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tv   Happening Now  FOX News  January 11, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST

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on fox news channel and carry it live on fox business. >> we now go to our colleagues at "happening now," we will see you again tomorrow right here in america's newsroom. >> we begin with a fox news alert, we are awaiting the start of that news conference with president-elect donald trump, his first and almost six months, it comes just nine days before mr. trump's inauguration, welcome to "happening now," i'm jenna lee. i'm jon scott, as we await the start of mr. trump's news conference, we are also looking at confirmation hearings for three of mr. trump's cabinet picks, including senator jeff sessions, set for a second day in his bid to become the nation's next attorney general. also a programming note, fox business network has complete coverage of the rex tillerson confirmation hearings and they will dip into the session hearings as well.
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here on fox news channel we will cover president-elect trumps news conference as soon it begins, and you can see them heading to the stage right now. let's get fox team coverage on a very busy day, mike emanuel is on capitol hill, but we begin with senior national correspondent, john roberts, live at trump tower in new york city. >> good morning to you, we've got the two-minute warning just about 2 minutes ago that this is about to start, now donald trump won't be the first person out, we understand that sean spicer, his incoming press secretary, will make some remarks, and that will be followed by his running mate, mike pence, who is the incoming vice president, and then donald trump will start. expecting an awful lot of pushback's on the reports of the chiefs of the intelligence committees and a donald trump a two page dossier on information that russia allegedly had been compiling on him. this would be opposition research that would have compromising, salacious information included in it. a donald trump pushing back against at this morning on twitter saying, "intelligence
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allegations, intelligence agencies rather should never have a noun allowed these fake news to be leaked at the public, one last shot at me, are we living in nazi germany? "he also seized on an assertion from the russian government that they don't engage in such things, writing that russian just said that the unverified reports played for by paid for by little opposition is utter nonsense and very unfair. one of the allegations contained inside that document is one of his five attorneys had made a visit to prague in the czech republic in august, 2016, to secretly meet with kremlin officials. he told me in a message last night, absolutely inaccurate, incredibly negligent reporting, i have never been to prague and i have no relationship to any russian envoy or to the kremlin, totally fake news. before this press conference starts, the incoming press secretary, sean spicer, is expected to give a very sharp to enunciation of the news organization "buzz buzz feed," h released these documents yesterday.
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they said yesterday, as we noted in the story, there is serious reason to doubt the allegations, just pathetic. listen to what reince priebus, the incoming chief of staff, had to say about all of this on "the today show" this morning. >> here we are on "the today show," one of the greatest morning shows in the history of america, talking about stupidity. and actually offensive stuff that we should not even be talking about, and "buzz feed" itself said it is not credible, "the new york times" says it is done by opposition researchers that wanted to hurt trump during the campaign. this is garbage. >> an interesting development, a table has been set up beside the podium, you might remember the last time he did that there is a lot of trump products from trump water to trump stakes to trump wine, now it is a whole pile of folders, dossiers, this could be because this morning, donald trump, and the reason why this press conference was called initially, donald trump will detail how he is going to
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separate himself from his vast business empire. i had a deep background briefing on that that is embargoed for another 25 minutes this morning, and there is some interesting aspect of this. it looks like trump will go a long way to separating himself from his businesses, but at the same time, won't completely separate himself. we will get more details on that, in the next few minute. back to you. >> jon: john roberts at trump tower in new york city, thank you. for more on all this, let's bring in the author of the new book, "three days in january," bret baier is the anchor of the special report, we are about to get some answers from the president-elect. how would you characterize the way that the wreck that the congressional hearings are going? >> rex tillerson's answers were well-prepared, they did doing a lot of practicing, senator jeff sessions really seem like he flew through yesterday and didn't take any real incoming that is going to threaten him. i would expect that rex
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tillerson is going to face some targeted questions, especially in russia. on this issue, i'm being told that we are likely to hear from the president-elect that he was not briefed on this report about material that his campaign didn't get anything about it, and minus evidence, all of this stuff is going to be tough to move beyond this first story. >> jon: the pushback from reince priebus on this so-called russian dossier story, pretty intense. >> it is, and you have the democrats, the ranking member of the house intel committee, adam schiff, just out with a statement moments ago saying that he cannot confirm or deny whether these media reports are the subject of investigation by intelligence agencies, nor will i speculate as to whether these reports are credible, completely salacious, or something in between. basically, you are not going to get this minus some evidence that it's out there. and i think you are going to see it really strong pushback from president-elect trump. remember, this is the first
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press conference he's had since july, and his first since winning the election. >> jon: so we should inspect suspect he will get a lot of questions about the russia situation, his ties to russia, his feelings about vladimir putin, that sort of thing? >> i would think so, i would think that because of all the reports the press is ginned up the i kind of line of questioning. i do think what john asked earlier, the background briefing he received about the separating with businesses, is going to be some of the focus as well of this news conference. >> jon: one of the interesting questions is can he truly step aside from the trump organization, because one of the marquee values of the 500-plus companies that he owns is that his name is on them, so he can't exactly walk away from them. >> unlike most presidents, he is a real estate developer, and it's not like he can sell the stock or put it in the trust. he's probably going to put this on the trust, is going to be held by somebody else, run by somebody else, but he still going to have ownership, one with income of these properties. and i think they're going to meet the legal case that that is
