Mr. Trump and Ms. Maples divorced in 1999 and remain on good terms.
And speaking of reconciliations, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas stopped by as well.
McCain to Trump: Don’t get cozy with Putin.
Senator John McCain issued a blunt warning on Tuesday to President-elect Trump and his emerging foreign policy team: Don’t try another “reset” with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
During the campaign, Mr. Trump described Mr. Putin as a strong leader and suggested that the United States and Russia might join forces in fighting the Islamic State. Mr. Putin congratulated Mr. Trump on his election in a phone call on Monday and discussed working together to combat terrorism and resolve the crisis in Syria, according to the Kremlin’s account.
That was too much for Mr. McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who cautioned the incoming administration not to be taken in by “a former K.G.B. agent.”
“The Obama administration’s last attempt at resetting relations with Russia culminated in Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and military intervention in the Middle East,” Mr. McCain, the newly re-elected Arizona Republican, said in a statement.
“At the very least, the price of another ‘reset’ would be complicity in Putin and Assad’s butchery of the Syrian people,” he added. “This is an unacceptable price for a great nation. When America has been at its greatest, it is when we have stood on the side of those fighting tyranny. That is where we must stand again.”
Jobs by the thousands, but few takers.
Rebekah Mercer, the scion of a powerful family of conservative donors and a member of Mr. Trump’s executive transition committee, has had little success in her mission to solicit names and résumés for potential administration posts, according to a person familiar with her outreach efforts.
Ms. Mercer, 42, the daughter of the New York investor Robert Mercer, has told Republican operatives and members of previous administrations that she was having trouble finding takers for posts at the under secretary level and below. She also made it clear that the transition team was more than a month behind schedule and on a tight timeline, the person said.
The Mercer family has invested tens of millions of dollars in conservative causes and is considered especially close to Stephen K. Bannon, the chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign who was named as his senior presidential adviser. Mr. Mercer reportedly invested $10 million in Breitbart, the right-wing news site previously run by Mr. Bannon. Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, also previously oversaw a “super PAC” financed by the Mercer family.
Harry Reid: Democrats must defend the defenseless.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the outgoing minority leader, took to the Senate floor Thursday with a slew of stories about bullied children, racist attacks, and anti-Semitic acts, unholstered to bash Mr. Trump, his new hobby. “His election sparked a wave of hate crime across America. This is a simple statement of fact,” Mr. Reid said before imploring Democrats to stand as a force against Mr. Trump.
Reins at House Republican campaign committee change hands.
Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio was named the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the party’s campaign arm for House candidates, succeeding Representative Greg Walden of Oregon. In a statement, Speaker Paul D. Ryan called Mr. Stivers “a talented leader.”
Trump team’s long memories are impeding the transition.
Eliot A. Cohen, who wrote one of the “Never Trump” pieces this year that called Mr. Trump’s view of American power and influence in the world “wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle,” said in an interview on Tuesday that a Trump transition aide had asked him for recommendations for the national security team.
But when Mr. Cohen, a former national security official in George W. Bush’s administration, suggested the caveat that many foreign policy hands would enlist only if there were credible people leading national security agencies and departments, he said he received a vituperative email in response.
The tone of the email surprised him, he said, expressing a level of vengefulness at odds with an administration that is trying to fill important national security positions with qualified people.
“They think of these jobs as lollipops,” Mr. Cohen said. “I think we’re on the verge of a crisis here.”
A filibuster threat against John Bolton, as Rudolph Giuliani rises.
With John Bolton, the former United Nations ambassador, emerging as a finalist for a senior national security post, even secretary of state, Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, said on Tuesday that he would do “whatever I can” to block him.
Such opposition is improving the stock of Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, to lead the State Department, but Mr. Paul is not so sure about him either, citing Mr. Giuliani’s “worrisome ties to foreign governments” on CNN.
The floating of Mr. Bolton as one of Mr. Trump’s contenders for secretary of state has baffled members of both parties, because his hawkish foreign policy worldview is so at odds with Mr. Trump’s campaign pitch for less military engagement in the world.
