Nine days before he takes the oath of office, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump held his first news conference in New York on Wednesday and talked about a variety of issues, including the recently leaked intelligence that Russians had some compromising information related to the incoming US President. President-elect Trump also described the process he will undertake to repeal the Obamacare.
The following are highlights from his first news conference.
Trump on Latest News on Russia and Elections
“They (some news organizations) looked at that nonsense (the document alleging Trump was compromised by Russia) that was released by, maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies. … It should never have been written, it should never have been released.”
“I just want to compliment many of the people in the room (for not initially reporting on the document). … I have great respect for the news and great respect for freedom of the press.”
“I think it’s a disgrace that information would be let out. It’s all fake news. It didn’t happen. It’s phony stuff. It was a group of opponents who got together, sick people, who put that out.”
“As far as hacking, I think it is Russia. But we also get hacked by other countries and other people and I can say that.”
Asked whether he accepted that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to help him win the presidential election, Trump said, “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability.”
“I have no dealings with Russia. I have no dealings in Russia … I have no loans with Russia at all.”
Trump on Pharmaceuticals
“We have to get our drug industry coming back,” he said, adding it had been “disastrous and leaving left and right.”
Trump also called for new bidding procedures for U.S. drug companies, saying, “They’re getting away with murder (with drug prices) …
“There’s very little bidding for drugs. We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly. We’re going to start bidding and we’re going to start saving billions of dollars.”
Trump on Military Aircraft Program
“The admirals have been fantastic, the generals have been fantastic” … He said the F-35’S costs were “billions of dollars way over budget. “We’re going to get those costs way down, and we’re going to get some competition and it’s going to be a beautiful thing.”
Trump on Jobs
“I said I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created, and I mean that.”
Trump on Veterans
Trump announced the nomination of David Shulk in as secretary of Veteran Affairs. “We’re going to straighten out the VA for our veterans. I have been promising that for a long time … We interviewed at least 100 people (for VA head), some good, some not so good … Our veterans have been treated very unfairly.”
Trump on his Taxes
“I’m not going to release tax returns because, as you know, they’re under audit” by the Internal Revenue Service.
With inputs from Reuters.