tuesday with the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, who has become a symbol of the internal divisions agitating the transition team. He also plans to sit with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, a new contender.

Aides were divided over Trump’s choices. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has warned that Trump’s supporters would feel “betrayed” if he tapped Romney.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has teased “a number of very important announcements” on Tuesday.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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