More names for Trump administration

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump pressed forward Friday with two more administration picks, as failed Green Party candidate Jill Stein took new steps to force recounts across key Midwestern battlegrounds that could complicate Trump’s push for national unity.

Stein, who earned little more than 1 percent of the national vote, formally requested a Wisconsin recount Friday afternoon, vowing to do the same in the coming days in Michigan and Pennsylvania. There is no evidence of election tampering in the states where Trump scored razor-thin victories, but Green Party spokesman George Martin insisted “the American public needs to have it investigated to make sure our votes count.”

“We’re doing this to ensure the integrity of our system,” he said.

Trump’s team ignored questions about the looming recounts. Set to assume the presidency in 55 days, he was focused instead on the daunting task of building an administration from scratch.

Gathered with family at his Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate for the holiday weekend, the incoming president made two senior-level staff appointments and scheduled meetings with several more prospective administration officials.

He tapped Fox News analyst Kathleen Troia “KT” McFarland to serve as deputy national security adviser and campaign attorney Donald McGahn as White House counsel.  In a statement, Trump cited McFarland’s “tremendous experience and innate talent” and said McGhan “has a brilliant legal mind, excellent character and a deep understanding of constitutional law.”

Having faced criticism about the inexperience of his initial picks, Trump finds in McFarland someone who previously worked under three presidents, although none since Ronald Reagan. McGhan, a veteran Republican election lawyer, served as Trump’s attorney during the campaign.

Neither position requires Senate confirmation.

Trump transition spokesman Sean Spicer said the president-elect scheduled Monday meetings with eight more prospective administration hires, a group that includes several business leaders, Pennsylvania Rep. Lou Barletta, and David Clarke, the Wisconsin sheriff who is an aggressive opponent of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Facing external pressure from Stein, there also were signs of internal discord within the president-elect’s small inner circle as Trump weighed his choices for secretary of state.

The options for the nation’s chief diplomat include former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who lacks foreign policy experience but was intensely loyal to Trump, and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who aggressively opposed Trump’s candidacy but is largely regarded as more qualified.

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