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okay. there will be democrats who say the emoluments clause of the constitution is one that they are going to raise. >> jon: this kind of comes against the backdrop of the new book you've written about eisenhower's hand over to the incoming kennedy administration. but just the turbulence that has developed around the incoming trump administration is unlike anything that i've seen in quite some time, and i just wonder how you compare? >> historically is unlike anything anybody seen. eisenhower really try to have a smooth transition to kennedy, and we talk about that, but i think this transition, while president obama has talked about the true smooth transition and every thing we can tell behind the scenes, the logistics between agencies and the transition team, is going pretty well. the surroundings, the stories, the confirmation hearings on the pushback from democrats, that is very unique. >> jon: why is that? is that because donald trump is a candidate like none we have ever seen before? >> i think so. i think there is still this
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realization in washington from psalm in democratic circles, how did this happen? and until they find their way, this is the pushback that they are getting. >> jon: what about other cabinet nominees who are still to come? who do you expect is going to skate in to office, and who is going to get some serious pushback? >> first of all, general kelly for homeland security is not going to have any problem. when you have the former obama administration defense secretary saying i would trust this guy with my life in testimony, i think he's going to be fine, and his questioning didn't seem problematic for him. i think tom price, the congressman for georgia for hhs has some questions that democrats want to focus on, and scott pruitt for epa may get some pointed questions. however, you have to remember, they just don't have the numbers. they don't have the votes. and barring some moderate republicans shifting and voting against the nominee, which would be pretty unique, there would have to be something egregious, they are all going to get
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through. >> jon: what about somebody like marco rubio on rex tillerson, he was very pointed in his criticisms of rex tillerson just moments ago. is it possible that a republican, marco rubio, could vote against rex tillerson's nomination? >> i think it's possible, and it's possible john mccain ora lindsey graham or some but he concerned about these russian ties, specifically if tillerson doesn't have the answers that are satisfying to those senators. i think as we learn more about this russia connection or lack thereof, and what we hear from the president-elect and the next few minutes, is going to set the table for how all of this is covered. remember, you have all of these hearings happening almost at once. they have delayed some until next week, and we are coming to the time where the deadline is approaching. january 20th, when he puts his hand on the bible, the trump people would like to have their team in place. >> jon: we are also going to have the rather interesting
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spectacle, i think, of cory booker, a sitting senator, testifying against the nomination of jeff sessions. i can't think of a time when that is happen, can you? >> no, and there is no precedent for this. because in the senate it is seen as colleagues, even despite that you're on two sides of the aisle, it is really interesting. he, cory booker, the new jersey democrat, was alongside senator sessions for an event in which they honored those who marched to selma in alabama. just a year ago. they were together on this effort. now he is speaking out against him. he is going to have to be really good, otherwise it will look to washington and political watchers that this is setting the table for a bass player for cory booker in the future. >> jon: right, because every senator has said they look in the mirror and see a future president, but that is spoken of cory booker, that he would like to move to higher office. >> exactly, i think we are
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getting a movement of the camera here, and let's just point out that this is really a moment for this president-elect. you have a time where he has not really answered questions from reporters since he was a candidate. >> jon: despite being critical of hillary clinton for not doing the very same thing. >> and his communication has been 140 characters or less in essence. and he has used that. you have to give them credit, he has moved the ball, he has moved markets, he has changed companies directions, he has gotten the attention of the world with his twitter account, but now you are going to hear from the man. >> jon: and obviously these are answers that cannot be given in 140 characters or less. >> some of this is nuance, and he is plainspoken, as we saw on the campaign trail, but some of his stuff, once you get to the oval office, and this is one of the things eisenhower always talked about, is this is heavy. the burden is heavy. >> jon: one of the interesting
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questions is will the trumpet ministry should be on time, they have given us a two-minute warning, and they are well beyond that, about 10 minutes beyond that. we will continue to wait for the news conference from the president-elect, in the meantim meantime, over to jenna. >> we are actually going to go over to john roberts who is inside the room to get a little bit more of an understanding of what it is like, this is it, as we mentioned, going to set the precedent for perhaps how other news conferences will be held over the next four years, and it is our understanding that beyond some of the movement we have seen on the screen that there has been a few manila file folders placed by the podium, so we wanted to go back to john roberts to give us a description, who is in the room? how many journalist do you see? what is the process for who gets to ask the questions? >> good morning to you, jenna, i don't know if we can go a little bit wide with our shot, but there are several hundred people in the room, this is quite that you would see that would happen at the white house either in the rose garden or in the briefing
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room. maybe more like something that would happen in the east room, there are so many journalists that are here, his top aides just came in, it jared jerichoe was there, along with rudy giuliani, i see steve bannon, senior advisor, kellyanne conway, so we are getting very close to donald trump coming out, i'm sure. and the way that this is going to work is that sean spicer is expected to come out at the beginning and then his running mate, mike pence, and then donald trump will come out. we see on the table behind us here, and i don't know if you can see this just looking past me, stacks of manila folders with documents inside. we don't know if these are related to how donald trump is going to separate himself from his businesses, that is the reason why this press conference was called initially. if they could be something else, potentially tax returns, i asked a couple of people and they say we don't know what is in them. we understand that donald trump is on his way out, let me sit down so i can get out of the way, we've got sean spicer, mike pence, donald trump behind him, as well as ivanka trump,
