Trump Turns Staid Process Into Spectacle as Aspirants Parade to His Door

BEDMINSTER, N.J. — President-elect Donald J. Trump has turned the vital, but normally inscrutable, process of forming a government into a Trump-branded, made-for-television spectacle, parading his finalists for top administration positions this weekend before reporters and the world.

The two days unfolded like a pageant, with the many would-be officials striding up the circular driveway at Trump National Golf Club here, meeting Mr. Trump below three glass chandeliers at the entrance and shaking hands while facing the cameras. To build suspense, Mr. Trump offered teasing hints about coming announcements.

“I think so,” he said about whether he would make any appointments on Sunday. “I think so. It could very well happen.”

Among the contenders he met with was James N. Mattis, a hard-charging retired Marine Corps general. He appears — according to Mr. Trump’s own words on Twitter — to be the leading candidate for defense secretary.

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