The Latest: Trump says he may maintain some Russia sanctions – Washington Post

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The Latest: Trump says he may maintain some Russia sanctions – Washington Postby wpjljron.The Latest: Trump says he may maintain some Russia sanctions – Washington PostWASHINGTON — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times local): 10 p.m. President-elect Donald Trump says he will probably maintain some of the Obama administration’s recent sanctions against Russia, although he adds that he might do away with them if Russia works with the U.S. on battling terrorists and achieving other goals. Trump tells […]

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

10 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says he will probably maintain some of the Obama administration’s recent sanctions against Russia, although he adds that he might do away with them if Russia works with the U.S. on battling terrorists and achieving other goals.

Trump tells The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Friday night that “if Russia is really helping us, why would anybody have sanctions?”

President Barack Obama imposed the sanctions in retaliation for alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

Trump also says he is open to meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin after his inauguration.

The Journal also asked Trump if he is committed to the “One China” policy, in which the U.S. doesn’t officially recognize Taiwan’s breakaway government.

He responded, “Everything is under negotiation.”


5:10 p.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be sworn in by conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during next Friday’s inauguration.

Thomas’ role was included in the official program posted on the website of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Pence is a conservative former Indiana governor and congressman. Thomas is expected to gain a new conservative ally when President-elect Donald Trump announces his nomination to fill the vacancy of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in by Justices John Paul Stevens in 2009 and Sonia Sotomayor in 2013, both liberal members of the nation’s high court.


3 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says he’s unconcerned some of his Cabinet picks have contradicted him at their confirmation hearings.

“I told them, ‘Be yourself and say what you what to say. Don’t worry about me,’” Trump told journalists in the lobby of Trump Tower on Friday.

He says potential disagreements “all get worked out.”

Trump’s plans to build a Mexican border wall, reintroduce torture and to ignore the impact of climate change all were disputed by his picks this week on Capitol Hill.

Trump appeared with the comedian Steve Harvey. Harvey said they discussed mutual friends, television shows and their respective golf games.

Trump repeated his advice to his nominees, saying, “I say, ‘Be yourself. Wouldn’t you say, Steve?’” Harvey smiled but did not answer that question.


2:10 p.m.

The Russian embassy in Washington will neither confirm nor deny reports of frequent contacts between a top aide to President-elect Donald Trump and Moscow’s ambassador.

A senior official said Friday there were multiple phone calls between Trump aide Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador the same day Obama imposed sanctions as punishment for Russia trying to meddle in U.S. elections. The official was not authorized to confirm the contacts publicly and insisted on anonymity.

A Trump spokesman said a call took place a day earlier to exchange “logistical information.”

A Russian embassy spokesman told the Interfax news agency on Friday, “The embassy isn’t commenting on multiple contacts with our counterparts here, which take place on a daily basis in line with the diplomatic practice.”

— Associated Press writers Julie Pace and Nataliya Vasilyeva contributed to this report.


1:40 p.m.

It’s the great port-a-potty cover-up for President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Workers preparing for the inauguration Jan. 20 have taped over the name of the company — “Don’s Johns” — that has long supplied portable restrooms for major outdoor events.

Virginia-based Don’s Johns calls itself the Washington area’s top provider of portable toilet rentals. But the name apparently strikes too close to home for inaugural organizers.

Workers have placed blue tape over the company name on dozens of portable restrooms installed near the Capitol for the inauguration.

The company’s name is clearly visible upon close inspection, but is blocked for a wide-angle view by a TV or still camera.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the Presidential Inaugural Committee had no immediate comment Friday.


1 p.m.

The White House is holding a series of simulation exercises with members of President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming Cabinet to discuss ways of responding to emergencies, natural disasters and national security incidents.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest says the group exercises are aimed at ensuring a “smooth and effective transition” for the incoming Trump administration.

A large group of Trump nominees were spotted outside the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Friday, led by outgoing Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

The Trump contingent included incoming National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn, Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson, Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin and incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus.


11:25 a.m.

Senior staff members of President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration will meet with their White House counterparts Friday.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that the meeting with President Barack Obama’s staff is a “symbol” of the traditional peaceful transfer of power.

Spicer did not say which specific staff members would be involved.

Trump met with Obama at the White House a few days after winning election. He is not traveling to Washington on Friday.


11:15 a.m.

Inaugural planners have released the lineup for Donald Trump’s welcome celebration on the eve of his swearing-in. The headliners include country star Toby Keith, singer Jennifer Holliday and actor Jon Voight.

Trump’s team says other performers include the rock band 3 Doors Down, The Piano Guys, Lee Greenwood and RaviDrums.

The groups will be performing in a free “welcome celebration” concert at the Lincoln Memorial that will be available for live broadcast.

Trump himself will speak during the program as well. And the concert will feature fireworks and military bands.

Trump’s inaugural planners have had trouble booking top-name celebrities for his inaugural events.

Prior to the welcome celebration, a separate Voices of the People program will feature groups from around the country such as high school bands, choirs and pipe and drum groups.


10:55 a.m.

Singer Jackie Evancho says she hopes people will set aside politics while she’s performing the national anthem at Donald Trump’s inauguration “and just think about the pretty song.”

Evancho says in an interview for “CBS Sunday Morning” she hopes her performance will bring people together and “make everyone forget about rivals and politics for a second.”

The 16-year-old singer has caught some criticism for agreeing to sing at the inauguration. But she rejects the idea she is tacitly accepting Trump’s agenda or intolerance for LGBT rights.

Her sister, Juliet Evancho, was born Jacob and is transgender.

Juliet Evancho tells CBS her sister “is singing for our country and it’s an honor for her to be singing in front of so many people.”


10:40 a.m.

The West Bank settlers’ council says it has been invited to send a delegation to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration next week.

A statement Friday says the chairman of the Yesha settlers’ council, Oded Revivi, will lead the delegation. He will be joined by Benny Kasriel, mayor of Maaleh Adumim, a large settlement next to Jerusalem.

Revivi says the invitation is a “clear indication” the new administration understands his group’s importance. He says he’s looking forward to working “with our new friends in the White House.”

On Sunday, dozens of governments, including the Obama administration, plan to voice their opposition to settlements at a Paris conference. Trump has indicated he will be more sympathetic to settlements, which are widely opposed by the international community.

—This story has been corrected to show that West Bank settlers group is not in Jerusalem.


7:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says Democrats shouldn’t be “complaining” about the FBI’s handling of Hillary Clinton because she is “guilty as hell” and shouldn’t have been allowed to run for president in the first place.

Trump seems to be responding to a Justice Department inquiry into the FBI’s handling of its investigation into Clinton’s private email server, and the FBI’s decision to release information about the review days before the election. Clinton aides have blamed the FBI for influencing voters.

Trump tweeted early Friday: “Based on the information they had she should never have been allowed to run – guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her.”

Trump adds that Clinton lost because she “campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!”

Trump will be sworn in Friday in a ceremony Clinton plans to attend as a former first lady.


7:09 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says his team will have a “full report on hacking within 90 days.” He’s again dismissing as fake a document alleging Russia has damaging information about him.

Trump tweeted Friday morning that the dossier includes “totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans – FAKE NEWS!” He added: “Russia says nothing exists,” and that the allegations will never be proved.

U.S. intelligence officials briefed Trump and President Barack Obama on a dossier that includes unproven information about close coordination between Trump’s inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts — as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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