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eric trump, don, jr. >> jenna: thank you very much, john roberts. we will go to that shot as music comes up, as john roberts was just reporting to us the press secretary, sean spicer, there he is. let's listen in. >> he will introduce miss sherry gillen, a prominent attorney in washington, d.c., with a prestigious firm of morgan lewis, who structured the agreements about the president business arrangements and he will get she will give brief remarks. before we start, want to bring your attention to a few points on the report that was published in buzz feed last night. it's frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile to the president-elect's campaign to drop highly salacious and flat out false information on the internet just days before he takes the oath of office. according to "buzzfeed"'s own editor, there is some serious
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reasons to doubt the allegations in the report. the executive editor of "the new york times" also dismissed the report by saying it was "totally unsubstantiated, echoing the concerns that many other reporters expressed on the internet." the fact that buzz feed and cnn made the decision to run with his unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks. the report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple. one issue that the report talked about was the relationship of three individuals associated with the campaign. these three individuals come, palm and a fort, michael cohen, and carter page. carter pages and individual that the president-elect does not know, and he was put on notice months ago by the campaign. paul manafort has adamantly denied any involvement, and michael cohen did not leave or
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enter the united states at this time prayed we have asked him to produce his passport on the dates in question, and there was no doubt that he was not in prague. in fact, mr. cohan has never been in prague. a new report actually suggest that michael cohen was at the university of southern california with his son at a baseball game. one report now suggested apparently it is another michael cohen. for all the talk lately about fake news, this political witch hunt by some in the media is based on some of the most flimsy reporting, and it's frankly shameful and disgraceful. with that, it is my honor to introduce the next vice president of the united states, mike pence. [applauding] >> we are nine days away from the inauguration of the 45th president of the united states of america. [applauding]
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i'm profoundly honored and humbled that i will take the oath of office to serve as vice president of the united states nine days from today, but i'm even more honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with the new president who will make america great again. now the president-elect's leadership and his energy during the campaign was impressive, but as the chairman of the transition effort, i can assure the american people that his energy and his vision during the course of this transition has been even more inspiring. to see the way he has brought together men and women of extraordinary capability at a historic pace in this cabinet, 19 of the 21 cabinet officials have been announced, nine committee hearings already scheduled, seven more soon to go on the books in the next several
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days, and it is a compilation of men and women with an unprecedented caliber of leadership and background to help this administration move our nation forward. perhaps that's why there has been such a concerted effort by some in the mainstream media to delegitimize this election and to demean our incoming administration. you know, i have long been a supporter of a free and independent press and i always will be. but with freedom comes responsibility. in the irresponsible decision of a few news organizations to run with a false and unsubstantiated report, when most news organizations resisted the temptation to propagate this fake news, can only be attributed to media bias and attempt to demean the president-elect and our incoming administration and the american people are sick and tired of it. [light applauding] but today, we
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will get back to real news. to real facts, and the real progress our incoming president has already made in reviving the american economy and assembling a team that will make america great again. and we will hear from the president-elect about issues that are of paramount importance to the american people today. so it is my honor to introduce to all of you my friend, and the president-elect of the united states of america, donald trump. >> president-elect trump: thank you very much, it is very familiar territory, news conferences, because we used to give them on an almost daily basis, i think we probably may be won the nomination because of news conferences. it's good to be with you, we stop giving them because we are getting quite a bit of in inaccurate news, but i do have
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to say, and i must say, that i want to think a lot of the news organizations here today. because they looked at that nonsense that was released by may be 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 plot. because of thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been had, and it should certainly never have been released. but i want to think a lot of the news organizations for, some of whom have not treated me very well over the years. a couple, in particular, and they came out so strongly against that fake news and the fact that it was written about by primarily one group and one television station. so, i just want to complement
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many of the people in the room. i have great respect for the news and great respect for freedom of the press and all of that, but i will tell you there were some news organizations with all that was just said that were so professional, so incredibly professional, that i've just gone up a notch as to what i think of you. okay? all right. we have had some great news over the last couple of weeks, i have been quite active, i guess you could say, in an economic way for the country. a lot of car companies are going to be moving in, we have other companies, big news is going to be announced over the next couple of weeks about companies that are going to be building in the midwest, you saw yesterday fiat chrysler, big, big factory going to be built in this country as opposed to another country. for just announce that they stopped plans for a billion-dollar plant in mexico, and they are going to be moving into michigan and expanding very
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substantially an existing client. i appreciate that from ford. i appreciated very much from fiat chrysler, i hope that general motors will be following, and i think they will be. i think a lot of people will be following, i think a lot of industries are going to be coming back. we have to get our drug industry coming back, or drug industry has been disastrous. 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 are getting away with murder. pharma has a lot of lobbyists and a lot of power, and there is very little bidding on drugs, we are the largest buyer of drugs in the world, and yet we don't bid properly, and we are going to start bidding and we are going to save billions of dollars over a period of time. and we are going to do that with a lot of other industries.
