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|March 24, 2017|
Trump acknowledges Putin's meddling
WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump acknowledged Wednesday that Russia meddled in the November election, but said that if Russian President Vladimir Putin likes him he considers that "an asset, not a liability."
In his first news conference in nearly six months, Trump said that even if Putin supported his candidacy over Democrat Hillary Clinton he would be tougher in dealing with the Russian leader on the world stage when he assumes power next week.
"Do you honestly believe Hillary Clinton would be tougher than me?" Trump asked reporters, adding "Give me a break."
He denied having any financial interest in Russia, saying, "I have no deals in Russia, no deals that could happen, no loans in Russia."
Asked about the computer hacking U.S. intelligence officials believe Putin authorized, Trump said, "He shouldn't have done it."
The president-elect denounced the release of reports that Russia compiled tawdry information to compromise him and that his campaign officials colluded with Russian intelligence.
"I think that it's a disgrace that was released," he said. "It's all fake news. It didn't happen."
Standing in front of 10 U.S. flags and facing 250 journalists, Trump announced that his two adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, and one of his Trump Organization executives would run his global business interests when he becomes president January 20th, with his vast holdings in a trust, although not a blind trust where he would have no idea what his holdings are.
"They're not going to discuss it with me," Trump said of his sons. "I'm turning over complete and total control to my sons."
Trump's last news conference was July 27th when he began his remarks by lambasting his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton for going months without speaking to the press.
Story Date: January 15, 2017