Corker aide joins Trump transition team (prelude to cabinet post?)

Two senior Republicans close to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) have joined the Trump transition team, including one of Corker’s staffers, drastically improving the senator’s chances for a Cabinet post in a potential Donald Trump administration.

So reports the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin. Further:

Corker recently approved a temporary leave of absence for John Rader, counsel for Corker’s committee, so that he can work on presidential appointments for the transition team, which is headed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Corker has been rumored to be seeking an appointment as either treasury secretary or secretary of state.

“John is taking a leave of absence to assist in the transition, which is an effort sanctioned by the federal government for both campaigns,” Corker’s chief of staff, Todd Womack, told me.

Rader, who has worked for Corker since last year, previously worked as an aide for Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R). Three senior Republicans told me he will be the Trump transition team’s deputy director for presidential appointments, working directly under another Tennessee political figure, William Hagerty. (Note: In Tennessee, he served as Haslam’s first commissioner for the Department of Economic and Community Development.)

Hagerty was director of presidential appointments for the Mitt Romney presidential transition team in 2012 and asked Rader to help him this time around. Corker’s office did not put Rader up for the job.

Pursuant to a 2010 law signed by President Obama, both presidential nominees receive federal support and funding for their transition preparations. Hagerty and Rader would have a huge role in selecting and vetting candidates for more than 4,000 presidential appointments Trump would need to make if he is elected.

…Sources close to Corker told me that his first choice is to be treasury secretary and his second choice is to be secretary of state. Corker told the Tennessean last month that he could see himself in either of those roles.