News | 1 week ago

"If Putin likes me, then that's an asset."

Donald Trump gave his first formal press conference since being elected in November amid the recent reports about his private life and ties with Russia.

Trump began the press conference by praising a lot of the news outlets that didn't report on the recent allegations, saying that they were "nonsense" that was "maybe released by the intelligence organisations."

Regarding the controversial allegations that were outlined in the Buzzfeed report, the President-elect, whose inauguration day is 20 January, said that it's a "disgrace that this information was let out, it's all fake news and it didn't happen."

He added that the leak was from "a group of opponents, sick people and they put that crap together" before reiterating that it "should never have been released."

Regarding the issue of hacking and Russia's potential involvement, Trump quickly diverted the attention towards previous incidents. "We got hacked by other countries and people, we lost 22 million names and they (the press) didn't make a big deal out of that, it was probably China," he said.

Trump stated that he plans to create a "defense plan" to prevent any further hacking before slamming the Democratic Party's I.T. infrastructure, implying that their servers were easy to hack.

Regarding the story about Trump's alleged sexual controversy at the Ritz Carlton, Moscow, he denied that it happened. "It totally never happened," he said. He then praised Vladimir Putin after the Russian Prime Minister instantly came out to deny this story.

"I respect Putin for saying it," said Trump, before adding that if Russia did in fact have any damaging information, they "would have been glad to release info if they had it, just like they did with Hillary."

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After this remark, he took aim at the belief that Clinton was supplied questions in advance of the Presidential debates. "It's a horrible thing that Hillary Clinton did, she didn't report the questions that were given to her before the debate."

Trump did state that he's looking forward to  having a close relationship with Putin. "If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset rather than a liability." He also reiterated his belief that Barack Obama's administration created ISIS before stating that, "if I don't get on with Putin, does anyone believe that Hillary would be tougher with Putin, give me a break."

Trump denied that he had any business dealings with Russia.

"I have no dealing with Russia and no loans with Russia. I thought that was important to put out. I have no deals, we could make deals with Russia very easily, but I think that would be a conflict.

"Over the weekend, I was offered $2bn to do a number of deals in Dubai. I turned it down, due to a no conflict provision as President. I could actually run my business and government at the same time, but I don't like how that looks, I wouldn't do that."

A journalist then asked the President-elect if he was vulnerable to any further incidents of blackmail or controversy.

Trump replied, "I'm extremely careful. I'm surrounded by bodyguards and people. I always tell people to be very careful, especially in hotel rooms. You probably do have cameras, not just in Russia but other countries, cameras in strange places. You can't see them and you don't know. Be careful or you'll be watching yourself on nightly TV. I tell people that all the time."

Finally, Trump stated that he wouldn't release his tax returns. "You learn very little from a tax return," he said.

You can see the press conference here.

Clip via - PBS NewsHour

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