Branstad, Trump Meet; No Word on Ambassador Appointment

Dec 6, 2016

Update Dec. 7 at 8:09 am:  Several news reports quote unnamed sources saying President-elect Trump has offered the ambassadorship to Branstad and that he has accepted.  Gov. Branstad's spokesman, Ben Hammes, tells IPR the report is "premature and not confirmed."  We will update this story as we learn more.

Tuesday's story:

Governor Branstad had what he calls a cordial conversation today with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York City.    

But the governor remains mum about a possible appointment in the new administration.   

Following the meeting, the governor met briefly with reporters in the lobby of Trump Tower.

In a written statement, the governor said he appreciates the invitation that the president-elect extended to him and his wife, Chris.  

I have no announcement to make at this time

He says they talked about the transition and the new administration.  

“I have no announcement to make at this time,” Branstad said referring to speculation that the governor is under consideration for U.S. Ambassador to China.

Branstad is in New York for an economic development trip.   He’ll return to Iowa in time to attend a Trump thank you rally in Des Moines on Thursday.   

Trump won a decisive victory in Iowa, winning 93 of 99 counties, including some Democratic strongholds in the eastern part of the state.

“It's clear that his jobs message resonated with Iowans and the rest of the country,” Branstad said in the written statement.  “It's refreshing to see his bold leadership that will put people to work, give power back to the states and Make America Great Again.” 

In addition to First Lady Chris Branstad, the governor was accompanied on the trip by a state trooper and his Chief of Staff Michael Bousselot.

The economic development trip was scheduled before Donald Trump’s victory in November.