Ten shockers from Donald Trump’s much-anticipated Press Conference
Express News Global
Published: January 12, 2017
NEW YORK U.S. – On Wednesday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump held his first ever press conference since July last year.
At the much-anticipated press conference, Trump addressed many issues, including the Russian hacking, the conflict of interest controversy related to his business empire, his nomination of controversial candidates and even the unconfirmed report published by BuzzFeed news.
The press conference, the first after Trump’s shock victory in the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections has come merely nine days before he officially enters the White House to take charge as the 45th president of the United States.
Held in the lobby of the Trump Tower in Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, that was flooded with journalists from across the world – the press conference began with Trump claiming that his campaign would hold interactions with the media almost everyday until July. He admitted that he had actively avoided press conferences to avoid subjecting himself to press scrutiny, arguing that “we had been getting quite a bit of inaccurate news.”
“Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
On Tuesday night, news emerged that the FBI were provided with unverified intelligence that could be potentially damaging. The claims, attributed to anonymous sources was published in the form of a document by BuzzFeed.
The documents, that had been circulating in media and government circles for months, claimed that Russian authorities sought to “exploit Trump’s personal obsessions and sexual perversion” to gain compromising material on him.
More specifically it pointed at Trump’s alleged sexual impropriety in a Moscow hotel room.
“A failing pile of garbage”
Trump went ballistic on the publication of the full 35-page memo by BuzzFeed.
The report said that U.S. intelligence officials also delivered a report to Trump and to outgoing President Barack Obama outlining allegations that Russia could have had collected compromising and tawdry personal and financial information about the president-elect.
Following these reports, the president-elect tweeted “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT.”
At the press conference, Trump called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage” and warned “They are going to suffer the consequences, they already are.”
He accused “shameful” news outlets and the “disgraceful” behavior of the intelligence agencies.
Trump claimed that “sick” political opponents had tried to “belittle” his electoral victory and “put that crap together.”
He questioned at the press conference, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”
Amongst his attacks – the most surliest ones were aimed at the intelligence community.
He blamed the leak on the agencies and said, “It was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that proved so false and fake to get out. That’s something that Nazi Germany would have done, and did do. That information was false and fake.”
“I think it was Russia”
For the first time ever, Trump publicly admitted that the hacking operation, that led to the leaks of Hillary Clinton and the DNC emails could probably have had Russian influence.
Trump claimed that it was likely that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee and the emails of other top Democrats.
“I think it was Russia,” he said.
“Hacking is bad. And it shouldn’t be done…but look what was learned from that hacking”
He, however, stood by his previous statement that said too much attention was being paid to these hacks. He argued that compared to other cyber attacks that are orchestrated by other foreign nations – it appears the ones related to the election hacking are now all on the same page as far as the culprit is concerned.
Arguing, “Look at what was learned from that hacking: that Hillary Clinton got the questions to the debate and didn’t report it.”
He said that if “Donald Trump had got the questions and didn’t report it, it would be the biggest story in the history of stories.”
“I have nothing to do with Russia”
On being questioned about his ties with Russia – Trump said that he had “nothing to do with Russia” and that he is the victim of political attacks.
He said, “If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That’s called an asset, not a liability because we have a horrible relationship with Russia.”
He said, “Russia can help us fight ISIS, which, by the way, is number one tricky. If you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving at the wrong time. I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do, but there’s a good chance I won’t. And, if I don’t, do you honestly believe Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room honestly believe that? Give me a break.”
He even said that within 90 days of the initiation of his presidency – he will have a report prepared into how to combat hacking of the U.S. government and businesses. “That includes Russia, China, everybody…”
“Getting away with murder”
Trump even lashed out at the pharmaceutical sector – claiming that the sector charges high drug prices and said they were “getting away with murder.”
He added, “Pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to save billions of dollars.”
“Obamacare is a complete and total disaster”
Commenting on the divisions within the Republican party over the future of Obamacare – Trump said he would go in for “repeal and replace.”
Trump seemed relieved to have been asked about the healthcare policy – saying, “Finally Obamacare.”
He said it was the Democrat’s problem adding, “We’re gonna take it off the shelves. We could sit back and wait and watch and criticise. We are going to be submitting a plan – it will be repeal and replace, it will be essentially simultaneously… Very complicated stuff. We’re gonna get healthcare taken care of in this country.”
Trump, commenting on his involvement in his business empire said he was voluntarily handing over control of his business empire to his two sons Donald Jr and Eric.
He presented his lawyer, Sheri Dillon before the press, who said that during Trump’s presidency, “no new foreign deals will be made.”
Adding that “all conflict of interest issues will be resolved by these actions.”
She explained, “The business empire built by President-elect Trump over the years is massive – not dissimilar to the fortunes of Nelson Rockefeller when he became vice-president, but at that time no-one was so concerned.”
She claimed that Trump wanted voters to be ”rest assured that all of his efforts are directed to pursuing the people’s business and not his own.”
He is said to have instructed her firm to set up a structure for his businesses. The structure, she said would “completely isolate him from the management of the company” and ensure “that the activities of the Trump Organisation cannot be perceived to be exploitative of the presidency.”
Adding, “He instructed us to take all steps realistically possible to make clear that he is not exploiting the office of the president for his personal benefit.”
He ended the press conference by saying that if his two sons failed to perform satisfactorily while running his business empire, he would simply tell them – “You’re fired!”
“I want to get started”
Trump asserted that he wants to start building the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico immediately. He said that he would begin negotiations with Mexico on the funding of the wall immediately after he takes office.
Adding that his running mate, Mike Pence is “leading an effort to get final approvals through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin.”
He said, “Mexico in some form … will reimburse us.”
“American people do not care about my tax returns”
Responding to questions on the release of his tax returns and the possible conflicts of interests – he said American people do not care about his decision not to release his tax returns.
A reporter told Trump that he cared about seeing the returns – to which he fired back, “I don’t think so, I won.”
“Turned down $2 billion deal in Dubai”
Trump also said he recently turned down the chance of a $2 billion deal in Dubai.