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i am very much involved with the generals and admirals on the airplane, the f-35, you have been reading about it, and it's way, way behind schedule and many, many billions of dollars over budget. i don't like that, and the admirals have been fantastic, the generals have been fantastic, i have really gotten to know them well. and we are going to do some big things on the f-35 program, and, perhaps, the f-18 program. we are going to get those costs way down, and we are going to get the plane to be even better, and we're going to have some competition, and it's going to be a beautiful thing. so we've been very, very much involved with that and other things. we had so many incredible people coming here. they are going to do tremendous things, tremendous things in this country. and they are very excited. and i will say if the election didn't turn out the way it turned out, they would not be here, they would not be in my
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office, they would not be in anybody else's office, they would be building and doing things in other countries. so there is a great spirit going on right now, a spirit that many people have told me they've never seen before, ever. we are going to create jobs, i said that i will be the greatest jobs producer that god ever created, and i mean that, i am going to work very hard on that. we need certain amounts of other things, including a little bit of luck, but i think we are going to do a real job, and i'm very proud of what we done and we haven't even gotten there yet. i look very much forward to the inauguration, it is going to be a beautiful event. we have great talent, tremendous talent, and we have all of the bands, or most of the bands, from the different segments of the military, and i've heard some of these bands over the years, they are incredible. we are going to have a very, very elegant day, the 20th is going to be something that will
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be very, very special, very beautiful, and i think we are glad to have massive crowds, because we have a movement. it is a movement like the world has never seen before. it's a movement that a lot of people didn't expect. and even the polls, although some of them did get it right, but many of them didn't, that was a beautiful scene on november 8th, as those states started to pour in. and we focused very hard on those states, and they really reciprocated. and those states are going to have a lot of jobs and they are going to have a lot of security, they are going to have a lot of good news for their veterans, and, by the way, speaking of veterans, i appointed today the head secretary of the veterans administration, david scholl can, and will do a news release and a little while, will tell you about david, he is fantastic, he will do a truly great job, one of the commitments i made is that we are going to straighten out the
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whole situation for our veterans, they have been treated horribly, they are waiting in line for 15, 16, 17 days, cases where they go in and they have a minor early-stage form of cancer and they can't see a doctor, by the time they get to the doctor they are terminal. it's not going to happen. so david is going to do a fantastic job. we are going to be talking to a few people also to help david, and we have some of the great hospitals of the world going to align themselves with us on the veterans administration, like the cleveland clinic, like the mayo clinic, a few more that we have, and we are going to set up a group. these are hospitals that have been the top-of-the-line, the absolute top-of-the-line, and they are going to get together with their great doctors, dr. toby cosgrove from the cleveland clinic has been very involved, like has been very
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involved, one of the great men of business, and we are going to straighten out the va for our veterans, i have been promising that for a long time, and something i feel very, very strongly about. so you will get the information on david, and i think you'll be very impressive with the job he does. we looked long and hard, we interviewed at least 100 people, some good, some not so good, but we had a lot of talent, and we think this selection will be something that will, with time, with time, straighten it out and straighten it out for good. because our veterans have been treated very unfairly. okay, questions, yes? [inaudible question] [inaudible question]
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>> ordered the hack of the dnc, the attempted hack of the rnc, and if you do, how will that color your attempts to build a relationship with a leader who has been accused of committing an act of espionage? >> president-elect trump: first of all, these meetings are confidential, classified, so i'm not allowed to talk about what went on in the meeting, but we have many witnesses in those meetings, many of them with us, and i will say again, i think it's a disgrace that information would be left out. i saw the information, i read the information outside of that meeting, it's all fake news, it's phony stuff. it didn't happen. and it was gotten by opponents of ours, as you know, because you reported it, and so did many of the other people. it was a group of opponents that got together, sick people, and they put that crap together. i will tell you that not within
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the meeting, but outside of the meeting, somebody released it, it should never have been entered into paper, but it should never have been released, but i read what was released, and i think it's a disgrace. i think it's an absolute disgrace. as far as hacking, i think it was russia, but i think we also get hacked by other countries, and other people. and i could say that when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they did to make a big deal out of that. that was something that was extraordinary, that was probably china. we have much hacking going on, and one of the things we are going to do, we have some of the greatest computer minds anywhere in the world that we've assembled. you saw just a sample of it two weeks ago appear where we had the six top people in the world that were never in the same room together as a group, and we are going to put those mines
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together, and we are going to form a defense. and i have to say this also. the democratic national committee was totally open to be hacked. they did a very poor job. they could have had hacking defense, which we had, and i will give reince priebus credit, because when he saw what was happening in the world and with this country, he went out and went to various firms and ordered a very, very strong hacking defense, and they tried hack the republican national committee, and they were unable to break through. we have to do that for our country. it's very important. >> your attempts to build a better relationship with president putin? >> president-elect trump: well, you know president putin and russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news. they said it totally never happened. now some but he would say, oh, of course he's going to say that.
