Top takeaways from Trump’s first press conference in six months
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday held his first press conference in more than five months to address swirling questions over Russia’s alleged role in his election and how he will disentangle himself from his massive business empire. Here are the highlights:
• Trump began the event by criticizing BuzzFeed and CNN for reporting Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials briefed him on allegations that Russia could have compromising information about him. It “would be a tremendous blot on their record” if intelligence agencies leaked the documents that CNN and BuzzFeed reported, Trump said.
“I must say that I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies — who knows? — but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that — a tremendous blot — because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had and it should certainly never have been released,” he said.
• Trump admitted: “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia.” After months of rejecting the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election, he conceded Wednesday that he believes Russia conducted cyberattacks. “But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people,” he continued.
• “President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” Trump attorney Sheri Dillon announced, disclosing that he will not divest or form a blind trust to disentangle himself from potential business conflicts. Reading a lengthy prepared statement, Dillon said Trump will be fully isolated “from the management of the company” — his sons Don Jr. and Eric, along with another Trump Organization executive, will take over — and “take all steps realistically possible to make it clear that he is not exploiting the office the presidency for his personal benefit.”
• “No new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump’s presidency,” Dillon said. New domestic deals, however, are fair game, although Dillon stressed that “they will go through a vigorous vetting process” and Trump will have no role in them.
This article continues at [Politico] Highlights from Trump’s press conference