That is one area in which Mr. Paul, one of Mr. Trump’s rivals in the race for the Republican nomination, said he agreed with the president-elect.
“I can’t imagine supporting anyone who hasn’t learned the lesson of the last 20 years,” Mr. Paul said of Mr. Bolton, who was ambassador to the United Nations for George W. Bush during the escalation of the war in Iraq. Mr. Paul called Mr. Bolton “unrepentant.”
Global security consultant leaves the transition.
Matthew Freedman, the chief executive at Global Impact, a consulting firm, was removed from his post overseeing the National Security Council transition after questions emerged about his lobbying ties.
According to a former federal government official, Mr. Freedman had been using his Global Impact email to conduct official transition business. The official said that transition members were advised to use only their ptt.gov email, and that use of a business email was counter to transition policy.
Mr. Freedman has worked as a security consultant for decades, after a brief career with the federal government working for the National Security Council and the Agency for International Development. He started as a foreign government lobbyist in the 1980s, when he joined a company then led by Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, taking up prominent international clients, such as government officials from Nigeria and Argentina, and the dictator Ferdinand Marcos from the Philippines.
Reached by phone, Mr. Freedman declined to comment Tuesday.
A broader lobbyist purge underway?
Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Rick Dearborn, a Trump campaign staff member who is close to Mr. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are going over the transition staffing list to make a “very concerted effort to clear house of any lobbyists,” said one transition official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. This means others beyond Mr. Freedman will likely be purged as well.
Two rich investors, two big cabinet posts
Carl Icahn, a business magnate who is close to the president-elect, tipped his hand on Twitter: Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs financier and hedge fund founder, seems to have an inside track to be Treasury secretary; and Wilbur Ross, a billionaire investor and turnaround artist, could be Commerce secretary.
And one of them hints at the ‘huge’ tax cut to come?
Mr. Mnuchin, Mr. Trump’s national campaign finance chairman, does seem to have big plans.
Spotted entering Trump Tower on Tuesday, he told reporters, “We’re working on the economic plan with the transition, making sure we get the biggest tax bill passed, the biggest tax changes since Reagan, so a lot of exciting things in the first 100 days of the Trump presidency.”
Mr. Trump has called for deep tax cuts for people at all income levels, consolidation of tax brackets, higher standard tax deductions, the elimination of the death tax and lower corporate tax rates. He has also called for ending “special interest loopholes” and he has said he wants to end the “carried interest” provision that benefits private equity groups.
The estimated cost to the treasury of those plans is more than $5 trillion over 10 years. To put that in perspective, George W. Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 — the largest in history — were a wee $1.35 trillion over a decade.
Ben Carson declines health posts.
Ben Carson spent months trying to persuade voters to elect him president, but, according to his spokesman, he does not think he is qualified to run a federal agency in the Trump administration.
According to the spokesman, Armstrong Williams, who is also Mr. Carson’s business manager, Mr. Trump offered the retired neurosurgeon a “buffet” of job options as a reward for being a loyal ally after dropping out of the race for the Republican nomination.
“The president-elect said, ‘Ben, tell me whatever you want to run, it will be yours,’” Mr. Williams recounted.
But Mr. Carson has no experience running large enterprises, Mr. Williams said, and did not think it would be a wise move to start in the new administration. Mr. Carson had been discussed as a candidate to lead the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Education, or to be surgeon general.
“He’d be like a fish out of water,” Mr. Williams said.
Democrats are not immune from the disarray.
Amid rising calls for change in Democratic leadership, House Democrats decided in a closed-door meeting on Tuesday to postpone their leadership elections until Nov. 30.
After last week’s bruising loss, there have been rumblings among some Democrats that perhaps a new leader should replace Representative Nancy Pelosi of California in the role she has held since 2003. Some members have urged Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio to run, and he is considering it, his office said Monday.
Mr. Ryan, a former football player from the Youngstown area, is in stark contrast with Ms. Pelosi, an affluent scion of a Baltimore political family long ensconced in San Francisco, one of the country’s most liberal bastions.
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of a member of the Trump inaugural committee leadership team. He is Steve Wynn, not Wynne.