Trump welcomes Russia's Putin's admiration but says Moscow should not have engaged in hacking Democratic Party emails
In his first news conference since the election, incoming US president Donald Trump pledged that other countries, including Russia, China and Mexico, will have more respect for the United States after he takes office.
Amid intelligence reports of Russian hacking of Democratic National Committee emails aimed at helping Trump win in November, the president-elect on Wednesday appeared to accept Russia’s responsibility for the breach, saying that President Vladimir Putin should not be doing it.
However, he had said earlier in the news conference that he welcomes Putin’s admiration.
“Well, if Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability,” he said. “Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. Russia can help us fight ISIS, which by the way, is number one tricky. I mean, if you look, this administration created ISIS by leaving [Iraq] at the wrong time. The void was created, ISIS was formed.”
Trump said there is a possibility that he may not get along with Putin, but he would be tougher on the Russian president than Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Trump denied the content of a dossier, compiled by a British spy, claiming that the real estate mogul and his lawyer have separately met with Russian officials to discuss the DNC hacking. The memos, which the New York Times dubbed “unsubstantiated,” also claim that Moscow has compromising material that can be used to blackmail Trump, including sex tapes.
Earlier on Wednesday, Trump slammed intelligence agencies and compared them to Nazis for leaking the dossier, which he described as “fake news” to the media.
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?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
At the news conference, he doubled down on his criticism.
"I think it's a disgrace - and I say that, and that's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do," he said. "I think it's a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public."
Trump also scolded CNN and Buzzfeed for publishing the report, calling the latter a “failing pile of garbage”.
The president-elect meanwhile warned US companies to stay in the US or “pay a very large border tax”.
He also announced cutting ties with his business empire to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interests.
"These papers are all just a piece of the many, many companies that are being put into trust to be run by my two sons that I hope at the end of eight years, I'll come back and say, 'oh, you did a good job,'" he said pointing at a pile of documents. "Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I'll say, 'You're fired'."