President-elect Donald Trump gave his first full news conference Wednesday since his election. Things got testy. Here’s the # ShortList version of what was discussed:
Reports of Russian blackmail attempts are ‘phony stuff’
Trump denounced a purported Russian intelligence report on him. “It’s all fake news. It’s phony stuff. It didn’t happen,” he said. “I read what was released, and I think it’s a disgrace. It’s an absolute disgrace.”
Trump spent more time denouncing the claims earlier via Twitter.
‘You are fake news,’ Trump spat at CNN reporter
More than 250 journalists packed the Trump Tower lobby. As reporters in the packed lobby vied for the right to ask questions, Trump was by turns assertive and defiant, often taking shots at his news coverage. Things turned downright testy when CNN tried to ask and failed to get Trump to answer a question. “Your organization is terrible,” he told CNN’s Jim Acosta. You are fake news.”
His tax returns – journalists are obsessed
Reporters are the only ones interested in his tax returns, he said. And he won’t release them because “as you know, they’re under audit.”
No one is tougher on Russia than The Donald
Trump maintain that he would be tough on Putin while working with Russia on world challenges.
“Do you really believe that Hillary would have been tougher on Putin than me? Does anyone really believe that? Give me a break,” he said.
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability,” Trump said. “Russia can help us with ISIS. This administration created ISIS, by leaving at the wrong time.”
Maybe being a germophobe was a New Year’s resolution?
“I’m also very much of a germophobe, by the way,” Trump said. “Believe me.”
If his sons don’t represent, he’ll fire them
Trump and aides also announced he will put his business interests in a “trust,” but not a blind one – he will turn operations over to his sons Eric and Donald Jr. and current executives, with yet-to-be-named ethics compliance officers to monitor the arrangement. Ethics attorneys had called on Trump to create a totally blind trust in which he would sell assets and have an independent executor manage the assets.
Let’s pause for superlatives
Trump said Cabinet nominees Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions have been “brilliant” in Senate hearings, and claimed he has “one of the great Cabinets ever put together.”
He also discussed plans involving industrial policy, drug prices and defense contracts. He vowed to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”
Obamacare? Trump hopes it ‘implodes’
Trump said he wants to see Obamacare “implode” this year because Democrats own the “catastrophic” plan as constituted. At that point, he said, the Republicans will put their own (still undefined) plan in place.
Don’t call the border wall a fence
Trump stuck to his claim that Mexico will reimburse the United States for a wall along their border, either by a “tax” or a “payment,” though the latter is less likely. He added: “it’s not a fence – it’s a wall.” Mexico has vowed not to pay for such a wall.
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