Key points from Donald Trump's first news conference since the election

What Donald Trump had to say during his first news conference after winning the election.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Donald Trump Wednesday gave his first news conference in more than six months – and his first as the president-elect of the United States.

It's just nine days until his inauguration, and he touched on several topics during an opening statement before fielding questions from reporters – many of which centered on his links to Russia and possible conflicts of interest relating to his businesses. Here are key points from what he said:

Denies Russian business links, but still won't release tax returns

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday morning to re-assert his claims he has no financial or business interests in Russia. And this is something he repeated at the conference.

When pressed by a reporter on whether he would release his tax returns to prove it, he said he wouldn't be doing this as they are still under audit. He then added: "The only ones who care about my tax returns are reporters."

He was also quizzed on his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and told reporters that if he's on good terms with Putin, it should be seen as "an asset, not a liability."

He admits Russia was probably behind DNC hacking

Trump had previously cast doubt on the views from America's intelligence community that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic National Committee emails during the election campaign, which were then released online by Wikileaks.

On Wednesday, however, he said: "I think it was Russian." Then he want on to say that hacking presents a wider security threat to the U.S. and comes from many actors, including China.

The government will start negotiating on drug prices

One unexpected announcement: Trump intends to change the way the federal government buys prescription drugs.

He said pharmaceutical companies based in the U.S. (but who make drugs overseas, he noted) were getting away with murder, and said that as president he would establish "new bidding procedures."

“There’s very little bidding on drugs," he continued. "We’re the largest buyer of drugs in the world and yet we don’t bid properly."

Commentators noted this is a position you tend to find among Democrats rather than Republicans.

Affordable Care Act repeal coming

Trump has said he wants "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act "simultaneously" with the confirmation of Rep. Tom Price as his health and human services secretary.(Note: A repeal would have to come from Congress, not the president.) He did not offer any details about what that replacement might include.

He told reporters that "it was a thought from a political standpoint" that his administration could "sit back" and watch the Affordable Care Act system implode in 2017 before implementing a replacement – blaming the Democrats for the mess – but felt it wouldn't be fair on the American people.

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for Health and Human Services secretary.

Trump's plan for his businesses

A pile of manila envelopes were placed on the table at the news conference, which Trump said included all the documents he'd signed handing over control of his business interests to his sons.

His lawyer Sherri Dillon told reporters a trust will be created by Jan. 20 that will hold cash, an index investment and business assets such as golf clubs, resorts, hotels, royalties and real estate.

They will be managed by Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump and a third Trump executive. They will not talk to Trump about the business.

"President-elect Trump will resign from all offices he holds," Dillon said, and any profits that come from foreign interests will be paid into the Treasury.

He will not, however, divest his ownership in his company.

Building the Mexico wall

"We are going to start building," Trump said, adding that he doesn't "want to wait a year and a half to make a deal with Mexico."

It means Americans will stump up the cash for it initially, with Trump saying: "Mexico will reimburse us for this, whether it's a tax or a payment."

Next Up

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.34.43 AM

Watch: Drunk squirrel in Minnesota captures the world's attention

The squirrel was immediately cut off after nearly tipping over.

Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 7.15.09 PM

Small town gym refusing to close facing lawsuit from attorney general

The gym is facing a lawsuit and a temporary restraining order to halt their operations.

credit card, payment

Money Gal Coaching: Bouncing back after living your best life

Kelly Blodgett started Money Gal Coaching after paying down nearly $50K in debt in 18 months.

flickr-mall-of-america-mitchell-hirsch-march-2019

When do stores open on Black Friday this year?

Many major retailers will be open Black Friday, some for extended hours.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead outside home near Cass Lake

The man was reportedly shot outside the property.

Minnesota_Welcome_Sign_-_Minnesota_Welcomes_You_-_Taylors_Falls_(28269804891)

Gov. Walz announces $1M in grants to boost Minnesota tourism

The money will be used for marketing efforts to attract people to Minnesota's hard-hit tourist spots.

coronavirus, ICU

Nov. 25 COVID-19 update: 72 deaths ties Minnesota's single-day high

A COVID-19 update will not be provided on Thanksgiving Day.

Texa-Tonka

Revival to open its fourth Twin Cities location

The fried chicken and smoked meat maestros are moving to St. Louis Park.

Duluth and Case Recreation Center

St. Paul to open two extra temporary shelters for homeless people

Mayor Melvin Carter announced the new shelters will be opened in the event of excess demand.

vote, election

Minnesota once again had the highest election turnout in the country

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a record percentage of voters also sent in absentee ballots.

Related

Welcome, President Trump: Key points from his first speech as POTUS

Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States.

Trump gets pushback from GOP senators on Russian links

For the first time since his election, Donald Trump is under pressure from some prominent Republicans.

Donald Trump quips that he'll accept election result – if he wins

Speaking for the first time since Wednesday's presidential debate, Donald Trump said he will accept the result of next month's election ... if he wins.

Here's Donald Trump's first White House-ish video address

Here's what Donald Trump and his transition team want to get done right away.

Some key points from President Trump's joint address to Congress

Healthcare, immigration and budget announcements could have implications for Minnesotans in the future.

Euphoric Twin Cities Republicans toast Donald Trump victory

Euphoric scenes greeted Donald Trump's shock election victory as Twin Cities Republicans joined to watch the results in Bloomington.

Key points from Trump's tax plan: What would it mean for your finances?

His plan would have major implications for families and businesses.

What's in the Donald Trump book the world is talking about?

Excerpts of Michael Wolff's book features comments from, among others, former Trump adviser Steve Bannon.