President-elect Donald Trump addressed the country for the first time since his election victory. On Wednesday, Trump addressed the economy, conflicts of interest with his company, foreign affairs, and cabinet picks among other topics.
One of the first issues President-elect Trump touched on was “fake news”. He addressed a recent unsubstantiated article released by Buzzfeed, as well as several other news outlets. He even refused to answer a question from a CNN reporter during the news conference, claiming they were also in the fake news category. But, Trump did thank several news organizations for not falling into this article’s fake news trap.
“A thing like that should have never been written,” said Trump. “I want to thank many news organizations – I have great respect for the news and freedom of the press and all that.”
This news conference was also the first time Trump said Russia was behind the recent hacking.
“I think it was Russia but we also get hacked by other people,” he said. “When we lost 22 million names, they didn’t make a big deal out of that.”
Trump also pointed out that the Democratic National Committee was “totally open” to being hacked, and could have prevented what happened to them. He added that the Republican National Committee had a very strong hacking “defense” which is why nothing was leaked on their end.
In regards to his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump said, “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset not a liability. Do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Putin than me? Give me a break.”
Trump said that he hopes the U.S. and Russia can come together to fight ISIS, and added he has no “dealings” with the country that could create any type of conflict.
Trump took extra time in his speech to address the Trump Organization. He brought to the stage an attorney, who explained to the press and to the public every measure he and his family have taken to make sure there is no conflict of interest. The attorney pointed out that there is no law that requires a president or vice president to give up their current line of work and that Trump is doing this voluntarily.
The attorney assured to the public that Trump will be isolated from the management of his company and have limited information rights. Don and Eric Trump will be taking over.
Trump said there will be no foreign deals made by the Trump Organization while he is in office and that the company will voluntarily donate all profits from foreign hotels to the U.S. treasury.
As for his cabinet picks, Trump said, “I am very proud of the cabinet.”
He announced David Shulkin as his pick for Veterans Affairs, and said he will be making a decision on the Supreme Court Justice within two weeks following the inauguration.
Trump also announced some of his main priorities following the inauguration which included repealing and replacing Obamacare as well as starting to “build the wall”. Many have criticized him for starting the project early without Mexico’s financial aide. To this he responded, “I want to get the wall started. I don’t want to wait a year and a half. Mexico will reimburse us for the cost of the wall whether it’s a tax or a payment.”
And finally, Trump addressed a top priority when it comes to the economy. He said he will punish companies in the U.S. who want to move their businesses to other countries and fire U.S. workers in the process.
“When you want to move your plant to Mexico or some other place, and you want to fire your workers….you’re going to pay a very large border tax.”
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