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tv   MSNBC Live With Tamron Hall  MSNBC  January 11, 2017 8:00am-9:01am PST

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room. kristen? >> brian, this is president-elect trump's first press conference since the summer. so expect it to be wide ranging. and it's, of course, going to start likely with that explosive new news that we got overnight. word that, according to u.s. intelligence officials, the president-elect and the president were both briefed on information indicating that russia has incriminating evidence against donald trump. the question today, was he, in fact, briefed? does he trust his intelligence official? these are the same intelligence officials who he's been waging a war of words against on twitter. does that not undercut national security. those are just among the top questions that will be asked. and then i anticipate he's going to get a whole host of questions on health care. members of his party calling for repealing and replacing health care but also acknowledging they don't yet have a plan in place. how exactly is that going to
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happen? and, of course, all of those other statements that he made on the campaign trail will be, in fact, follow through with them as the president? at the top we expect an announcement about how he's going to distance himself from his vast business empire. his potential conflict of interest that has loomed over the course of his campaign and this presidential transition. there may be fire works flying. i'm told he's going to be calling on reporters at will. so this is going to be a free wheeling and likely long press conference, brian. >> kristen welker, thank you. we can see you on the far right of the picture talking to us. and it appears some visual aids have been brought in and are being placed on a table adjacent to the lectern. katy tur is with us in the studio. she's covered the trump campaign n transition effort from the start. and we can assume there will be an opening statement, perhaps on
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both russia and on his finances. the latter was the expressed reason for having a news conference going back to december, a date that was shifted until today. >> we don't know what that opening statement is going to be about. i assume the opening statement was about the business ties and explaining how he was going to in effect try to separate himself from his businesses, to make sure the american public knew that he was operating in the interests of the country instead of the interest of his own wallet. but there's been a lot of breaking news since all this happened and it's unclear if he'll be addressing the russian allegations and tln s and intel reports. he's spoken on twitter in the last 12 hours since that news broke. forcefully pushed back on having any ties with russia, alone or any sort of personal relationships. we'd know that more definitively
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if donald trump had released his taxes. but he has not done so as of now. i spoke to an aide in the transition. i asked that person whether we were going to hear about russia in the opening statement. they predictably said they do not know. as someone who decides what he's going to say when he says that, and oftentimes does not let in his inner circle beforehand. he is going to be calling on people at will. so there is certainly a chance that thisould become quite a contentious news conference between donald trump and the pre press. the last time he had a news conference was in july, in the middle of the democratic national convention. at that news conference, he invited the russians to find hillary clinton's what he called missing 33,000 e-mails. he said, please do. ides love i'd love to see them. he asked if it gives them any pause to invite a foreign
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government into the private e-mail server of a citizen of this country, be it a public person, a politician, or even a private citizen. does that not give him pause? and he said, no, it did not give him pause. since then, this has only become a much larger story. it is a story that has been dogging him, a story that refuses to go away. i would note in all of the time he was on the campaign trail, he was not shy about criticizing anyone, be it his opponents, his democratic rival, his fellow republicans in congress. business leaders, journalists, anyone, really, celebrities. one of the only people he's reserved any criticism for, and not criticized in any way, has been vladimir putin. and there are rightfully a lot of questions surrounding why that is and what his relationship is with the russian president. what his feelings towards him
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are and whye feels so warmly. >> folks watching at home can no doubt see that stack of -- it's either file folders, manila envelopes. oftentimes they'll say this is the mass of papers that is the health care bill or the government continuous -- continuity legislation. we just don't know as of yet what that's going to be used for. we've been given our second of two two-minute warnings. apparently they need a little more time before donald trump can enter. these are confines that katy tur knows well. this is the, in general, the lobby of trump tower. the escalator leading to the lobby, of course, became notable when donald trump used it to great effect to enter for his initial press statement that he
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was getting into the race. and, katy, what has changed in the life of the trump transition effort was the story last night that alleged that the russians are in possession of compromising information, personally, financially, on donald trump, that it went further. that there was some evidence floating around of continued contacts between team trump and the russians. there's been an aggressive effort to push back on it in the hours since. all of it unsubstantiated. donald trump himself and his first response via twitter last night said it was fake news, said it was a witch hunt. so presumably, we're going to hear much more about that. >> yeah, that is how he's been going after any negative news story about him of late. he's been calling it #fakenews. of course, fake news came about in response to a number of the facebook stories, social media
