Donald Trump wasn’t U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper’s first pick for president, but the Mississippi congressman said he’s encouraged by Trump’s cabinet picks so far.
“There will always be some in any administration you might raise your eyebrow on, but I do believe he’s on the right track to pick a good team,” said Harper, who had backed Republican Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the Republican Primary and served as Kasich’s campaign co-chairman for Mississippi. “… I’m excited to have the opportunity to serve with a Republican administration.”
Harper said he’s pleased Trump is considering retired Gen. David Patraeus as secretary of state and his former House colleagues Jeff Miller and Randy Forbes as picks to run Veterans Affairs and the Navy, respectively.
Harper spoke Monday at Mississippi State University’s Stennis Institute of Government Capitol press corps lunch forum. He covered numerous topics, including his goal of having a federal interstate highway running from Jackson to the Coast.
“That’s one thing we’ve just got to do,” Harper said. “… I love driving Highway 49 — don’t get me wrong. But there are safety issues … It’s just time.”
Harper criticized Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for joining in Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s attempt to recount votes in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He said neither candidate stands a chance of overturning the results of Trump’s win, but want to muddy the water, delay a final electoral vote and score political points before Trump takes office.
“I thought that Hillary Clinton had conceded the election, but now she is joining the effort of a third-party candidate that got — what — a percentage point of the vote?” Harper said. “It’s pretty obvious what the intent of the Democratic Party is … If three states cannot do their recount in time to declare, then you could technically say that Donald Trump didn’t get to 306 (electoral votes) … and portray this, and generate a story that what happened is, he didn’t get the popular vote, didn’t get the electoral vote and it will go to House of Representatives for the first time since 1824 and, yes, he’ll be president, but not really … That’s the Democrats’ intent.”
-Clarion Ledger (retrieved 11/30/16)