- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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

10 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is making a surprise visit to his Washington hotel two days before his inauguration.

Trump, who is in town for a pair of fundraisers, pulled up to the Trump International Hotel with his lengthy motorcade just before 9:30 p.m. for a late dinner.

Trump is set to return to Washington for good Thursday. But as per tradition, he’ll be staying at Blair House - the president’s guest house - instead of his Pennsylvania Avenue hotel the night before his inauguration.

Trump made frequent unannounced stops at the building to check in on its construction during the campaign.

The hotel is currently off-limits to reporters. The hotel’s director of sales and marketing told the AP earlier Wednesday that media are banned through Sunday to protect guests’ privacy.

___

9:05 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is back in Washington, spending the evening attending a duo of dinners just two days before his inauguration.

Trump is attending a fundraiser featuring his potential cabinet secretaries at the Library of Congress.

Earlier, he stopped by a fundraising dinner honoring Vice President-elect Mike Pence at the National Portrait Gallery.

Reporters were not allowed access to either event.

Trump will return to New York Wednesday night and is then scheduled to return to Washington for good Thursday.

___

8:47 p.m.

A person familiar with the decision says President-elect Donald Trump has chosen former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue to serve as agriculture secretary.

The person who revealed Trump’s pick was not authorized to speak publicly before it is announced.

Perdue is a 70-year-old agribusiness owner and veterinarian. He made Georgia history in 2002 when he became the first Republican elected governor since the aftermath of the Civil War. His election marked the completion of Georgia’s shift to a solidly Republican state after generations of Democratic control.

Perdue’s eight years as governor passed with no signature legislative accomplishment. Instead, he focused on saving money and improving service at state agencies - often referring to himself as Georgia’s CEO.

- Jonathan Lemire

___

6:50 p.m.

A Las Vegas hotel has stopped selling a famous fashion designer’s products following a hubbub over whether he would dress President-elect Donald Trump’s wife, Melania.

Wynn Las Vegas spokesman Michael Weaver confirmed the hotel removed the Tom Ford line of cosmetics and sunglasses from its stores over the weekend, but declined to say why.

Trump said in an interview with Fox News Channel that hotel owner Steve Wynn “said he thought it was so terrible what Tom Ford said, that he threw his clothing out of his Las Vegas hotel.”

Ford has said he declined to dress Melania Trump years ago and he believes his clothes are too expensive for first ladies.

Trump told Fox his wife never asked Ford to dress her and “doesn’t like” Ford or his designs.

___

5:05 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump’s hotel in the nation’s capital is off-limits to media during inauguration week.

Patricia Tang, director of sales and marketing for the Trump International in Washington, said Wednesday in a phone interview that media are banned from the hotel grounds through Sunday to protect guests’ privacy.

The hotel opened in September. Trump won a lease from the federal government to renovate the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Avenue, a few blocks from the White House.

Tang says she is confident the ban does not violate the hotel’s lease with the government or the city’s public accommodations laws.

On Tuesday night, a protester suffered burns after trying to light himself on fire outside the hotel.

___

2:20 p.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence says President Barack Obama’s decision to commute Chelsea Manning’s sentence was a “mistake,” and is calling the convicted leaker a “traitor.”

Pence says in an interview airing Wednesday night with Fox News’ Brett Baier that Manning’s actions compromised national security, endangered American personnel and compromised individuals in Afghanistan who were cooperating with U.S. forces.

The former Army intelligence analyst asked Obama to commute her 35-year sentence for giving classified government and military documents to the WikiLeaks website.

Manning was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest and is more than six years into the sentence. She is to be released from prison in May.

__

1:30 p.m.

The subway system that serves the nation’s capital will open earlier and add trains because of expected high ridership by people traveling to the Women’s March on Washington a day after Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Metro said in a statement Wednesday that it will open two hours early Saturday, at 5 a.m., and add up to two dozen additional trains to accommodate people attending the march. Metro said that under the new schedule trains will depart stations at the end of each line every 12 minutes, which will result in service every four to six minutes at all stations in downtown Washington.

Metro had previously announced an early opening and additional service for Inauguration Day on Friday. On that day, Metro is also opening at 4 a.m. and plans to run rush hour service for 17 hours, until 9 p.m.

__

1 p.m.

Donald Trump’s incoming press secretary says Trump is “troubled” by President Barack Obama’s decision to grant clemency to convicted leaker Chelsea Manning.

Obama on Tuesday announced that he would allow the transgender Army intelligence analyst convicted of leaking more than 700,000 U.S. documents to go free nearly three decades early.

Sean Spicer tells reporters during a daily briefing Wednesday that the decision sends a “troubling messaging.”

He also says it was a “double standard” given the outrage the Democrats expressed about leaked information during the election.

Trump has repeatedly railed against government leaks to the media during his transition period.