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stories that were cat that oftentimes told completely inaccurate stories that actually benefited donald trump's candidacy. so it is quite interesting to have donald trump repurpose it for his own use. in terms of the russian report, buzzfeed released what they call a dossier of information collected from this british ex-foreign spy, ex-spy in russia. and an ambassador that detailed information that they believed compromised donald trump and also information about some of his associates who had traveled overseas to meet with russian contacts. that has not been verified by nbc news. it's important to note that's not even been verified by buzzfeed, even though they released the document. there's a lot of questions about the journalistic et iic ethics
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releasing such a piece of information, such an explosive piece of information that has not been independently verified. and the intelligence community that we have been in contact here with at nbc news also says that they have not been able to verify this information. but the trump team, as you said, is pushing back. donald trump and his associates taking to twitter last night and today. michael cohen, his lawyer, somebody who is named in that dossier, he was said to have traveled overseas to prague to meet with the russian contact. michael cohen posted a photo of the front cover of his passport saying he has never been to prague. of course, it's just the front cover of the passport so we haven't seen any of the stamps within that document, but he also noted on the date he was alleged to be there he was at usc meet with a baseball coach in regards to his son. that's in california, of course. donald trump retweeted that. he also tweeted that he has
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nothing to do with russia. no deals. no loans. no nothing. russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is a complete and total fabrication. utter nonsense. very unfair. he quotes the russians' assessment of this. the russians saying this was complete nonsense. and again, this does point to donald trump going out of his way to, at times, use the russians' intelligence or use the russians' explanation as opposed to the explanation of his own intelligence community. and there's a big question surrounding how he will deal with the intelligence community. how he will deal with information that might not be positive for him. deal with information that could, in his eyes, undercut his legitimacy. so far, we've seen him refuse to accept that. we've seen him only push back against that. there's this idea that -- or there's the news and the
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information that russia hacked into our political system. instead of donald trump saying we need to fully investigate that, he has said it didn't affect the outcome of the election. and those are two very separate things. >> kristen welker remains there. we can see her on the far right in the room. is there any way to tell what that stack is? the visual aid next to the lectern? >> no indication but as you pointed out, it's a number of manila folders. i anticipate it will be used to point to how extensive and complicated it was to determine how the president-elect is going to separate himself from his vast business empoor. remember, this was a press conference that was supposes to happen back in december. it was delayed. the reason for that, they say, because this is just so complicated. i'm starting to hear the shutter of cameras flying. i anticipate we're going to see the president-elect -- in fact, i can see him with top advisers
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kellyanne conway who will be appearing momentarily. i was told he is, in fact, on his way down. so we should be seeing him. sometimes a two-minute warning is not necessarily a two-minute warning. this has underscored what we've heard from the transition team all along, that his vast empire is complicated and ultimately they'd resolve this and make sure there are no conflicts of interest. that's going to certainly be the topic number one here at this press conference today. how can he do that to the american people when he comes down and addresses his vast empire. top advisers. his son-in-law walking by. we expect we'll see the president-elect momentarily. >> we were able to see kellyanne conway, steve bannon, rudolph giuliani, jared kushner among the senior aides to donald trump taking their place. and presumably, donald trump
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won't be far behind. they got out of the elevator bank. they're now assembled behind you. and i guess they're going to be seated for this. >> i would anticipate that. and just going back to a point that katy made. there are so many questions, not just about the potential confluctuate of intereco conflict of interest that could be raised by his vast business empire but how specifically he's going to address u.s. intelligence about russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 race. i'm just going to remove this quickly because i'm getting a little bit of feedback. but does he believe his u.s. intelligence official? does he believe reports coming out overnight? and also a question that was raised. have any of his top advisers throughout the campaign had any contact with russia? i anticipate that's going to be one of the questions he'll get here as well today at the press
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conference. there are so many lingering questions hovering over all of this raised by senior advisers. jared kushner, his son-in-law, just named one of the senior advisers. he says there is no problem with that in terms of having a conflict of intere. he said it doesn't in any way violate the laws of the white house. but today, brian, he'll have a chance to actually address the tough questions about that. the first time he's going to be addressing the press in more than 160 days now. the last time we heard from him was in july. >> kristen welker who we can see on television and hear on the telephone. imagine if we could combine our powers of communication and be able to speak to kristen welker actually on television. katy tur is on television here in our studio in new york. >> and we can see trump's head. >> we've now had our first sighting of donald trump who will make his way up to the stage.
