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Trump is a 'disrupter' but might surprise and do really well: Former Reagan aide

Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee
Carlo Allegri | Reuters
Donald Trump, 2016 Republican presidential nominee

President-elect Donald Trump is certainly going to do things differently, but he might surprise in a positive way, a former Reagan aide told CNBC on Friday.

"He is a reformer, he is a disrupter, he is going to do things differently," Mary-Jo Jacobi, former assistant for the U.S. secretary of commerce told CNBC. But "he listened; he heard the American people and their cry for change," she added.

Jacobi added that it was "scary" how populist views have spread across the U.S., as well as in Europe, but she added that she feels confident about the future. "America has preserved through worse. (Trump) might surprise and do really well," she said.

However, in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel should be worried about the impact of populism on the upcoming federal election. Merkel is leading the polls, but the growing support for the far-right extremist party Alternative for Germany is evident and a threat to her performance in the 2017 race.

"I think Angela Merkel is in trouble when her term comes. It's just a time of great change," Jacobi told CNBC.

President-elect Donald Trump has been in several meetings to select his cabinet. According to ABC news, Nikki Haley, governor of South Carolina, could become the next secretary of state. Trump has also met Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and he is also meeting Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee.

"I don't think Henry Kissinger is ready to come back into an American government at this point, but Mitt Romney, I am not sure that he really is under consideration for secretary of state," Jacobi, who also worked for the George W Bush administration, told CNBC.

She downplayed the focus that the media has put on potential cabinet members.

"People are watching whoever goes into Trump Tower and whoever comes out, whether they are smiling or sad or whatever and it doesn't mean that any of these people is actually under consideration but many of them probably are," she said.


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