Donald Trump’s transition to power as president kicked into higher gear Thursday as transition officials were expected to fan out across federal agencies and Trump prepared for an important meeting with Japan’s prime minister.
The 5 p.m. session with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump’s first with a foreign leader since the election, has raised questions among some in Washington’s foreign policy community because Trump has apparently not been briefed by the State Department. Officials said Wednesday that the transition team has not reached out to State.
A former State Department official said such a meeting with a foreign leader would normally be preceded by numerous briefings from key diplomats, which is considered especially important here because the Japanese are concerned about comments Trump made on the campaign trail. The president-elect repeatedly said that Japan, along with South Korea, should pay more for their defense and that he would make them pay more for hosting U.S. military bases.