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>> good morning. thank you for being here. we're now nine days away from the inauguration of the next president and vice president of the united states. it's an opportunity to be here today to allow the president-elect to take your questions. after the president-elect makes some remarks, he will introduce miss sherry dillon, a prominent attorney in washington, d.c., with morgan lewis who structured the agreements pursuit to the president's business arrangement. she will give brief remarks. before we start, i want to bring your attention to a few points on the report that was published in buzzfeed last night. frankly it's 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 are 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, quote, totally unsubstantiated echoing the report many respecters had on the internet. the fact buzzfeed and cnn made the decision to run with this claim is a sad and pathetic reason 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, paul manafort, michael cohen and carter page. carter page is an individual who the president-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign. paul manafort has adamantly denied any of this involvement and michael cohen, who is said to have visited prague in august and september, did not leave or enter the united states during this time. we asked him to produce his
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passport to confirm his whereabouts on the dates in question, and there was no doubt that he was not in prague. in fact, mr. cohen h never been in prague. a new report actually suggests that michael cohen was at the university of southern california with his son at a baseball game. one report now suggested apparently it's another michael cohen. for all the talk lately about fake news, this political witch hunt by some in the media is baseod some of the most flimsy reporting and is frankly shameful and disgraceful. with that, it is my honor to introduce the next vice president of the united states, mike pence. [ applause ] >> we are nine days away from the inauguration of the 45th president of the united states of america.
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[ applause ] i am 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's brought together men and women of extraordinary capability at an historic pace in his 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 days.
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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's been such a concerted effort by some in the mainstream media to delegitimize this election and 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. and 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 an attempt to demean the president-elect and our incoming administration and the american people are sick and tired of it.
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but today, we'll 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'll 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. [ applause ] >> thank you very much. it's very familiar territory, news conferences, because we used to give them on an almost daily basis. i think we probably maybe won the nomination because of news conferences. and it's good to be with you. we stopped giving them because we were getting quite a bit of
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inaccurate news. but i do have to say that -- and i must say that i want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe 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 blot. because a 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 thank 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 compliment
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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've had some gre news over the last couple of weeks. i've 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 building in the midwest. you saw yesterday fiat chrysler, big, big factory going to be built in this country as opposed to another country. ford just announced they stopped plans for a billion-dollar plant in mexico, and they are going to be moving into michigan and expanding very substantially, an
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existing plant. i appreciate that from ford. i appreciate it 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. a think a lot of industries are going to be coming back. we have to get our drug industry coming back. our drug industry has been disastrous. they are 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 are getting away with murder. pharma. pharma has a lot of lobbies. a lot of lobbyists, a lot of power. and there's very little bidding on 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 save billions of dollars over a period of time. and we're going to do that with a lot of other industries. i'm very much involved with the
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generals and admirals on the f-35 you've been reading about it. and it's way, way behind schedule and many billions of dollars over budget. i don't like that. and the admirals have been fantastic. the generals have been fantastic. i've really gotten to know them well. and we're going to do some big things on f-35 program and perhaps the f-18 program and we're going to get those costs way down. and we want 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. and other things. we had jack maw, 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 office
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or in anybody else's office. they'd be building and doing things in other countries. so there's a great spirit going on right now. a spirit that many people have told me they've never seen before. ever. we're going to create jobs. i said that i will be the greatest js produr that god ever created. and i mean that. i really -- i'm going to work very hard on that. 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 and we haven't even gotten there yet. i look very much forward to the inauguration. it's 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 -- from the different segments of the military, and i've heard some of these bands over the years. they're incredible. we'll have a very, very elegant day. the 20th is going to be something that will be very, very special.
