Donald Trump vows to go after American flag burners

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump and his administration (all times EST):

8:20 a.m.

Donald Trump says that anyone who burns an American flag should face unspecified “consequences,” such as jail or a loss of citizenship.

The president-elect’s tweet is a direct conflict with free speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment to the Constitution. It comes as he struggles to name a secretary of state.

He tweets: “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” It was not clear what prompted the tweet Tuesday morning.

The Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment.

Wisconsin congressman Sean Duffy suggested on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday that Trump’s tweet was wrong. He said, “We want to protect those people who want to protest….I disagree with Mr. Trump on that.”

Duffy is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee’s panel on oversight and investigations.


7:45 a.m.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the incoming Senate Democratic leader, is strongly criticizing Donald Trump’s pick of Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.

Schumer said in a statement early Tuesday that the Georgia congressman “has proven to be far out of the mainstream of what Americans want when it comes to Medicare, the Affordable Care Act, and Planned Parenthood.”

Schumer said those programs have helped millions of Americans, including “seniors, families, people with disabilities and women have access to quality, affordable health care.”

Having Price as HHS secretary, Schumer said, “is akin to asking the fox to guard the hen house.”


7:38 a.m.

A Trump spokesman says Rep. Tom Price, Donald Trump’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, will have as his top mission replacing the so-called “Obamacare” health care law.

Jason Miller said Tuesday in a CNN interview that Price, an orthopedic surgeon and current Georgia congressman, will “lead the charge” on repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, which Trump targeted during his presidential campaign.

Miller says the law “is imploding” because of increasing premiums and other costs.

The law has extended health care coverage to millions of previously uninsured people, and Trump has said he plans to keep some of its provisions, including allowing people up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance.


7:30 a.m.

Donald Trump’s choice to head the Department of Health and Human Services says he’ll work to ensure a health care system based on “sensible rules.”

Georgia congressman Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon, says the system should work for patients, families and doctors. But he adds in a statement that it should be balanced to “protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.”

The president-elect nominated Price on Monday to head the agency. If Price is confirmed by the Senate, he’ll play a central role in repealing and replacing President Barack Obama’s health care law.

Trump is expected to name more members of his administration this week.


3:20 a.m.

Donald Trump’s hunt for a secretary of state is veering into dramatic terrain, with the president-elect summoning Mitt Romney back for a second look as a top aide leads a public pressure campaign against the pick.

Trump has a follow-up meeting Tuesday with the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, who has become a symbol of the internal divisions agitating the transition team. He also plans to sit with Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. On Monday, Trump spent an hour with retired Gen. David Petraeus, a new contender.

Aides were divided over Trump’s choices. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway has warned that Trump’s supporters would feel “betrayed” if he tapped Romney.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has teased “a number of very important announcements” on Tuesday.

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