Spicer didn’t have an answer when asked about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that he would be willing to be extradited if Manning’s sentence were commuted.

__

12:30 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is saying he stressed to President-elect Donald Trump the impact of federal spending on state budgets.

Cuomo had a nearly hour-long meeting with the president-elect at Trump Tower on Wednesday. After the meeting, the governor said they discussed the impact of federal tax policy and the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act on New York.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has placed major infrastructure projects at the center of his agenda and said he hoped Trump would authorize federal spending for some of the projects, including a rehabilitation of JFK Airport.

Cuomo said, “New York is ready to build.”

Secret Service agents prepared the lobby for Trump to appear with Cuomo, a rumored 2020 presidential candidate, but the president-elect did not show.

___

12:05 p.m.

A South Florida man has been charged with threatening to kill President-elect Donald Trump in a video posted online.

A Miami Beach police report released Wednesday identified the suspect as 51-year-old Dominic Puopolo. Jail records show Puopolo is being held without bail on state charges of threatening harm against a public servant. Court records do not list a lawyer for him.

The police report says Puopolo on Monday posted a video on his Twitter account stating that he would “be at the review/inauguration and I will kill President Trump, President-elect Trump” while in Washington.

The report says he was arrested a short time later at a Miami Beach Subway restaurant and admitted to officers he had posted the threatening video. Police say Puopolo told them he is homeless.

___

11:55 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says the confirmation process has been tougher than his pick for secretary of state expected.

Trump was speaking at a dinner in Washington on Tuesday evening when he gave a shout-out to his pick, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

Trump told the group that Tillerson “figured, you know, he’s lived this charmed life, he goes into a country, takes the oil. Goes into another country. It’s tough dealing with these politicians.”

Tillerson chimed in from his seat: “It sure is.”

The off-hand comment appeared to be light-hearted banner. But it was also a gift to Democrats who have tried to paint Tillerson as an out-of-touch pillager of foreign oil.

Trump also said Tillerson had been his first choice for the job, even though he considered other candidates.

___

11 a.m.

Donald Trump has been tweeting that his inauguration will bring record numbers of people to Washington - and he’s going all-out to make that happen.

The Trump team is posting ads on Facebook and Twitter encouraging people to come to Washington for the inaugural festivities.

The ads say Trump “wants to personally invite” people to Thursday’s inaugural welcome concert and Friday’s swearing-in ceremony.

They include a video from Trump promising the concert will be “really fantastic.”

Christopher Geldart, the district’s director of homeland security, says officials are planning for inaugural turnout of 800,000 to 900,000 people.

That would be a sizable turnout but nowhere near the 1.8 million who attended Barack Obama’s first inauguration.

__

10:10 a.m.

An AP poll finds that Americans across the political spectrum put health care reform at the top of the nation’s priorities. More than 4 in 10 Republicans, Democrats and independents say they want the government to do something about the indisputable problems with President Barack Obama’s signature national health care law.

But The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found there’s little agreement on what to do, echoing the uncertainty between President-elect Donald Trump and congressional Republicans on the subject.

Beyond health care, agreement on the top issues facing the nation ends. Democrats were more likely to mention the environment, racism and poverty. Republicans were more likely to cite immigration, terrorism, government spending and taxes.

__

8:40 a.m.

The marching band from a historically black college in Alabama is getting a big send-off as it heads to Washington to perform at Donald Trump’s inaugural.

The Talladega College Marching Tornadoes have a noon ceremony at the city square, then board buses for the nation’s capital.

A GoFundMe account set up to help the band has raised more than $620,000 for the trip. Some alumni didn’t want the school linked to Trump. The online fundraising campaign took off after the university president appeared on a Fox News show to defend the band’s performance.

The college was founded by two former slaves.

__

8 a.m.

A man was taken to a hospital after he says he tried to light himself on fire outside the Trump International Hotel in Washington as a protest.

A police incident report states that an officer saw a person set himself on fire Tuesday night and called for an ambulance. D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo says an ambulance was sent to the area of the Pennsylvania Avenue hotel.

Maggiolo says a man with burn injuries was taken to a hospital with potentially serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

WRC-TV reports (https://bit.ly/2k3QaiZ) the man says he tried to light himself on fire as a protest. In a video, the unidentified man says he was protesting the election of somebody who’s “incapable of respecting the Constitution.”

___

7:15 a.m.

Don’t expect any letup in tweeting from Donald Trump after he becomes president.

Trump tells “Fox & Friends” that he’ll keep making his opinions known in the 140-character tweets that have become so familiar to his Twitter followers, especially early in the morning.

In the interview aired Wednesday, the president-elect said he doesn’t really like tweeting, adding, “I have other things I could be doing.”

But Trump said he turns to social media because “I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it’s my only way that I can counteract.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide