Russia will 'respect our country more' when I'm leading the nation: Trump

AP
Published Jan 11, 2017, 10:55 pm IST
Updated Jan 12, 2017, 3:05 am IST
Trump says negotiations with Mexico on funding of border wall to begin immediately after he takes office.
President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (Photo: AP)
 President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York. (Photo: AP)

Washington: United States President-elect Donald Trump plans to put all his business assets in a trust and hand control of his company to his two adult sons and a longtime business executive to allay concerns about conflicts of interest.

A lawyer who worked with the Trump Organization on the plan says Trump is planning to make the change by Inauguration Day, relinquish control over the Trump Organization and isolate himself from the business.

The lawyer says the company will do no new foreign deals but can pursue domestic ones, and says that the Trump Organization will appoint an ethics adviser to its management team who must approve deals that could raise concerns about conflicts.

The lawyer spoke to reporters before Trump's news conference, the first since his Nov. 8 election, and requested anonymity to discuss details of the plan.

Donald Trump says intelligence agencies will have a "tremendous blot on their record" if they leaked a report claiming top intelligence officials told him about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had about him.

Trump's press secretary Sean Spicer also calls a report, first published Tuesday by CNN, "outrageous" and "irresponsible." A U.S. official says top intelligence officials told Trump about an unsubstantiated report last week.

A summary of the allegations was separate from a classified assessment of Russia's suspected attempts to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the intelligence community's findings last week.

The dossier contains unproven information about close coordination between Trump's inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump among other suggestions attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.

The top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee says allegations that Russia has collected damaging personal and financial information on Donald Trump "shakes our democracy to its very core" and should be investigated by Congress.

In a brief interview, New York Rep. Eliot Engel says if the unsubstantiated charges that the Russians have compromising material on the president-elect are true, "It's a scary thing to have Putin in the driver's seat."

Trump and a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin have denied the allegations. Engel says Trump needs to "come clean." He says simply denying the charges is insufficient and says Trump must "tell us everything he knows." A U.S. official told The Associated Press on Tuesday that intelligence officials told Trump last week about the unproven report.

The Republican chairman of the Armed Services Committee says he received sensitive information last year and turned it over to the FBI, an apparent reference to news that President-elect Donald Trump was told by intelligence officials about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement Wednesday that he examined the contents of the material, was unable to make a judgment about the accuracy and delivered the information to the director of the FBI, James Comey. McCain said: "That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue."

Trump also criticized U.S. intelligence agencies over the leak of an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information on him.

Trump tweeted Wednesday that "Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to 'leak' into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?"

The tweet was part of an early morning Trump firestorm denouncing the reports, in which he said he has "nothing" to do with Russia. Various news outlets reported late Tuesday that U.S. intelligence officials briefed Trump last week on the unverified information Russia was said to have on him.

Trump insisted that the media reports were "very unfair" and payback for defeating other Republican presidential hopefuls and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

"I win an election easily, a great "movement" is verified, and crooked opponents try to belittle our victory with FAKE NEWS. A sorry state!" President-elect Donald Trump is denouncing unsubstantiated reports that Russia had compromising secret information on him.

He tweeted Wednesday morning: "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me." In capital letters, he added: "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!" He called the unverified report paid for by political opponents "A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE." A few minutes earlier, he repeated Russia's denial of the reports, which he called, "Very unfair!"

A U.S. official told The Associated Press Tuesday that intelligence officials had informed Trump about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him. The briefing about the document was first reported by CNN.

The Associated Press has not been able to substantiate the information in the dossier, which misspelled the name of Russia's largest bank. President-elect Donald Trump will hold his first full news conference Wednesday since winning the 2016 presidential election.

Donald Trump vowed to forge ahead with plans for a wall on the southern US border after taking office, and said Mexico would reimburse the United States for the cost.

"I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which we'll start immediately after we get to office, but I don't want to wait," Trump told a news conference. "We're going to start building," he said. "Mexico in some form -- and there are many different forms -- will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall."

Meanwhile, Trump attorney Sheri Dillon says at a news conference that the future first daughter Ivanka Trump will have no involvement with or management authority at the family business. Ivanka Trump has been an executive vice president at the company.

Ivanka Trump is not taking an official role in her father's administration for now. But her husband, Jared Kushner, will be serving as a senior adviser, and the family is moving to Washington.

Dillon says that Ivanka Trump will be focused on getting her children settled in their new home and at their schools. Ivanka Trump is also expected to step away from a leadership role at her own company selling clothes and jewelry.

Trump warned US companies that if they move production offshore their products will face substantial taxes when they are imported into the country. "There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder," he told a press conference.

The last time Trump held a news conference, he was plunging into a heated general election campaign with Hillary Clinton and suggested Russia could help dig up some of his rival's emails.

Nearly six months and a presidential campaign victory later, Trump will finally step before reporters again Wednesday to face questions about what role he believes Russia played in the election year hacking of Democratic groups — interference the intelligence community says was intended to help the Republican defeat Clinton. Trump has challenged that assessment and has yet to say whether a full briefing with intelligence officials last week did anything to sway.


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