Pence departs GOP huddle with optimistic words

Donald Trump Mike Pence

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on Donald Trump’s transition to the presidency (all times EST):

10:47 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence says he’s confident the all-Republican government can “rebuild our military, revive our economy and, in a word, make America great again.”

That’s what the Indiana governor said as he left a closed-door meeting with House Republicans. Pence was making the rounds of meetings on Capitol Hill on Thursday, sitting down with Republican and Democratic leaders.

Pence spent more than a decade in Congress. He said it was humbling to be back among his colleagues. He sought to reassure Republicans that the Donald Trump transition wasn’t in disarray.

10:44 a.m.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence has a simple message for House Republicans about the incoming administration and next year: “Buckle up.”

That’s the word from lawmakers who attended Thursday’s closed-door meeting with the Indiana governor.

Congressman Daniel Webster of Florida said Pence told Republicans the next year won’t be the slow process they’re used to. With an all-Republican government led by Donald Trump, the GOP intends to dismantle much of President Barack Obama’s record, from his health care law to environmental rules to cuts in domestic programs.

Congressman Mark Meadows of North Carolina says the message was the administration will be aggressive and will require an all-hands-on-deck approach.

Pence also asked lawmakers to pray for Trump and his family.

10:10 a.m.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling on Donald Trump to apologize for some of his rhetoric during the presidential campaign. He’s also asking Trump to cut ties with campaign CEO Steve Bannon.

The president-elect has named Bannon as a top White House adviser, sparking outcry from Democrats who say the conservative media CEO peddles conspiracy theories and white supremacy.

Sanders says his office received “many, many” calls from people wanting Trump to ditch Bannon.

But he also says there may be opportunities to work together on curbing high drug prices, renegotiating trade deals, curbing the influence of Wall Street and other ideas that will “improve life for working people.”

Sanders says Democrats will hold Trump accountable for his campaign promises.

He’s speaking to reporters in Washington.

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Bannon was appointed, not nominated.

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8:50 a.m.

Sen. Ted Cruz is being coy about any role he might have been asked to play in the incoming Trump administration.

Cruz tells Fox News Channel’s “Fox and Friends” that he and the billionaire businessman who was his bitter campaign rival had “a far-reaching conversation” at Trump Tower.

But when asked pointedly if the position of attorney general or any other administration post had been discussed, Cruz replied that “the heart of what we talked about” were solutions for the problems facing the country.

“I’m eager to work with the new president in whatever capacity I can have the greatest impact defending the principles that I was elected to defend,” said the Texas Republican. Cruz fiercely challenged Trump for the Republican presidential nomination and relations between the pair were strained for months. Trump repeatedly referred to him as “Lyin’ Ted.”

8:05 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway says she expects that initial announcements of Cabinet choices could come “either before or after Thanksgiving” and says “it’s Donald Trump and Donald Trump alone who makes the ultimate decisions.”

Conway also says in a nationally broadcast interview she believes her boss is prepared for the weight of the presidency.

“I actually love seeing how engaged he is in the transition,” Conway told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program Thursday.

“He’s there sitting at his desk, he’s on the phone,” and talking to advisers, she said. “He’s ready.”

Conway said the pace of Trump’s transition work is on a par with the timetables of recent presidents-elect.

8 a.m.

Conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham says “it is a privilege” to be considered for the job of White House press secretary.

Asked if she wants the job, Ingraham tells NBC’s Today, “We have to have real conversations. It really is a privilege – I know it sounds cliche – it’s a privilege to be considered.”

She also says President-elect Donald Trump’s team has “an amazing group of young people” and “a lot of talent to choose from.”

Ingraham points out her background includes more than her syndicated radio show and writings. She notes she was a Supreme Court clerk, worked as a white-collar litigator and held positions in the White House and at the departments of transportation and education.

7:18 a.m.

The office of Poland’s President Andrzej Duda says Duda and U.S. President-elect Donald Trump have exchanged invitations to visit in a telephone conversation.

Duda and Trump spoke late Wednesday in their first talk.

Trump assured Duda that during his term “Poland can count on the U.S. in every aspect of bilateral ties,” the communique said.

Poland’s conservative government has welcomed the election of Trump for U.S. president as a chance for even better ties between the two allies.

Duda congratulated Trump on his election and they exchanged invitations for state visits, but no timing was mentioned in the communique.

3:33 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump and his team are battling back against charges of chaos and infighting as they race to set up an administration. The incoming Republican administration got an unlikely boost from outgoing Vice President Joe Biden, who said “no administration is ready on Day One.”

Trump stayed out of the public eye Wednesday, meeting with a stream of visitors at his New York skyscraper. But he took to Twitter to dispute reports of internal tension, declaring the transition operation was proceeding “so smoothly.”

Trump’s team said Wednesday night that it would be rolling out teams to interact with federal agencies during the transition, starting with national security advisers who would work with officials at the State, Justice, Defense and other national security departments.

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

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