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i respected the fact that he said that. i'll be honest, i think if he did have something they would have released it, they would have been glad to release it. i think frankly had they broken into the republican national committee, i think they would have released it. just like they did about hillary and all of the horrible things that her people like john podesta said about her. what he said about her was horrible. if somebody said about me what podesta said about hillary, i was a bus, i would've fired them immediately or that person. because what he said about her was horrible. but remember this, we talk about the hacking, hacking is bad. and it shouldn't be done. but look at the things that we are hacked. look at what was learned from that hacking, that hillary clinton got the questions to the debate? and didn't report it? that is a horrible thing. that is a horrible thing. can you imagine that if donald trump got the questions to the debate, it would have been the biggest story in the history of stories, and they would've said it immediately you
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have to get out of the race, nobody even talked about it. it's very terrible thing. >> on that intelligence report, the second part of their conclusion was that vladimir putin ordered it because he aspired to help you in the election. do you accept that part of the finding, and will you undo what president obama did to punish the russians? >> president-elect trump: if putin likes donald trump, i consider that an asset, not a liability. because we have a horrible relationship with russia. russia can help us fight isis, which by the way is number one tricky, if you look, this administration created isis by leaving at the wrong time. the void was created, isis was formed, if putin likes donald trump, guess what folks? that is called an asset, not a liability. now, i don't know that i'm going to get along with vladimir putin. i hope i do. but there is a good i won't. and if i don't, do you honestly
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believe that hillary would be tougher on putin then me? does anybody in this room really believe that? give me a break. okay. >> can you make it clear whether during your visit to either moscow or st. petersburg you engaged in conduct you now regret, and would a reasonable observer say that you are potentially vulnerable to blackmail by russia or by intelligence agencies? >> president-elect trump: let me just say what i do. when i leave our country i'm a very high profile person, would you say? i am extremely careful. i'm surrounded by bodyguards. i'm surrounded by people. and i always tell them, anywhere, but i always tell them, if i am leaving this country, be very careful, because in your hotel rooms, and no matter where you go, you are probably going to have cameras. i'm not referring just to russia, but i would certainly put them in that category. and number one, i hope you are going to be good anyway.
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but in those rooms you have cameras in the strangest places. cameras that are so small with modern technology you can't see them and you won't know. you better be careful. or you'll be watching yourself on nightly television. i tell this to people all the time. i was in russia years ago with the miss universe contest, which did very well, in the moscow area, did very, very well. and i told many people, be careful. because you don't want to see yourself on television. cameras all over the place. and again, not just russia, all over. does anyone really believe that story? i'm also very much of a germ of phobic, by the way. leave me. >> can you talk about how you plan to disentangle yourself from your business, but first i have to follow up on some of these russia remarks. based on your comments here today, do you believe that
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hacking was justified? does russia have any leverage over you, financial or otherwise? and if not, will you release her tax returns to prove it? >> president-elect trump: so i have made it out that i have no dealings with russia. i have no deals in russia. i have no deals that could happen in russia, because we've stayed away. and i have no loans with russia as a real estate developer, i have very, very little debt. i have assets, and now people have found out how big the company, i have very little debt. but i have no loans with russia at all. and i thought that was important to point out, i certify that, so i have no deals, i have no loans. i have no dealings. we could make deals in russia very easily if we want to do, i just don't want to because i need that would be a conflict. so i have no loans, no dealings, and no current pending deals. now i have to say one other thing. over the weekend, i was offered $2 billion to do a deal in dubai
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with a very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the middle east. hussein, a friend of mine, great guy. and was offered $2 billion to do a deal in dubai, a number of deals. and i turned it down. i didn't have to turn it down, because as you know, i have a "no"-conflict situation because i'm president, which i didn't know about until about three month ago, but it's a nice thing to have. but i don't want to take advantage of something. i have something that others don't have, vice president pence also has, i don't think he will need to come i have a feeling he's not going to need it. but i haven't no conflict of interest provision as president, it was many, many years old, it's for presidents because they don't want presidents getting tangled up in an issue, they
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want the president to run the country. so i could actually run my business, i could actually run my business and run government at the same time. i don't like the way that looks, but i would be able to do that if i wanted to. i would be the only one that would be able to do that. you can't do that in any other capacity, but as president i could run the trump organization, great, great company, and i could run the country. i would do a very good job. but i don't want to do that. now, all of these papers that you see here, yes, go ahead. >> do you believe that hacking was justified, and will you release your tax returns to prove what you are saying about no deals in russia? >> president-elect trump: i'm not releasing tax returns, because as you know, they are under audit. >> the last -- >> president-elect trump: no, i don't think so. i don't think they care at all. i don't think they care at all,
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i think you care. i think you care. first of all, you learn very little from a tax return. what you should do is go down to federal elections and take a look at the numbers, and actually people have learned a lot about my company, and other realize my company is much bigger, much more powerful than they ever thought. we are many, many countries, and i'm very proud of it. and what i'm going to be doing is my two sons, who are right here, don and eric, are going to be running the company. they are going to be running it in a very professional manner. they are not going to discuss it with me. again, i don't have to do this. they are not going to discuss it with me, and with that, i'm going to bring up sherry, and she is going to go these papers are just some of the many documents i've signed turning over complete and total control to my sons. >> good morning.
