A busy start to the weekend for Donald Trump in Michigan

President-elect Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters during a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

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

9:50 p.m.

Donald Trump’s transition team is dismissing a report that the CIA believes Russia tried to intervene in the U.S. election because it wanted Trump to win.

A Friday night statement released by the transition team notes that the CIA “are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”

U.S. intelligence officials have accused Russia of hacking into Democratic officials’ email accounts in an attempt to interfere with the presidential campaign. The Washington Post, citing anonymous U.S. officials, reported Friday that the CIA has concluded that Russia aimed specifically to help Trump win the presidency.

The transition team statement says: “The election ended a long time ago. … It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.'”


8:20 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is thanking supporters in Grand Rapids, Michigan, noting that the state helped power him to the White House.

Trump says his opponents “forgot about you people” and is pledging to work hard to justify the support. Trump was the first Republican presidential candidate to win Michigan since 1988.

Trump is also introducing Dow Chemical Co. CEO Andrew Liveris, who he says will head up an “American manufacturing council” that will be tasked with bringing industry back to the U.S. Liveris says Dow plans to put a new research-and-development center in Michigan.

Trump also introduced his choice for education secretary, Betsy DeVos, who lives in West Michigan.


7:50 p.m.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold two days of confirmation hearings for Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions when Congress returns in January.

Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, says the hearings will be held Jan. 10-11. He says Sessions returned a committee questionnaire Friday, and members will have ample time to prepare for the hearing.

The timing of the hearing means Sessions could be confirmed as soon as President-elect Donald Trump is inaugurated Jan. 20.

Democrats say they have concerns about the Alabama senator’s views on civil liberties, voting rights and immigration and have asked for time to review his decades of work as a senator and federal prosecutor.

Sessions is a member of the Judiciary panel.


6:40 p.m.

CBS Sports says it will interview President-elect Donald Trump during Saturday’s Army-Navy game in Baltimore.

Trump is attending the annual football game between the rival military academies.

CBS Sports says Trump will be interviewed by Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson during the third quarter of the game.

Transition officials said earlier this week that Trump will sit on Navy’s side of the field for one half of the game, and on Army’s side for the other.

President Barack Obama attended the game in 2011. President George W. Bush also attended the game while in office.


4:25 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says Rudy Giuliani is taking himself out of consideration for a position in his administration.

Giuliani, a loyal Trump supporter throughout the campaign, was an early front-runner to be secretary of state. But he faced questions about his overseas business ties and Trumpbegan looking at other candidates, including Mitt Romney.

In a statement, Trump says Giuliani would have been an “outstanding” Cabinet secretary in several roles. He says he respects the former New York City mayor’s decision to remain in the private sector.

Reince Priebus, Trump’s incoming White House chief of staff, says Giuliani was vetted by the transition team for possible conflicts and “passed with flying colors.”

Trump is yet to announce his pick to lead the State Department.


4:15 p.m.

Donald Trump has spoken with one of his sharper critics in the club of world leaders.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke with Trump by phone Friday. The Trumptransition team describes the conversation as a “short congratulatory call.” Sturgeon’s office adds that she used the call to emphasize the “values Scotland and the United States share.”

Trump owns two golf courses in Scotland. He has waged a headline-grabbing legal battle to block wind farms near one of the properties.

Sturgeon broke diplomatic protocol to publicly back Democrat Hillary Clinton.

After Trump’s victory, she said she would not maintain “a diplomatic silence in the face of attitudes of racism, sexism, misogyny or intolerance of any kind.”


3:30 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is imploring Louisiana Republicans to turn out in Saturday’s final U.S. Senate election, urging them to back John Kennedy.

Trump says at a rally in Baton Rouge, “We need John in Washington.” Kennedy is the state treasurer. He faces off Saturday against Democrat Foster Campbell for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. David Vitter.

Polls show Kennedy ahead in the race. Trump says Kennedy would be key to helping him enact his agenda.

Republicans will have a narrow 52-48 Senate majority next year if they hold onto the Louisiana seat.


2:45 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to pick Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn for an influential White House economic post.

