White House Gathers Trump, Clinton Reps for Transition Update

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough on Thursday convened the White House Transition Coordinating Council to update representatives from the Trump and Clinton presidential campaigns on the ongoing transition effort.

The meeting of some 20 officials and campaign staff at the White House “discussed the administration's transition activities to date, including an overview of agency planning efforts, General Services Administration-led transition team support, emergency preparedness, personnel onboarding processes and upcoming milestones,” said White House spokeswoman Jennifer Friedman.

The coordinating council, created by President Obama’s executive order in May, last met on June 9. Its role is to guide the Agency Transition Directors Council (which has met three times this summer and will meet again soon) as well as “helping to facilitate communication between the eligible candidates and the senior employees in agencies and at the Executive Office of the President,” she added.

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Attending from the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project were former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the transition chairman, and co-executive directors Ann O'Leary and Ed Meier.

Representing Trump were his transition chairman New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, along with Executive Director Rich Bagger and Director for Presidential Appointments Bill Hagerty.

Obama administration attendees included:

  • Anita Decker Breckenridge, deputy chief of staff for operations;
  • Kristie Canegallo, deputy chief of staff for implementation;
  • James Clapper, director of National Intelligence;
  • Shaun Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget;
  • Neil Eggleston, counsel to the president;
  • Tim Horne, federal transition coordinator at GSA;
  • Andrew Mayock, senior adviser at the Office of Management and Budget;
  • Rudy Mehrbani, director of presidential personnel;
  • Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism;
  • David Recordon, director of White House Information Technology;
  • Dana Remus, senior counsel to the president;
  • Susan Rice, national security adviser;
  • Denise Roth, GSA administrator; and,
  • Jeff Zients, director of the National Economic Council.

Cabinet agencies have until September to fulfill Budget Director Donovan’s demand for technical budget information for preparing the fiscal 2018 budget, the White House noted. The administration has already begun the process of transferring its electronic records to the National Archives and Records Administration.

The White House Transition Coordinating Council has “started out with the leaders, rather than the day-to-day workers who are actually going to be meeting with the agency people,” Martha Joynt Kumar, the Towson University political scientist who directs a nonprofit research and advisory group called the White House Transition Project, told Government Executive.

Also on Thursday, Chris Christie held a conference call with donors, asking 100 people to give $5,000 each for travel and staff to assist with a Trump transition to the White House, a total of $2.5 million, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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