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it's my honor and privilege to be here today as president-elect trump's request. he has asked me, as you just heard, to speak about the conflicts of interest and the steps he's taking. as you know, the business empire, built by president-elect trump over the years, is massive. not dissimilar to the fortunes of nelson rockefeller when he became vice president. but at that time, no one was so concerned. president-elect trump wants the american public to rest assured that all of his efforts are directed to pursuing the people's business and not his own. to that end, as he explain a few moments ago, he directed me and my colleagues at the law firm morgan lewis to design a structure for his business empire that would completely isolate him from the management of the company. he further instructed that we build in protections that will assure the american people the decisions he makes and the
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actions he takes as president are for their benefit and not to support his financial interest. as he said, he is voluntarily taking this on. the conflict of interest laws simply do not apply to the president or the vice president, and they are not required to separate themselves from their financial aspects. the primary conflict of interest statutes, which some have questioned, section 18 number two oh eight, it is simply inapplicable by its term. it is not just our interpretation, it is the congress itself who have made this clear in 1989, when it amended section 18, 202, to state that, "except as otherwise provided, the term office and employee in section 208 shall not include the president." even so, president-elect trump wants her to be no doubts in the minds of the american public that he has completely isolated himself from his business interest. he instructed us to take all
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steps realistically possible to make it clear that he is not exploiting the office of the presidency or his personal benefit. he also sought the guidance of individuals, who are familiar with, and have worked extensively in the field of government ethics in constitutional law. critical to the morgan lewis team is fred fielding, standing here to our side and with us today, and many of you has known him. he has served several presidents over the years, including serving as counsel to presidents ronald reagan and george w. bush, as well as serving on president george h.w. bush commission on federal ethics law reform, and he also held the position of vice chair of the ethics resource center. mr. fielding has been extensively involved with and approved this plan. he is here today support the plan and he will continue to provide guidance as the plan is implemented and as eric, don, along with others, take over management of the trump organization. i'm going to detail some of the
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extraordinary steps now that the president-elect is taking. first, president-elect trump investments and business aspect assets, commonly known as the trump organization, comprising hundreds of entities, which again, if you all go and take a look in the financial disclosure statements, the pages and pages of entities have all been or will be conveyed to a trust prior to january 20th. here is just some of the paperwork that is taking care of those actions. second, through the trust agreement he has relinquished leadership and management of the trump organization to his sons, don and eric, and a longtime trump executive. together, don, eric, and allen will have the authority to manage the trump organization and will make decisions for the duration of the presidency without any involvement whatsoever by president-elect trump. further, at the president-elect's direction, the trust agreement provides that to
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ensure the trump organization continues to operate in accordance with the highest and legal ethics standards, and ethics advisor will be appointed to the management team. the written approval of the ethics advisor will be required for new deals, actions, and transactions that could potentially raise ethics or conflict of interest concerns. president-elect trump, as well as don, eric, and alan, are committed to ensuring that the activities of the trump organization are beyond reproach and cannot be perceived to be exploitive of the office of the presidency. president-elect trump will resign from all officer and other positions he holds with the trump organization entities. further, in addition, his daughter, ivanka, will have no further involvement with or management authority whatsoever with the trump organization, as she and jared move their family to d.c., she will be focused on settling the children into the
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new homes and new schools. the president-elect has also already disposed of all of his investments of publicly traded or easily liquidated investments. as a result, the trust will have two types of assets. first, it will hold liquid assets, cash, cash equivalents, and treasury, and perhaps some position in a government approved diversified portfolio, one consistent with regulations of the office of government ethics. second, the trust is going to hold his pre-existing very valuable business aspects, the ones that people are from therewith. trump owned, operated, and branded golf clubs, resorts, hotels, rights to royalties from pre-existing licenses of trump marked productions and goods. things like trump tower, mar-a-lago, all of his other business assets, 40 wall street, we'll all be in the trust. through instructions in the trust agreement, president-elect trump first orders that all
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pending deals be terminated. this impacted more than 30 deals, many of which were set to close by the end of 2016. as you can well imagine, that caused an immediate financial loss of millions of dollars, not just for president-elect trump, but also for don, ivanka, and eric. the trust agreement, as directed by president trump, imposes severe restrictions on new deal deals. no new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of president trump's presidency. new domestic deals will be allowed, but they will go through a vigorous vetting process. the president-elect will have no role in deciding whether the trump organization engages in any new deal, and he will only know of a deal if you read that in the paper or sees it on tv. because any new deal could, and i emphasize "could," be perceived as causing a conflict or exploiting the office of the