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very beautiful. and i think we're going to have massive crowds because we have a movement. it's 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. and 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 a lot of security. they're 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 schulken, and we'll do a news release in a little while and tell you about david. he's fantastic. he will do a truly great job. one of the commitments i made is that we're going to straighten out the whole situation for our
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veterans. our veterans 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 can't see a doctor. by the time theyet t the doctor, they're terminal. it's not going to ppen. it's not going to happen. so, david is going to do a fantastic job. we're going to be talking to a few people also to help david. 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're 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. ike pearlmudder has been very
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involved. one of the great men of business. and we're going to straighten out the va for our veterans. i've been promising that for a long time. and something i feel very, very strongly. so you'll get the information on david and i think you'll be very impressed 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. 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. a question. yes, john. >> -- the intelligence briefing that you received on friday that we're looking for further clarification on. did the head of the intelligence agencies provide you with the two-page summary of the ub substantiated allegation and
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secondly, do you accept their opinion that vladimir putin ordered the hack of the dnc and 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? >> first of all, these meetings are confidential, classified. so automati'm not allowed to tat what went on in a meeting but we had many witnesses in that meeting. many of them with us. and i will say, again, i think it's a disgrace that information would be let 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. so i will tell you that not within the meeting but outside
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of the meeting, somebody released it. it should never have been -- number one, should never have entered paper but it should never have been released. but i read what was released. as far as hacking, i think it was russia, but we also get hacked by other countries and other people and i can say that, you know, when we lost 22 million names and everything else that was hacked recently, they didn't make a big deal out of that. that was something that was extraordinary. that was probably china. we had much hacking going on. and one of the things we're going to do, we have some of the greatest computer minds anywhere in theorld that we've assembled. you saw just a sample of it two weeks ago where we had the six top people in the world. they were never in the same room together as a group. we're going to put those minds
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together, and we're 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 reince 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 to hack the republican national committee, and they were unable to break through. we have to do that for our country. it's very important. >> just to the last part of that question, how could all of this potentially color your attempts to build a better relationship with president putin? >> well, president putin and russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news. they said it totally never hand. now somebody would say, of course he's going to say that. i respected the fact that he
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said that. and i'll be honest. i think if he did have something, they would have released it. they would have been glad to release it. frankly had they broken into the republican national committee, i think they wou have released it just like they did about hillary and all of the horrible things her people like mr. podesta said about her. what said about her was horrible. if he said about me what podesta said about hillary, i was the borks i would have fired him immediately or that person because what he said about her was horrible. we talk about the hacking. and hacking is bad. and it shouldn't be done. but look at the things that were hacked. look at what was learned from that hacking that hillary clinton got the questions to the debate and didn't report it? that's a horrible thing. that's 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 have
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said immediately you have to get out of the race. nobody even talked about it. it's a very terrible thing. yeah. >> thank you, mr. president-elect. 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 for this? >> 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's call 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's a good chance i won't. and if i don't, do you honestly
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believe that hillary would be tougher on putin than me? does anybody in this room really believe that? give me a break. okay. >> -- whether during your visit to either moscow or st. petersburg you engaged in conduct you now regret and that a reasonable observers say that you are potentially vulnerable to blackmail by russia or by its intelligence agencies. >> when i leave our country, i'm a very high-profile person, wouldn't you say? i am extremely careful. i'm surrounded by bodyguards. i am surrounded by people. and i always tell them, anywhere, but i always tell them, if i'm leaving this country, be very careful because in your hotel rooms, and no matter where you go, you're going to probably have cameras. i'm not referring just to russia. but i would certainly put them in that category. and number one, i hope you'll be good anyway, but in those rooms
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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. moscow, 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 germophobe, by the way. believe me. >> -- first, i have to follow up on these russia remarks. based on your comments today, do you believe the hacking was
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justified? does russia have any leverage over you, financial or otherwise, and if not, will you release your tax returns to prove it? >> so i tweeted 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 staeestate developer, have very little debt. i have assets and now people have found out how big the company is. i have no loans with russia at all. i thought that was important to put out. i certified that. i have no deals. i have no loans and no dealings. we could make deals in russia very easily, if we wanted to. i just don't want to because i think that would be a conflict. i have no loans, no dealings and no current pending deals. 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 developer from the middle east, hussein damac, a friend of mine, a 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 is -- i didn't know about that until about three months ooh b s ago,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 it. i don't think he'll need it. i have a feeling he's not going to need it. but i have a no-conflict of interest provision as president. it was many, many years old. this is for presidents because they don't want presidents -- i understand because they don't want presidents getting tangled
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up in minutia. they want a president to run the country. so i could actually run my business. i could 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'd be the only one able to do that. you can't do that in any other capacity but as a president, i could run the trump organization, great, great company, and i could run the country. i 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 the hacking was justified and will you release your tax returns to prove what you are saying about no deals in russia? >> well, i'm not releasing the tax returns because they are under audit. >> every president since the -- >> gee, i've never heard of that. >> the last president, sir -- >> the only one who cares about my tax returns are the reporters. >> you don't think the public is concerned? >> no, i won. i mean, i became president. 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. you have go to federal elections and look at the numbers. and people have learned a lot about my company and now they realize my company is much bigger, much more powerful than they ever thought. we're in 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'll not discuss it with me. and with that, i'm going to bring up sherry dillon, and she's going to go -- these papers are just some of the many documents that i've signed turning over complete and total control to my sons. >> can we ask you one more question on russia, though, sir? >> good morning.
