Donald Trump's first press conference as President-elect


12 Jan 2017

Highlights of President-elect Donald Trump's press conference

US President-elect Donald Trump faced a wide array of questions during his first press conference since July 2016.

Trump spoke about the alleged Russia hacking scandal, his plan to reduce conflict of interest and on healthcare and immigration policy.

Trump sparred with certain media outlets and mostly offered vague answers to critical questions about his incoming administration.

On businesses

Trump hands over control of business empire to sons

Trump said he has formally given his sons Donald Jr and Eric "complete and total" control over his business empire to prevent conflicts of interest.

Trump's lawyer confirmed the president-elect had "isolated" himself from his businesses.

However, the Office of Government Ethics said Trump's plans don't "meet the standards" of previous presidents.

It said Trump must "divest his conflicting assets" to resolve potential conflicts.

On hacking scandal

Trump accepts that Russia had role in hacking scandal

For the first time, Trump accepted that Russia conducted hacking attacks during the presidential campaign.

Trump didn't directly answer a question on whether his team communicated with Russia during the election campaign.

Trump accused US intelligence agencies of leaking allegations that Russia had attained compromising information regarding him.

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Trump says intelligence agencies acted "disgracefully"

Trump said: "I think it was disgraceful - disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. I think it's a disgrace... and that's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do."

Slams press

Trump attacks BuzzFeed, CNN for reporting "fake news"

Trump attacks BuzzFeed, CNN for reporting "fake news"

Trump described BuzzFeed as a "failing pile of garbage" after it reported about an unverified dossier showing alleged links between the president-elect and Russia.

Trump also attacked for "going out of their way to build it (the dossier) up."

He refused to take a question from a CNN reporter, calling the organization "terrible."

"You are fake news," Trump told the CNN reporter.


What do the reports say?

BuzzFeed reported an unverified 35-page document by former British intelligence officer hired by Trump's political opponents.

The document alleges deep links between Trump and Russia.

It also alleges that the Russian government has "cultivating, supporting and assisting" Trump for years and has compromising information on him.

CNN reported that a two-page synopsis of the document was given to President Barack Obama and Trump.

On Russia

Trump will improve ties with Russia

Trump will improve ties with Russia

Trump said he would improve ties with Russia, with whom the US shares a "horrible" relationship.

He said cooperation with Russia could help counter ISIS which he ranked as the "number one" problem.

"Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I'm leading," Trump said.

He also hoped he would get along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin's positive opinion of Trump an "asset"

"If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks? That's called an asset, not a liability," said Trump.

On border wall

Will get Mexico to reimburse cost of border wall

Trump clarified that a border will be constructed along the US-Mexico border, not a fence, as previously reported.

He said Vice President-elect Mike Pence "is leading an effort to get final approvals" from the government to get construction started.

He said Mexico will reimburse the US for the wall's cost "in some form" such as a tax or payment.

What else?

Companies shifting from US will have to pay "border tax"

Trump said he would institute "a major border tax" on companies moving from the US to other countries.

He said a proposal would be submitted "essentially simultaneously" to repeal and replace Obamacare, Barack Obama's affordable health care programme.

There would be changes to the much delayed US military's F-35 stealth fighter jet project whose cost has escalated. The project will cost over $1.45 trillion.

Fact Check

Trump wrong on labour force, ISIS origins

Trump's claim that there are "96 million really wanting a job and they can't get [one]" is false. Around 5.5 million Americans are looking for jobs.

Trump said, "you learn very little" from a tax return. Experts disagree, saying tax returns give information especially on potential conflict of interest.

Trump blamed the Obama administration for the rise of ISIS. This is an oversimplification.

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