Vice President–elect Mike Pence said the transition team finished its job “on schedule and under budget,” borrowing a line that President-elect Donald Trump has used in discussing his real estate projects.
“We will actually return some 20 percent of taxpayer funding back to the U.S. Treasury,” Pence said.
He thanked supporters and members of the transition team for getting as many people as they could in place for jobs before the inauguration.
“We focused … on a Day One, a Day 100 and a Day 200 action plan” in an effort to put “the president-elect’s promises into action,” Pence said.
Incoming press secretary Sean Spicer said “we’re ready to go at 12:01 tomorrow” — referring to Trump’s swearing-in on Friday at noon.
Spicer was questioned about the diversity in the incoming Cabinet, as the finalized list of intended nominees is the first since 1981 not to include a Latino individual.
He said that diversity is “not just about skin color and ethnic heritage” but also about “diversity of thinking.” He named Dr. Ben Carson, Elaine Chao and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley — the three nonwhite members of Trump’s Cabinet-level picks — as examples of diversity in the incoming administration.
“If you look at the totality of the people that he’s meeting with, the people that he’s bringing in … it’s probably something to hold up second to none,” in terms of diversity, Spicer said.
“The No. 1 thing America should focus on is, is he hiring the best and the brightest?” Spicer said.
He gave an update before the inauguration festivities, saying that the excitement surrounding the day “is infectious.”
Spicer said Trump “continues to make edits and additions” to his inaugural speech. He confirmed that Trump plans to attend a leadership luncheon at the Trump hotel in D.C. that will be attended by his incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus; Tom Barrack, the chairman of the Presidential Inaugural Committee; and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, among others.
Inauguration festivities begin later today, and Trump’s swearing-in will be held at noon Friday.