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it's my honor and privilege to be here today at president-elect trump's request. he's 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 explained, he directed me and my colleagues at the law firm morgan lewis and baccius, to design a structure for his business empire that will 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 actions that he takes as
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president are for their benefit and not to support his financial interests. as he said, he's voluntarily taking this on. the conflicts 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 assets. the primary conflicts of interest statutes and some have questioned this, is section 18 usc 208. it's simply inapplicable by its terms. this is not just our interpretation. it's the congress itself who made this clear in 1989 when it amended section 18 usc 202 to state that except as otherwise proved the terms oice and employee in section 208 shall not include the president. even so, president-elect trump wants there to be no doubt in the minds of the american public that he's completely isolating himself from his business interests. he instructed us to take all
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stepsistiically possible to make it clear he's not exploitsing the office of the presidency for his personal benefit. he also sought the guidance of individuals who are familiar with and have worked extensively in the fields of government ethics and constitutional law. critical to the morgan lewis team is fred fielding standing here to our side and with us today. many of you have 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's 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 to 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's investments and business assets commonly known as the trump organization, comprising hundreds of entities which again if you go and take a look, it's a financial disclosure statement. 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's taking care of those actions. second, through the frustgraergefrustrust agreement he wise relinquished managementf the trump rsion his sons d and eric. together, don, eric and alan 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 standards an ethics adviser will be appointed to the management team. the written approval of the ethics adviser will be required for new deals, actions and transactions that could potentially raise ethics or conflicts of interest concerns. president-elect trump, as well as don, eric and alan, are committed to ensuring the tfts s activities of the trump organization are above reproach and cannot be perceived to be exploitive of the office of the presidency. president-elect trump will resign from all positions he tolds with the trump organization entities. further, in addition, his daughter ivanka will have no further involvement with or management territory whatsoever with the trump organization. as she and jared move their family to d.c., ivanka will be focussed on settling her children into their new homes and their new schools.
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the president-elect has also already disposed of all of his investments in publicly traded or easily liquidaded investments. the trust will have two types of assets. first it will hold liquid assets, cash, cash equivalents and treasuries. and perhaps positions in a diversified portfolio, one consistent with the regulations from the office of government regulations. he's going to hold his illiquid but very vuable business assets, the one everyone is familiar with. trump owned, operated and branded golf clubs, commercial rental property, resorts, hotels, rights to royalties from pre-existing licenses of trump marks productions and goods. so things like trump tower, mar-a-lago, all of his other business assets, 40 wall street will all be in the trust. through instructions in the trust agreement, president-elect trump first ordered 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 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 a new deal, and he will only know of a deal if he reads it 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 presidency, new deals must be vetted with
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the ethics adviser whose role will be to analyze any potential transactions for conflicts and ethics issues. the ethics adviser will be a recognized expert in the field of government experts. again, his role will be to scrutinize the new deals n 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 the president-elect trump has taken is he created a new position at the trump organization. position of chief compliance counsel whose responsibility will be to ensure that the trump businesses again are operating at the highest level of
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integrity and not taking any actions that could be perseefd 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 trump's role as president of the united states or the office of the presidency. in sum, all of these actions, completely relinquishment of management, no foreign deals, ethics adviser approval of deals, shaly limited information rights, will sever president-elect trump's presidency from the trump organization. some have asked questions. why not divest? why not just sell everything? form of line trust? i'd like to turn to addressing some of those questions now. selling first and foremost would not eliminate possibilities of conflicts of interest. in fact, it could exacerbate them. the trump brand is key to the value of the trump organization's assets. if president-elect trump sold
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his brand, who would be entitles to royalties for the use of it and result in the trust retaining an interest in the brand without the ability to assure that it does not exploit 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 favorite 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
