At first glance the Democrat seems an unlikely counsellor, but her criticism of Obama and hard line on immigration might appeal to the president-elect

Donald Trumps unorthodox US presidential transition continued on Monday when he held talks with one of the most prominent supporters of leftwing Democrat Bernie Sanders.

The president-elects first meeting of the working day at Trump Tower in New York was with Tulsi Gabbard , a Democratic maverick who endorsed the socialist Sanders during his unsuccessful primary battle with Hillary Clinton.

Over the past few days Trump has also held talks with Mitt Romney, who once branded him a phony but is now under consideration for possible secretary of state, Ted Cruz, whom he labelled Lyin Ted during the Republican primary campaign, and Democrat Michelle Rhee, the former schools chief of Washington, who is mooted as a possible education secretary.

The celebrity tycoons aides have characterised him as a bargain manufacturer who intends to cast the net wide for diverse talents. Barack Obama has called Trump pragmatic , not an ideologue, while former secretary of state Henry Kissinger said he would be a unique chairperson because he has no obligation to any particular group. He is entertaining both loyalists and contenders, although his three appointments so far Jeff Sessions for us attorney general, Mike Pompeo for CIA chief and Michael Flynn for national security consultant have been in the former category.

At first glance Gabbard, who is from Hawaii and is the first Hindu member of the US Congress, seems an unlikely counsellor. She resigned from the Democratic National Committee to back Vermont senator Sanders and formally nominated him for chairman at the party convention in July, crediting him with starting a movement of love and compassion, although by then Clintons victory was certain.

But the Iraq war veteran has also expressed views that might appeal to Trump, criticising Obama, condemning interventionist wars in Iraq and Libya and taking a hard line on immigration. In 2014, she called for a rollback of the visa waiver programme for Britain and other European countries with what she called Islamic extremist populations.

In October last year she tweeted: Al-Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 and must be defeated. Obama wont bomb them in Syria. Putin did. #neverforget911. She was then among 47 Democrat who joined Republican to pass a bill mandating a stronger screening process for refugees from Iraq and Syria coming to the US.

Media reports have suggested that Trumps chief strategist Steve Bannon is an admirer of Gabbard. Last week, when 169 Democrat signed a letter condemning Bannons appointment by Trump for fostering white nationalism, she was not among them.

Trump, the former host of The Apprentice, continues to throw out hints and teases about his cabinet pickings reminiscent of a reality Tv show. We really had some great sessions, and youll be hearing about them soon, he said on Sunday.

His other meetings on Monday included talks with Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, former Texas governor and Republican presidential rival Rick Perry, and executives and anchors from major TV networks.

Former
Former Texas governor Rick Perry exits a meeting with Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Monday. Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/ Reuters

Kellyanne Conway, Trumps former campaign director and still a key aide, told Fox News that Perry is a possible challenger to resulted the defense or energy departments while Fallin is being considered to head the interior department.

Meanwhile there was no sign of an end to the war of words between Trump and the hit Broadway depict Hamilton. Actor Brandon Victor Dixon, who plays Vice-President Aaron Burr in the award-winning musical, immediately addressed Vice-President-elect Mike Pence after Fridays performance, carrying fears that his government would not protect Americas diversity.

Trump employed Twitter to demand an apology. But Dixon told CBSs breakfast show This Morning that he was delivering the message on behalf of the members of the producers, inventors and the cast. We recognise Hamilton is an inherently American story, its told by the definition of the American community, he said.

Donald J. Trump (@ realDonaldTrump)

The Theater must always be a safe and special place.The casting of Hamilton was very rude last night to a very good man, Mike Pence. Apologize!

November 19, 2016

We are men and women of different colours, creeds and orientations and the resonant nature of the present throughout the world demands we construct statements when there are important issues facing us as their home communities. We wanted to stand up and spread a message of love and unity considering the emotional outpouring since the election.

Conversation is not harassment and I was appreciative that Vice-President-elect Pence stood there and listened to what we had to say.

Dixon said Pence was welcome to come backstage to have conversations with the cast around their concerns. He added that the displays creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who played Hamilton as a member of the original casting, was involved in writing the message.

Asked how he felt about Trumps demand for an apology, Dixon said: There is nothing to apologise for We welcome Donald Trump at Hamilton because I suppose the power of our present and the route we tell it is undeniable.

Trump tweeted nine days over the weekend. Two tweets were about his transition schemes; the other messages complained about Hamilton, a skit on Saturday Night Live, Democratic senator Harry Reid and his recently settled hoax occurrence over Trump University.

The billionaire businessman will expend Thanksgiving at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. Jason Miller, a spokesman for the transition team, said Trump would get together with family and take a brief break from transition planning, hopefully feeing some turkey.

Vice-President elect Mike Pence is traveling for the vacation to Mississippi, where his son, a marine who is training to be a pilot, is stationed.

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