President-elect Donald Trump has added Rep. Devin Nunes, the Republican from Tulare, to the executive committee of his transition team, a news release reported Friday.
Nunes joins several Republican politicians on the team, which will “help prepare a transformative government ready to lead from Day One.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence will now lead the team, which previously was led by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Dr. Ben Carson, Christie, former House speaker Newt Gingrich, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., will serve as vice-chairs.
“The mission of our team will be clear: put together the most highly qualified group of successful leaders who will be able to implement our change agenda in Washington,” Trump said in the release. “Together, we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding this nation – specifically jobs, security and opportunity. This team is going to get to work immediately to Make America Great Again.”
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In a statement, Nunes said he will advise Trump on Cabinet and other top position appointments.
“I look forward to helping to assemble an energetic and forward-looking team that will capably lead our country toward more economic growth, greater opportunity and a safer homeland for all Americans,” Nunes said.
Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, is the only local politician on the team, and he is rumored to be a candidate for positions within Trump’s administration. Nunes and Trump differ on some issues, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, but Nunes told McClatchy this week that he believes Trump supports Central Valley farmers in the push for water.
Some Republicans, including Hanford Rep. David Valadao and current Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, spoke out against Trump following various controversies during his campaign. But Nunes remained supportive and even co-hosted a fundraiser in August at the home of Tulare pistachio grower Corky Anderson. The event raised more than $1.3 million for Trump’s campaign.
Earlier this week, Nunes won re-election to Congress by a wide margin.
Trump’s children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. are also among the 16 new additions. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Trump campaign leader Stephen Bannon will also join the team.