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be questioned and undoubtedly investigated. if the president-elect were to fince the sale himself, who would reta the financial interest in the assets that he owns now? some people have suggested that the president-elect trump could bundle the assets and turn the trump organization into a public company. anyone who has ever gone through this extraordinarily cumbersome and complicated 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 unknow he owns trump tower. and the press will make sure that any new developments at the trump organization are well publicized. further it woubld impossible to find an institutional trusty that would be comp tent to return the trump organization. the approach he is taking allows don and eric to preserve this
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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 and poses strict limits on what the trustees can do and requires the ascent of any ethics adviser to any new deal. i'll turn to one last topic today that has been of interest today calledemoluments, a word we've become familiar with and perhaps not heard for. we'll describe some other actions president-elect trump is taking to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. emoluments comes from the constitution. 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 shall be derived by holding an office. the so-called emoluments clause
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has never been interpreted to apply to fair value exchanges that have absolutely nothing to do with an office holder. no one would have thought when the constitution was written that paying your hotel bill was an emolument. instead it would have been thought of as a value for value exchange, not a gift, not a title, and not an emolument. 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, but 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's not an emolument. the constitution does not require president-elect trump to do anything here, but just like
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with conflicts of interests, he wants to do more than what the constitution requires. president-elect trump decided and we are announcing today he'll voluntarily donate all profits from foreign government payments made to his hotels to the united states treasury. this way, it is the american people who will profit. in sum, i and president-elect's other advisers at morgan lewis have determined the approach we outlined today will avoid potential conflicts of interests 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 sole business and interest is in making america great again, bringing back jobs to this country, securing our borders, and rebuilding our
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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 o his business success. president-elect trump wants to bring this success to all americans. thank you. [ applause ] you're welcome. my pleasure. i don't want to lose your notes. >> thank you very much. here you go. >> thank you. >> mr. trump, america news, what is your response to your critics that say not 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 -- >> good question. i really think that, when you watch what's going on with what's happening in, 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 they are, i think we have one of the great cabinets ever put together, and we've been hearing that from so many people. people are so happy. in the case of rex, he ran incredibly exxonmobil. when there was a fine we would get he would get it, when they needed something he'd be there. harold hamm, big supporter, he said there's nobody in the business like rex tillerson and that's what i want to bring to
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government. i want to bring the greatest people into government, because we're way behind. we don't make good deals anymore. i say it all the time in 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 ey got succsful because generally speaking,hey' smart, and that's what i put -- i'm very proud of the cabinet. i think they're doing very well. it's very interesting how it's going, but i think they're doing very, very well. [ inaudible question ].
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>> -- there whether it needs to be simultaneous. >> finally obamascare, i thought you'd never ask. uh-oh. >> for the replacement package would it guarantee those who got health insurance through the current law? >> you'll be very, very proud as not only the media and reporters, youle' 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 way they want to guide you, in some cases they guide you incorrectly, in most cases you realize what's happened, it's imploding as we sit. some states have over 100% increase and 17, and i said this two years ago, 17 is going to be the bad year. it's 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 implode in '17 and believe me, we'd get pretty much whatever we wanted, but it would take a long time. we're going to be submitting as soon as our secretary i 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 be on the same day or the same
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week, but probably the same day, could be the same hour, so we're going to do repeal and replace. very complicated stuff, and we're going to get a health bill passed. we're going to 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're 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'll be filing a plan and it was actually pretty accurately reported today, the
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"new york times," and the plan will be repeal and replace obamacare. we're going to have a health care that is far less expensive and far better. okay. i was going right here. all right, go ahead and then cbs. >> john steinberg from chatter. when you look at the meetings with carrier, softbank and alley baba. do you consider making this a program and sitting inside of congress. how soon will we see the program on capital repatriation and corporate tax cuts? >> if i can save cuts, for instance i was doing individual companies. it's only one company like we did a good job with carrier and i thank united technologies which owns carrier, 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're building a plant, it's a little
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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 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're going to make your air conditioners or cars or whatever you're making and you're 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 seive. 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 workers, that got


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