PALM BEACH (CBSMiami/AP) – President-elect Donald Trump remains on vacation in Palm Beach but continues to criticize President Obama’s comments regarding the 2016 election.
For a second day in a row, Mr. Trump challenged President Obama on Twitter.
President Obama campaigned hard (and personally) in the very important swing states, and lost.The voters wanted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 27, 2016
The tweet follows comments by the President that if he could have run for a third term, he could have beaten Mr. Trump.
Since meeting in the Oval Office last month, the two men had been cordial in public.
“I will always make myself available to him just as previous presidents have made themselves available to me,” President Obama said in news conference.
The President-elect’s latest tweet about the President came as police evacuated the lobby of Trump Tower in New York to investigate an unattended backpack. Several blocks around the building were shut down. The scare ended after police said the bag contained children’s toys.
Mr. Trump lives and works in Trump Tower. Since the election, authorities have stepped up security in the area and limited traffic which has affected local businesses, like the Carlos Logo Salon.
“Business has dropped like 45 percent,” said salon owner Patricia Spuri.
In an effort to address concerns of the business owners, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the street just south of Trump Tower will re-open to crosstown traffic.
Mr. Trump also took to Twitter to thank himself for a surge in a key gauge of consumer confidence. He wrote on Twitter that The Conference Board had reported that its consumer confidence index had climbed to 113.7 in December.
Trump noted that’s the highest the index has climbed in more than 15 years, then added, “Thanks Donald!”
The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index for December surged nearly four points to 113.7, THE HIGHEST LEVEL IN MORE THAN 15 YEARS! Thanks Donald!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 28, 2016
On Tuesday, Mr. Trump’s team announced two new appointments.
Thomas Bossert, an experienced hand from the George W. Bush era and a longtime Trump Organization official, will become an assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism. A statement from Trump’s transition team said Bossert will advise the president on issues related to homeland security, counterterrorism and cybersecurity, and coordinate the Cabinet’s process for making and executing policy in those areas.
The president-elect also appointed one of his main advisers on U.S.-Israel relations during the campaign and transition as special representative for international negotiations. Jason Greenblatt has worked for the Trump Organization for over two decades and currently serves as its executive vice president and chief legal officer.
The homeland security position notably “is being elevated and restored to its independent status alongside the national security adviser,” the statement said. Policymakers have long debated whether such national security jobs should operate independently from the White House.
Bossert will work closely with Trump’s pick for national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Bossert is currently president of the risk management consulting firm CDS Consulting. He previously served as deputy assistant to the president for homeland security under Bush.
Donald Trump’s West Wing is shaping up to have multiple power centers. Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Steve Bannon will work as “equal partners,” according to Trump, and counselor Kellyanne Conway is also expected to have autonomy. Trump’s influential son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will have a direct line to the president as well.
Trump has long stoked rivalries among his staff in business and during his presidential campaign. But some critics fear doing so in the White House could sow confusion and slow decision-making.
Discussing the appointment of Greenblatt, Trump said he “has a history of negotiating substantial, complex transactions on my behalf,” and has the expertise to “bring parties together and build consensus on difficult and sensitive topics.”
Trump recently named his other top adviser on Israel, David Friedman, as his pick for U.S. ambassador to Israel.
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