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presidency, new deals must be vetted with the ethics advisor, whose role will be to analyze any potential transactions for conflicts and ethics issues. the ethics advisor will be a recognized expert in the field of government experts. again, his role will be to scrutinize the new deals and the actions, and any new deal must receive written approval. to further reinforce the wall that we are building between president-elect trump and the trump organization, president-elect trump has ordered through his trust agreement to sharply limit his information rights. reports will only be available and reflect profit and loss on the company as a whole. there will be no separate business by business accounting. another step that president-elect trump has taken is he created a new position at the trump organization. the position of chief compliance council, whose responsibility will be to ensure that the trump businesses again are operating
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at the highest level of integrity and not taking any actions that could be perceived as exploiting the office of the presidency. he has also directed that no communications of the trump organization, including social media accounts, will reference or be tied to president-elect's trump's role as president of the united states or the office of the presidency. in sum, all of these actions i'm a complete relinquishment of management, no foreign deals, ethics advisor approval of deals, sharply limited information rights, will sever president-elect's trump's presidency from the trump organization. some have asked questions, why not divest? why not just sell everything? form a blind trust, and i would like to return to addressing some of those questions now. selling, first and foremost, would not eliminate possibilities of conflicts of interest. in fact, it would exacerbate them. the trump brand is key to the value of the trump organization's assets.
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if president-elect trump sold his brand, he would be entitled to royalties for the use of it, and this would result in the trust repaying and interest in the brand without the ability to ensure that the that it does not expose the office of the presidency. further, whatever price was paid would be subject to criticism and scrutiny. was it too high? is there pay for play? was too much paid to curry favor with the president-elect? and selling his assets without the rights to the brand would greatly diminish the value of the assets and create a fire sale. president-elect trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built. this plan offers a suitable alternative to address the concerns of the american people. and selling the entire trump organization isn't even feasible. some people have suggested that the president-elect sell the business to his adult children. this would require massive third-party debt sourced with multiple lenders whose motives and willingness to participate would be questioned and
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undoubtedly investigated. and if the president-elect were to finance the sale himself, he would retain the financial interests in the assets that he owns now. some people have suggested that the president-elect trump bundle the assets and turn the trump organization into a public company. anyone who's ever gone through this extraordinarily cumbersome and complicate a process knows that it is a nonstarter. it is not realistic, and it would be inappropriate for the trump organization. some people have suggested a blind trust. but you cannot have a totally blind trust with operating businesses. president trump can't on no he owns trump tower. trump tower. and the press will make sure that any new developments at the trump organization are well-publicized. further, it would be impossible to find an institutional trustee that would be competent to run the trump organization. the approach he is taking allows
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don and eric to preserve this great company and its iconic assets, and this approach is best from a conflicts and ethics perspective. it creates a complete separation from president-elect trump and separates him and prevents him from participating in the business, imposes strict limits on what the trustees can do, and requires the assent of any consent of any ethics advisor to a new deal. one last topic that has been of interest lately called emoluments. it is a word i think we have all become familiar with, and perhaps had not heard before. and we are going to describe some other action of the president-elect trump is taking to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. emoluments comes from the constitution. of the constitution says, officials may not accept gifts, titles of nobility, or emoluments from foreign governments with respect to their office, and that no benefits should be derived by holding an office.
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the so-called emoluments clause has never been interpreted, however, to apply to fair value exchanges that have absolutely nothing to do with an office holding. no one would have thought when the constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was in emoluments. instead, it would have been thought of as a value for value exchange, not a gift, not a title, and not an emoluments. but since president-elect trump has been elected, some people want to define emoluments to cover routine business transactions, like paying for hotel rooms. they suggest that the constitution prohibits the businesses from even arm's-length transactions at the president-elect has absolutely nothing to do with and isn't even aware of. these people are wrong. this is not what the constitution says. paying for a hotel room is not a gift or a present, and it has nothing to do with an office. it is not in emoluments. the constitution does not require president-elect trump to do anything here.
