POLITICS

The Waugh Zone November 11, 2016

11/11/2016 08:56
ASSOCIATED PRESS

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The five things you need to know on Friday, November 11, 2016…

donald trump obama
This morning's Waugh Zone is by Ned Simons - following a peaceful temporary transfer of power. Paul is away.

1) SO VERY SPECIAL

Donald Trump and Theresa May spoke on the phone yesterday afternoon and the president-elect told the prime minister the US-UK relationship was "very important and very special". May was invited to visit Trump's White House as soon as possible. Which must have pleased Downing Street bigly.

On BBC Question Time last night, Yvette Cooper criticised May for not being more like Angela Merkel when the German chancellor made clear she had not forgotten Trump’s hugely divisive election campaign.

This morning, Downing Street moved to squash the suggestion Nigel Farage, who thinks sexual assault is hilarious, will be unofficially advising international trade secretary Liam Fox on how to deal with Trump, as The Daily Telegraph reports. "Dr. Fox has no plans to talk to Mr. Farage," a government spokesman told Sky News. And the BBC reports Downing Street dismissed the Ukip leader as an ""irrelevance".

US vice president-elect Mike Pence also tweeted that he had spoken to Boris Johnson to discuss "America's longstanding and close relationship with the UK". Boris said the two men "agreed on importance of the special relationship & need to tackle global challenges together". Pence, by the way, really does not like LGBT people and backs laws that discriminate against them. Speaking in Serbia, Boris told people to stop having a "whinge-o-rama" about Trump's victory.

2) ACCESS NO AREAS

In Obama's White House yesterday, Trump and Obama met for talks. In the short super awkward public appearance after the meeting, Trump, who promoted the lie that Obama was not born in the United States, said he had "great respect" for the sitting president. During their brief appearance in-front of the cameras, Obama gave some advice to Trump when reporters tried to ask questions. "Here's a good rule: Don't answer the questions when they just start yelling."

It remains to be seen whether journalists will have many chances to ask President Trump any questions during his time in office. Yelled or otherwise. Trump broke with tradition on Thursday by heading to Washington, DC, without a “protective pool” of journalists to cover his movements for the larger press corps. As a candidate, Trump vilified reporters and blacklisted news organizations. He called reporters “dishonest” “lying” and “scum.” He’s promised vengeance, vowing to introduce laws to make it easier to sue news organisations.

Late last night, Trump tweeted that he had "great chemistry" with Obama. He followed that with a tweet complaining that "professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting" his election. "Very unfair!" he added. Sad.

3) TEAM TRUMP

One media figure that could have access to Trump's White House as the next president's chief of staff is Steve Bannon, the chairman of the alt-right Breitbart News who took a leave to be Trump’s campaign CEO. Names are also emerging for Trump's cabinet. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has said “anything’s legal” during war, is in the frame for Attorney General. Senator. Bob Corker, former UN Ambassador John Bolton and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich are reportedly under consideration for Secretary of State. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke are on the list for Homeland Security Secretary. Clarke, who is African-American, has been a forceful critic of the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke at the Republican National Convention. He also called for Trump supporters to bring out “pitchforks and torches” to fight a rigged system.

So far, the names being floated for a Trump administration largely have one thing in common: They’re men.

BECAUSE YOU’VE READ THIS FAR… A woman, heartbroken at the election result, decided to talk her daughters for a walk in the woods in New York state. And she ran into Hillary Clinton, who was out walking her dogs with husband Bill.

4) BREXIT'S STILL HAPPENING BTW

Tim Farron this morning confirms his eight MPs will vote against triggering Article 50 unless there is a second referendum on the eventual Brexit deal."We will vote against Article 50 unless it allows the people a vote on the deal, because the will of the people must prevail - both on departure and destination," he said. "The government has no plan and their haphazard approach is leading us towards a disastrous version of Brexit which risks jobs, communities, security and the economic health of the nation."

It is highly unlikely this move will block the passage of Brexit in the Commons. But the Lib Dems join a few other MPs in saying they will vote against the government, including Labour shadow Foreign Office minister Catherine West and David Lammy. Veteran europhile Tory Ken Clarke has also said he will vote against Article 50. And the SNP MPs appear likely to do the same.

5) COMMONS PEOPLE

In this week's Commons People podcast myself and The Huffington Post's Martha Gill and Aubrey Allegretti discuss the fallout from Trump's victory and whether there are any lessons to be learned for British political parties. There is also a quiz about American presidents - which was in no way concocted at the very last minute.

Got something you want to share? Please send any stories/tips/quotes/pix/plugs/gossip to Paul Waugh (paul.waugh@huffingtonpost.com), Ned Simons (ned.simons@huffingtonpost.com), Martha Gill (martha.gill@huffingtonpost.com) and Owen Bennett (owen.bennett@huffingtonpost.com)

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