WASHINGTON — Lynda Tran, a Founding Partner at 270 Strategies, joined CBSN today to discuss the continuing controversial hearings of Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees, his historically low approval ratings, and expectations of President Obama after he leaves office.
On Cabinet nominees' hearings and conflicts of interest
"What is unprecedented is how complicated we expect the financial holdings and potential conflicts of interest may be for a number of the nominees that Donald Trump has put forward. I think that it is a huge part of the reason you are seeing this delay. I think that both Democrats and Republicans take very, very seriously the responsibility of fully and thoroughly vetting anyone who will be at a Cabinet-level position and advising the next President of the United States. They are making sure that they get information in front of the American people and they are making sure that they are asking some of these tough questions. Especially, again, when you have people who potentially have very complicated portfolios."
On Donald Trump's historically low approval ratings
"I think that the biggest impact of these low approval ratings is something that I think Donald Trump understands very well: perception is reality. If all we are hearing about heading into his inauguration is that he is the least popular President-Elect that we've ever seen, that's a problem for him. It takes away any sort of momentum that he would have hoped to have gotten, especially having pretty significant majorities in both houses of Congress. The fact that he's got nominees to the Cabinet that are embattled in this series of hearings is problematic for him. What any incoming President wants is to be able to say that they have this mantle, this mandate, this ability to drive their policy prescriptions and their vision for the country. I think that for Donald Trump, given his numbers and given the narrative around him, that just will not be the case."
On expectations of President Obama after he leaves office
"I think that there is a difference between being vocal and being active. I think that there is no question that Barack Obama is going to be very active. He has been signaling for a very long time that he is particularly interested in the issue of redistricting and rebuilding at a local level and thinking about what those electoral maps will look like moving forward. What he has also made clear in recent days, however, is that it is really going to depend on what Donald Trump does, what his Administration does, and that there are certain red line issues for Barack Obama that will absolutely make him come off of the sidelines. A couple of the areas that he has highlighted include if there ends up being any sort of a Muslim registry or a ban, that is something that he would not be quiet about. Secondly, an issue that has been near and dear to his heart for the entirety of his Administration is around DREAMers, or those individuals who came to this country as undocumented because they came with their parents. There has been some discussion about whether or not there will be an overturning of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Barack Obama thinks that it would go against our core values as a nation to take any sort of action against these individuals."
Watch the full interview online here.