The Latest: Trump said to back health repeal, replace combo


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

9:30 a.m.

Republican Sen. Rand Paul says President-elect Donald Trump “fully supports” repealing President Barack Obama’s health law only when there’s a viable alternative to replace it.

Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Congress are moving toward a vote on repeal legislation in coming weeks. But they anticipate a transition period of months or years to a replacement.

Some Republicans are expressing reservations about scrapping the law without a near-term replacement.

Paul — a Kentucky lawmaker who sought his party’s 2016 presidential nomination — says in a tweet late Friday that he spoke with Trump, and that the president-elect “fully supports my plan to replace Obamacare the same day we repeal it. The time to act is now.”

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7:20 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says he’ll nominate former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats as national intelligence director.

Trump says in a statement that Coats — a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee before retiring from Congress last year — will lead the new administration’s “ceaseless vigilance against those who seek to do us harm.”

The post requires Senate confirmation. The office was created after the Sept. 11 attacks to improve coordination among U.S. spy and law enforcement agencies.

Trump’s announcement comes one day after release of a declassified government report on Russian efforts to influence the presidential election. The report predicts Russia isn’t done intruding in U.S. politics and policymaking.

Trump wants to improve relations with Russia and repeatedly has denounced intelligence agencies’ assessment that the Kremlin interfered in the election.