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but, just like with conflicts of interest, he wants to do more than what the constitution requires. so president-elect trump has decided, and we are announcing today, that he is going to voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels t the not the united states treasury. this way, it is the american people who will profit. in sum, i come and president-elect's other advisors at oregon lewis, have determined the approach we have outlined will avoid potential conflict of interest or concerns regarding exploitation of the office of the presidency without imposing unnecessary and unreasonable losses on the president-elect and his family. we believe this structure and these steps will serve to accomplish the president-elect's desire to be isolated from his business interests, and give the american people confidence that his soul business and interest is in making america great again. her name back jobs to this country, securing our borders,
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and rebuilding our infrastructure. the american people were well aware of president-elect trump's business empire and financial interests when they voted. many people voted for him precisely because of his business success. president-elect trump wants to bring his success to all americans. thank you. >> what is your response to your critics who say not only you, but also your cabinet is filled with conflicts of interest, and do you plan to set an example in the future to make sure that your cabinet and everyone throughout your administration? >> president-elect trump: good question, i really think that when you watch what is going on, what is happening i was just watching, as an example, rex
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tillerson, i think it's brilliant what he's doing and what he's saying. i watched yesterday, as you know, our great senator, who is going to be a great attorney general, and he was brilliant. and what people don't know is that he was a great prosecutor and attorney general in alabama, and he was brilliant yesterday. so i really think that we have one of the great cabinets ever put together, and we've been hearing that from so many people, people are so happy. you know in the case of rex tillerson, he ran incredibly exxonmobil. when there was a find he would get it. when they needed something, he would be there. a friend of mine who is very substantial in the oil business, harold hamm, a big supporter, he said there is nobody in the business like rex tillerson. and that is what we want, that is what i want to bring to
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government, i want to bring the greatest people into government, because we are way behind. we don't make good deals anymore, i say it all the time and speeches. we don't make good deals anymore, we make bad deals. our trade deals are a disaster. we have hundreds of billions of dollars of losses on a yearly basis, hundreds of billions with china on trade and trade imbalance. with japan, with mexico, with just about everybody. we don't make good deals anymore. so we need people that are smart. we need people that are successful. and they got successful because of a generally speaking, they are smart. and that is why am very proud of the cabinet, i think they are doing very well. it's very interesting how it's going, but i think they are doing very, very well. hope >> on the timeline for
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repeal and replace, whether he needs to simultaneous. >> president-elect trump: finally obamacare i thought it would never be asked. >> i'm wondering if you have outlined a plan for what you want the replace package to look like, would it guarantee coverage for those who have gotten health insurance through the current obamacare law? >> president-elect trump: you are going to be very, very proud as not only the media and reporters, you are going to be very proud of what we put forth having to do with health care. obamacare is a complete and total disaster. they can say what they want, they can guide you any anyway y want to guide you, in some cases they guide you incorrectly. in most cases you realize what has happened, it's imploding, as we've seen. some states have over 100% increase, and 17, and i said this two years ago, 17 is going to be the bad year. it is going to be catastrophic. frankly, we could sit back, and
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it was the thought from a political standpoint, but it wouldn't be fair to the people. we could sit back and wait and watch and criticize, and we could be a chuck schumer and sit back and criticize it and people would come, they would come, begging to us, please, we have to do something about obamacare. we don't want to own it. we don't want to own it politically. they own it right now. so the easiest thing would be to let it imploding '17, and believe me, we would get pretty much whatever we wanted, but it would take a long time. we are going to be submitting, as soon as our secretary is approved, almost simultaneously, shortly thereafter, a plan. it will be repeal and replace. it will be, essentially, simultaneously. it will be various segments, you understand, but will most likely
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be on the same day or the same week, but probably the same day, could be in the same hour. so we are going to do repeal and replace, very complicated stuff. and we are going to get a health bill passed, we will 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 the deductibles are so high. obamacare is the democrats problem. we are going to take the problem off the shelves for them. we are doing them a tremendous service by doing it. we could sit back and let them hang with it. we are doing the democrats a great service. so as soon as our secretary is approved and gets into the office, we will be filing a plan, and it was actually pretty accurately reported today in
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"the new york times," and the plan will be repeal and replace obamacare. we are going to have a health care that is far less expensive, and far better. okay. >> president-elect trump, when you look at all the meetings that you've had with carrier, softbank, alibaba, deacon siva making this a program, may be sitting inside of commerce? at my follow-up question is how would we see the program on capital repatriation and corporate tax cuts? >> president-elect trump: if i could save jobs, for instance i was doing individual companies, and people say well, that was only one company. we did a good job with carrier, and i want to think united technologies, the owner, but we saved close to 1,000 jobs. they were gone, and mike pence and his staff really helped us a lot. that was a tough one, because they announced a year and a half before that they were leaving, so it's always tough when they are building the plant it is a
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little tougher than before they start, or before they make an announcement. so i want to thank united technologies. but we've been meeting with a lot of companies. but what really is happening is the word is now out. that when you want to move your plant to mexico or some other place, and you want to fire all of your workers from michigan and ohio and all of these places that i won, for good reason, it's not going to happen that way anymore. you want to move your plant, and you think as an example you're going to build that plant in mexico, and you are going to make your air conditioners or your cars or whatever you are making, and you are going to sell through what will be a very, very strong border, not a weak border like it is now, we don't even have a border, it's an open save, but you are going to sell through a very strong border, is not going to happen. you're going to pay a very large border tax. so if you want to move to another country, and if you want to fire all of our great american wke


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