Although the “You are fake news” statement was probably the highlight of his press conference, there was much more than that during Trump’s first appearance before the media, as well as for the hearings of a couple of his nominees. While his nominees for Attorney General, Jeff Sessions and for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson appeared in Congress for their confirmation hearings on Wednesday, Donald Trump was holding his first press conference in weeks. Two conclusions can be drawn after both the press conference and the first day of hearings in Congress were over: The new administration will not be manipulated by mainstream media smearing campaigns which are based on rumors and fake news. Trump’s government will be forceful with China, Russia and Mexico, but will always seek to dialog as the first resort. Both Trump and Rex Tillerson have testified about the way in which China and Russia should be responded to and how to deal with the growing arrival of illegal immigrants through the southern border. While Trump maintains that he will build the wall and that Mexico will pay for it, Tillerson said yesterday that China and Russia should be dealt with in a strong manner. Moscow’s attitude is “dangerous”, said Tillerson during his testimony. “”Dialogue is key. We have to get Russia to go from being always an adversary to becoming an ally, but in other things we will always be adversaries,” he added. Tillerson then summarized his proposal of action for dealing with Russia that in any case, he stressed, “must be respond for its actions.” The question about Russia’s role in the alleged hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s email account was one of the first to be asked at Trump’s press conference, and the answer was clear: “I think it was Russia,” said Trump. During the press conference Trump dedicated enough time to respond to the topic of conflict of interests that may or may not exist due to his business dealings. As reported by one of his legal assistants, there is no such a conflict, as per existing law. Conflict of interest rules do not apply to the US President. Yet, according to a plan developed by Trump, he will indeed his business. The separation between Donald J. Trump and his business, the Trump Organization, will be done via a Trust Agreement set up to avoid conflict of interest between him and his enterprise. The agreement mandates that Trump resigns from all compromises at Trump Organization, something he said he would do in the following days. Donald J. Trump will not be the only one leaving Trump Organization. His daughter, Ivanka Trump will also leave. In addition to them leaving, Trump Organization will not make any new foreign deals while Trump remains in the presidency. All business dealings carried out by the Trump organization will be managed by Donald Trump’s sons, Eric and Don Junior. Given recent questions about the risk that foreign government, politicians or business people attempt to influence Trump’s decisions by, for example, staying at his hotels or hiring his companies services, Trump announced that he will donate all profits made by his hotels. The president-elect also addressed the prospect of repealing and replacing Obamacare, which mainstream media pundits have said may not be so easy to do. Trump responded firmly when asked about it: “We will submit a plan, it will be repeal and replace. It will be simultaneously.” Trump was equally cutting when describing the way in which he will deal with American companies shipping jobs abroad, which is something he had already spoken about during the campaign: “Companies that move operations out of the country will pay a very large tax.” Another issue that occupied a fair amount of attention was Trump’s relationship with the intelligence community. Trump’s refusal to simply believe that the Russians were behind the alleged hacking, which was not, without seeing proof of it caught the eye of many journalists and pundits. The case became even more complicated a few hours before the press conference, when it was known that the US espionage chiefs had transmitted to Trump unverified but potentially very damaging information to the future president. In a document, delivered to Trump on Friday, a report contained rough details that could compromise Trump and that Russia could use to blackmail him. The report also pointed to contacts between president-elect’s team members and Russian agents during the election campaign. According to Trump, it was also fake news and he addressed that report right at the beginning of the press conference. None of these allegations, which had been circulating for months in Washington but no one had published since it was impossible to prove, is endorsed by public sources or conclusive evidence, and indeed contains some bugs. US media say the document is the work of a former MI-6 agent who developed it for political groups opposed to Trump during the campaign. CNN opened fire on Tuesday by revealing that intelligence had informed Trump of the existence of the report. It was the leaking of this news on CNN, and the publication of a supposed report on Buzzfeed what sparked Trump’s ire against journalists in these media, and against the intelligence services that allegedly want to harm him. “I think it was scandalous, scandalous that intelligence agencies allowed information to come out that turned out to be fake, a hoot,” Trump said. Before, the press […]
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