Washington (CNN)Interviews with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence and sharp questioning of the Cabinet nominees were part of a flurry of activity less than 48 hours before Trump is set to take office.
WHAT'S NEW TODAY ON ...
- Price pushed back hard against questionable stock trades, first reported by CNN, saying: "Everything that we have done has been above board transparent, ethical and legal," and cited his Office of Governmental Ethics disclosure as proof of no wrongdoing. The OGE, however, does not investigate cases like this.
- When it comes to replacing Obamacare, Price said Republicans are not "pulling the rug out from under anybody," adding "it's absolutely imperative that individuals that have health coverage be able to keep health coverage." Sounds a bit like this blast from Obama's past: "if you like your plan, you can keep it," which came back to bite him.
- Pruitt said point blank: "I do not believe climate change is a hoax," becoming the latest Cabinet nominee to break from Trump on that belief. However, he also questioned how much humans impact the climate and what the government should do about it.
- Pruitt said that the "role of the EPA is a very valuable role," contradicting Trump's campaign pledge to "get rid of the EPA in almost every form."
- The Huffington Post reports Pruitt was weighed down by questioning about how much lead is safe in drinking water. His answer: "That is something I have not reviewed nor know about."
- While Ross said he was "pro trade," he also said the US should not "put up with malicious trading activities." He added that countries that don't "play by the rules" should "get punished -- and severely."
- When pressed on NAFTA, Ross said "all aspects of NAFTA would be on the table," and later called for a "systematic reopening of trade agreements."
- Ross neither supported nor opposed Trump's controversial proposal to slap a 35% tariff on cars.
- Ross would not say whether he accepted the scientific consensus on man-made climate change. Ross will oversee NOAA, which plays a key role in studying the climate.
- President Barack Obama, at his news conference today, said an effort to round up dreamers would prompt him to step back into the limelight and speak out after he's out of office.
- According to VOA News, the number of "sanctuary churches" pledging to offer aid to undocumented immigrants has reached 800, more than double the 400 prior to Trump's election.
- The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the case of an undocumented immigrant who is suing the city for violating its own sanctuary city laws.
- Here's to a small paper with an interesting in-depth series: The Northern Utah Standard Examiner looks at immigration challenges in "Undocumented and Uncertain."
LOOKING AHEAD ...
- ENERGY -- 10am ET confirmation hearing of Rick Perry to be Energy secretary
- OBAMACARE -- Multiple GOP governors are expected to take part in a meeting hosted by the Senate Finance Committee to talk about Medicaid. Governing magazine has an excellent rundown of where all GOP governors stand on repeal and replace.