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Donald Trump’s press conference: Russia did it, CNN is fake and other things we learned

Washington: Donald Trump shocked everyone with his first speech as the US president-elect on Wednesday. Trump threw a lot of curved balls during his speech whether it was his “failing” jibe at Buzzfeed for running the “golden shower” story, rebuffing intelligence leaks of his ties with Russia and calling himself an “asset” because Russian President Vladimir Putin likes “Trump” to accepting for the first time that Russia did hack the US and sending the American Pharma market tumbling down with his announcement to introduce bidding in buying medicines to telling a CNN reporter to “shut up” a CNN reporter for asking for his tax returns during the event.

Here are the top few comments that the US president-elect made during his first speech.

Russia did hack Hillary’s emails

Trump acknowledged Wednesday, for the first time, that he believed Russia was responsible for the hacking of email accounts of the Democratic National Committee and individual Democrats, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. The revelations from which are believed to have heavily tilted the election in Trump’s favour.

“As far as hacking, I think it was Russia,” Trump said. “But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

Trump insults US intelligence agencies, likens release to “living in Nazi Germany”

Trump threw new rounds of insults at US intelligence agencies on Wednesday speculating that they may have leaked details about a classified briefing with him that included unsubstantiated allegations that Russia had collected compromising sexual and financial information about him.

“I think it’s pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press,” Trump said.

He said any such information was not true: “It’s all fake news. It’s phoney stuff. It didn’t happen.”

Trump was referring to a dossier that contained unproven information about close coordination between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, including details about Russian hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unsubstantiated claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump, attributed to anonymous sources. Firstpost has not authenticated any of the claims.

It 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 been released,” Trump said. He also likened the release of information to “living in Nazi Germany”, saying “it is “disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information — that turned out to be so false and fake — out.”

Trump also denied any business dealings with Russia. “I have no dealings with Russia, no deals in Russia, no deals that could have been in Russia, no loans with Russia at all,” says Trump.

Trump calls BuzzFeed “failing piece of garbage”, labels CNN as “fake news”

Trump engaged in a war of words with the CNN reporter over the release of an unverified dossier by BuzzFeed, which he termed as “failing piece of garbage”.

With Trump looking to call on other reporters, CNN journalist Jim Acosta yelled out, “Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?”
“Not you,” Trump said, adding that, “Your organisation is terrible!”

The reporter pressed on saying, “You are attacking our news organisation, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?” Trump countered by telling him “don’t be rude”.

“I’m not going to give you a question,” Trump responded. “I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news!” the President-elect asserted.

I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created

Trump also asserted that he would be the “greatest jobs producer that God ever created” as the President-elect highlighted the new jobs he has been able to bring back to the country through private firms.

“We’re going to create jobs. I said that I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created. And I mean that, I’m going to work very hard on that,” Trump told reporters at his first news conference in six months.

“We need certain amounts of other things, including a little bit of luck, but I think we’re going to do a real job. And I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” he said.

Trump said a lot of car companies are going to be moving in too.

“We have other companies — big news is going to be announced over the next couple of weeks about companies that are getting building in the Midwest,” he said.

Trump also took credit for Fiat Chrysler’s announcement to build another factory in the US and Ford’s announcement that they stopped plans for a billion dollar plant in Mexico and they are going to be moving into Michigan and expanding, very substantially, an existing plant. However, a fact-check by Washington Post revealed that these decisions had nothing to do with Trump administration.

Trump’s announcement to introduce bidding in drugs send Pharma shares down

The Pharma industry shares tumbled on Wednesday after the US President-elect said that it will reintroduce bidding in the drug industry.

“Our drug industry has been disastrous. They’re leaving left and right. They supply our drugs, but they don’t make them here, to a large extent. And the other thing we have to do is create new bidding procedures for the drug industry because they’re getting away with murder,” he said. Pharma, Trump said, has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power and there is very little bidding on drugs.

“We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly and we’re going to start bidding and we’re going to save billions of dollars over a period of time,” he said.

Will repeal and replace Obamacare simultaneously: Trump.

In an effort to set at rest all speculation with regard to the signature health care programme of outgoing US President Barack Obama, Trump said that he would simultaneously repeal and replace ‘Obamacare’.