That’s according to two people informed of the decision.

The 56-year-old Cohn would lead the White House National Economic Council. The posting would require him to leave his $21 million a year job as president and chief operating officer at Goldman.

Trump repeatedly vilified the prestigious Wall Street bank on the campaign trail. Yet with the choice of Cohn, he’s now named three of its alumni to key positions in his upcoming administration.

The people informed of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the expected move.

—By Ken Thomas and Julie Pace


2 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is asking Energy Department employees detailed questions about the agency’s operations and personnel, requesting a list of employees and contractors who attended international meetings on climate change over the past five years.

The questionnaire also seeks a list of all political appointees and senior executives and asks workers to offer their opinions on who “owns” the department’s clean energy mission and other policy goals.

One Energy Department official, who asked not to be named, expressed concern about the 74 questions and said it appears Trump’s transition team is targeting officials who have helped implement Obama administration policies on issues from the Iran nuclear deal to the operations of national energy labs.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the questionnaire, which was first reported by Bloomberg News.

—By Matthew Daly


1:55 p.m.

The U.N. special envoy to Syria says it makes sense that President-elect Donald Trumpand Russian President Vladimir Putin would work together on Syria, because both have made fighting the Islamic State group a top priority.

Staffan de Mistura spoke to The Associated Press in an interview Friday at the U.N. He plans to meet next week with Trump’s transition team.

De Mistura said, “We have heard from the Russians more than once, and from Putin himself, that the last thing he wants is to see the Daesh people returning to the Russian Federation, those who came from there and were trained to fight there.” He was using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.

But de Mistura cautions that defeating the group requires a politically inclusive solution for the broader crisis in Syria.


12:50 p.m.

A top aide to President-elect Donald Trump is confirming that former Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally is among those being considered for the job of secretary of state.

In an interview with Fox News, Kellyanne Conway said Mulally met with Trump on Thursday.

Mulally, a longtime Boeing Company executive, was hired as CEO of Ford in 2006. He is widely credited with the company’s turnaround. Using a well-timed loan, he helped keep Ford out of bankruptcy during the recession and revitalized the company with new products and technology. He also ended the corporate infighting that had long plagued Ford.

Mulally, 70, retired from Ford in 2014. He now serves on the board of Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google.


11:20 a.m.

Washington state congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers has emerged as President-elect Donald Trump’s top contender to lead the Interior Department.

That’s according to a person involved in the transition. Trump’s been weighing others for the post, including Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, but is said to be interested in finding a place for McMorris Rodgers in the administration.

McMorris Rodgers is the only Republican woman with a leadership role on Capitol Hill. As interior secretary, she would oversee the nation’s public lands.

The person involved in the transition was not authorized to discuss the internal deliberations and spoke on condition of anonymity.

—By Julie Pace


10:54 a.m.

The Indiana union leader slammed by Donald Trump on Twitter says he’s willing to work with the president-elect to protect manufacturing jobs.

United Steelworkers local president Chuck Jones got support Friday at a news conference with several Indiana union officials. Trump tweeted that Jones “has done a terrible job representing workers” at a Carrier Corp. furnace factory in Indianapolis.

That was after Jones said Trump inflated the number of jobs being saved in a Trump-brokered deal to stop some outsourcing to Mexico. Trump said 1,100 jobs were staying, while the deal only prevents about 800 layoffs. Some 550 layoffs are still expected.

Jones says he’d be glad to sit down with Trump if he’s sincere about saving American jobs.


3:05 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is rallying supporters in Louisiana on Friday ahead of the state’s Senate runoff election, aiming to pad the Republican majority he will inherit in the White House.

Trump is campaigning for Republican John Kennedy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and then making another stop on his “thank you” tour in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a state that helped him prevail against Democrat Hillary Clinton in last month’s election.

Republicans will have a narrow 52-48 Senate majority next year if they maintain the Louisiana seat. Trump has backed Kennedy and Vice President-elect Mike Pence campaigned for him last week in New Orleans, saying a Kennedy win would “put an exclamation point at the end of a great American victory in 2016.”


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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