Former Sen. Bob Dole appeared with former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., in September 2016. Keith Myers Kansas City Star
Former Sen. Bob Dole appeared with former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum Baker at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence, Kan., in September 2016. Keith Myers Kansas City Star

Bob Dole

Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole named vice chair of Trump transition team

By Curtis Tate

ctate@mcclatchydc.com

January 09, 2017 01:09 PM

UPDATED January 09, 2017 01:14 PM

WASHINGTON

Former Kansas Sen. and presidential candidate Bob Dole has been named vice chair of president-elect Donald Trump’s transition team, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer said Monday.

Dole, 93, was the only former Republican presidential nominee to attend the party’s July convention in Cleveland, where Trump accepted the nomination.

Dole, who served in Congress for more than three decades and led his party’s presidential ticket in 1996, warmed up to Trump after initially supporting other candidates.

“I can’t vote for George Washington,” he told NPR in June. “So I’m supporting Donald Trump.”

Never miss a local story.

Sign up today for a free 30 day free trial of unlimited digital access.

Donald Trump draws the ire of Nancy Kassebaum at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics

Former U.S.Senators Nancy Landon Kassebaum and Bob Dole appeared together on Saturday, September 17, 2016, at the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics in Lawrence.

Keith Myers The Kansas City Star

Even when some Republicans abandoned Trump or distanced themselves from him after a recording of the candidate making lewd remarks about women surfaced in October, Dole stood by him.

“I think we are going to know in six months where we are headed, and in my opinion a lot of people are going to be pleasantly surprised,” he told CNN in November after Trump’s election victory.

Dole is special counsel at Alston & Bird, a Washington law firm. Dole had orchestrated a dialogue between Taiwanese officials and Trump’s staff, leading to a December phone call between Trump and Taiwan’s president. That move broke with diplomatic protocol since the United States does not officially recognize Taiwan as separate from China.

Dole’s firm was paid $140,000 for the work, according to disclosures.

In recent years, Dole, a World War II veteran, has led an effort to build a memorial to Dwight Eisenhower, the former president and supreme allied commander of the allies in the war, in the nation’s capital.

Curtis Tate: 202-383-6018, @tatecurtis