Trump meets with first responders to Ohio State stabbings

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U.S. President-elect Donald Trump arrives at John Glenn Columbus International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, U.S., December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - RTSVB4V

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JUDY WOODRUFF: The nation marks the passing tonight of a major figure of the 20th century.

John Glenn was the first American to orbit the planet, and the oldest person ever to go into space. He passed away today at a hospital in Columbus, Ohio, at the age of 95. President Obama joined in an outpouring of tributes, saying John Glenn showed there’s no limit to the heights we can reach together. And President-elect Trump called him a great American hero.

We will have a full report on his life later in the program.

Now to the presidential transition. Word of John Glenn’s passing in Columbus, Ohio, came shortly before Donald Trump arrived in the city on an already planned trip.

It followed more moves to fill out his Cabinet.

Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

LISA DESJARDINS: President-elect Trump left New York and the transition behind this afternoon, and flew to meet with and first-responders to last week’s Ohio State stabbings.

DONALD TRUMP (R), President-Elect: We just saw the victims and the families. And these were really brave people, amazing people. The police and first-responders were incredible.

LISA DESJARDINS: This evening, it’s Iowa, where he will continue on that thank you tour after stops North Carolina and Ohio in the past week, all that and more news on his Cabinet. Mr. Trump formally announced Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s attorney general and opponent of climate change regulations, is his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, and late today that Andy Puzder will be the labor secretary nominee.

Puzder is CEO of the company that owns Hardee’s and the Carl’s Jr. burger chains. He was an early supporter of and fund-raiser for candidate Trump. He’s also been we know he’s critical of the Affordable Care Act, and he opposes raising the federal minimum wage, saying it would mean fewer jobs.

ANDREW PUZDER, CEO, CKE Restaurants: What are we doing if we’re locking young Americans, 16-to-24 year-olds, out of the labor force? That’s a very, very serious problem at the moment and increasing the minimum wage is just exacerbating it.

LISA DESJARDINS: This means Mr. Trump now has named choices for more than half of his Cabinet, from chief of staff, to treasury secretary, to U.N. ambassador.

The group shows a few initial trends. Nearly half have been business executives, including four who are billionaires. A third are current elected officials. And so far, the proposed Cabinet is twice as many men as women.

Also today, another chapter in that deal that Mr. Trump struck with the Carrier Corporation to keep jobs in Indiana. Local union leader Chuck Jones, in Indianapolis, questioned the president-elect’s claim that he saved 1,100 jobs. He said it’s more like 800.

CHUCK JONES, President, United Steelworkers Local 1999: I have been in a lot of negotiations as a union representative, so I would have to assume that he assured the world — either knew the precise numbers or most certainly should’ve.

LISA DESJARDINS: But, on Twitter, Mr. Trump sharply questioned Jones’ ability to fight for workers.

Elsewhere, the president-elect did win a significant fight today over Green Party candidate’s Jill Stein’s recount push. Last night, a judge halted the effort in Michigan, saying Stein received too few votes to force a recount.

And a Hillary Clinton sighting.

HILLARY CLINTON, Former U.S. Secretary of State: This is not exactly the speech at the Capitol I hoped to be giving after the election.

LISA DESJARDINS: The former Democratic nominee appeared at the U.S. Capitol for the unveiling of a portrait of outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

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