“It’ll be repeal and replace. It will be essentially, simultaneously. It will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely be on the same day or the same week, but probably, the same day, could be the same hour,” Trump said.

One of his major campaign promises, Trump alleged that Obamacare is a complete and total disaster. He blamed the media for being guided by supporters of Obamacare.

“We are gonna do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff. And we’re gonna get a health bill passed, we’re gonna get health care taken care of in this country. You have deductibles that are so high, that after people go broke paying their premiums which are going through the roof, the health care can’t even be used by them because their deductibles bills are so high,” he said.

“As soon as our Secretary is approved and gets into the office, we’ll be filing a plan. We’re going to have a health care that is far less expensive and far better,” he said.

Mexico won’t pay for the wall directly, but reimburse it

Trump also acknowledged that Mexico won’t pay for the wall along the US-Mexico border, but his government will still build the wall.

“We’re going to build a wall. I could wait about a year-and-a-half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which will start immediately after we get to office, but I don’t want to wait. I don’t feel like waiting a year or a year-and-a-half. We’re going to start building. Mexico in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall,” Trump said, while responding to a question on his major election promise of building a wall along the US-Mexico border for which Mexico would make the payment.

Mexico, however has said, it would never pay for the wall. To which, Trump replied: “That will happen, whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment — probably less likely that it’s a payment. But it will happen. So, remember this,” he said, adding that it’s more likely going to be in the form of a reimbursement.

Will release anti-hacking plan in 90 days

Claiming that the US is least prepared in defending its cyber assets resulting in various countries, including Russia and China, intruding into its online system, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday vowed to come out with a major anti-hacking plan within 90 days after he assumes office on January 20.

“Within 90 days, we will be coming up with a major report on hacking defence, how do we stop this new phenomena — fairly new phenomena because the United States is hacked by everybody. That includes Russia and China and everybody,” Trump told reporters.

If Putin, likes Donald Trump, it’s an asset

Trump not only denied any relationships with Russia, he also called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s likeness as an asset for the US. “If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin likes Donald Trump it is an asset not a liability,” he said.

Russia will respect US with “Trump as leader”

Russia, Trump also claimed, will have far greater respect for the US when he is leading it. “There’s no reset button. We’re either going to get along or we’re not. I hope we get along, but if we don’t, that’s possible too,” he said on ties with Russia.

Trump declined business in Dubai

Trump said that he declined a business deal worth USD 2 billion in Dubai even though he is not obliged to do so as president. “Over the weekend, I was offered USD 2 billion to do a deal in Dubai with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East, Hussein Damack, a friend of mine, great guy,” Trump said.

Trump won’t sell business, but his two sons will run it

Trump said that he has handed over complete control of his business empire to his two sons and they won’t discuss its operations with him, in a move to avoid conflicts of interest once he assumes the office.

“My two sons – Donald Jr. and Eric – are going to be running the company. They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They’re not going to discuss with me its operations,” Trump, surrounded by his sons, daughter and son-in-law, said.

“I have signed documents turning over complete and total control to my sons,” he said, before handing the stage to his lawyer Sheri Dillon.

Trump asserted that he is doing all this even though under current law, he can run his business and be president as well. “I didn’t have to turn it down, because as you know, I have a no conflict situation because I’m president. I didn’t know about that until about three months ago, but it’s a nice thing to have,” he said, adding that he does not want to take advantage of something.

“I have something that others don’t have, Vice President Pence also has it. I don’t think he’ll need it, I have a feeling he’s not going to need it. But I have no conflict of interest provision as president,” Trump said.

Trump said he does not like the way that looks, but he would be able to do that if he wanted to.

“I would be the only one to be able to do that. You can’t do that in any other capacity. But as president, I could run the Trump organisation, great, great company, and the country. I’d do a very good job, but I don’t want to do that,” he said.

Trump won’t release his tax returns, tells reporters to shut up

Responding to questions, Trump refused to release his tax returns as they are under audit. “I’m not releasing the tax returns because as you know, they’re under audit. The only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters, OK? They’re the only ones who ask,” he told the reporter who asked the question.

In the news conference, Trump’s lawyer Sheri Dillon said that Trump’s investments and business assets commonly known as the Trump Organisation, comprising hundreds of entities, have all been or will be conveyed to a trust prior to January 20.

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