On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump held his first news conference since his election in November. This is a transcript from the press conference.
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 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, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they, in fact, did that, a tremendous blot, because a thing like that should never have 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 many of the people in the room. I have great respect for the news and have 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, OK? All right.
We've had some great 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 going to be 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 that they stopped plans for a billion-dollar plant in Mexico. And they're going to be moving into Michigan and expanding very substantially an 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. I 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're 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're getting away with murder.
Pharma. Pharma has a lot of lobbies and a lot of lobbyists and 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. And we're going to start bidding and we're going to 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 generals and admirals on the airplane, the F-35. You've been reading about it. And it's way, way behind schedule and many, 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 the F-35 program, and perhaps the F-18 program, and we're going to get those costs way down, and we're going to get 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 Ma. We had so many incredible people coming here. They're going to do tremendous things in this country, and they're 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 or 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 jobs producer 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 segments of the military. And I've heard some of these bands over the years. They're incredible.
We're going to have a very, very elegant day. The 20th is going to be something that will be very, very special, 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 8 as those states started to pour in, and we focused very hard in those states and they really reciprocated. And those states are going to have a lot of jobs and they're going to have 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 Shulkin. 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've made is that we're going to straighten out the whole situation for our veterans.
Our veterans have been treated horribly. They're waiting in line for 15, 16, 17 days. Cases where they go in and they have a minor, early-stage form of cancer and they can't see a doctor. By the time they get to the doctor, they're terminal. It's not going to happen. 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. And 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're going to get together with their great doctors, Dr. Toby Cosgrove, as you know, from the Cleveland Clinic, has been very involved. Ike Perlmutter has been very, very 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 it's 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, and 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, questions? Yes, John.
Reporter: Mr. President-elect, thank you so much.
Trump: Thank you.
Reporter: Appreciate it. A couple of aspects of the intelligence briefing that you received on Friday that we're looking for further clarification on.
Reporter: First of all, did the heads of the intelligence agencies provide you with a two-page summary of these unsubstantiated allegations? And secondly to that, on the broader picture, 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 against the United States?
Trump: First of all, these meetings as you know are confidential, classified, so I'm not allowed to talk about what went on in a meeting, but we have 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 of the meeting, somebody released it. It should never have been — number one, shouldn't have even entered paper, but it should never have been released.
But I read what was released, and I think it's a disgrace. I think it's an absolute disgrace. As far as hacking, I think it was Russia, but I think 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 have much hacking going on. And one of the things we're going to do — we have some of the greatest computer minds anywhere in the world that we've assembled.
You saw just a sample of it two weeks ago up here where we had the six top people in the world. They were never in the same room together as a group. And we're going to put those minds together and were 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.
Reporter: Mr. President-elect — [inaudible question]
Trump: Well, you know, President Putin and Russia put out a statement today that this fake news was indeed fake news. They said it totally never happened. Now, somebody would say, "Oh, of course he's going to say that." I respected the fact that he 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. I think, frankly, had they broken into the Republican National Committee, I think they would have released it just like they did about Hillary and all of the horrible things that her people, like Mr. Podesta, said about her. I mean, what he said about her was horrible. If somebody said about me what Podesta said about Hillary — I was the boss, I would have fired him immediately, or that person, because what he said about her was horrible. But remember this — we talk about the hacking, and hacking's 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 said immediately, "You have to get out of the race." Nobody even talked about it. It's a very terrible thing.
Reporter: Mr. President-elect. 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 given a chance?
Well, 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. I mean, 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 called 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 believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break.
REPORTER: Can you make clear whether during your visits to either Moscow or St. Petersburg you engaged in conduct that you now regret and that a reasonable —
REPORTER: Reasonable observers say that you are potentially vulnerable to blackmail by Russia or by its intelligence agencies.
Let me just say what I do. When I leave our country — I'm a very high-profile person, would you say? I am extremely careful. I'm surrounded by bodyguards. I'm 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're going to be good anyway. But in those rooms, 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'd 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.
REPORTER: How do you plan to disentangle yourself from your business? But first, I have to follow up on some of these Russia remarks. Based your comments here today, do you believe the hacking was 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 estate developer, I have very, very little debt. I have assets that are — and now people have found out how big the company is — I have very little debt, but I have no loans with Russia at all. And I thought that was important to put out. I certified that.
So, I have no deals, I have no loans and I have 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. So I have no loans, no dealings and no current pending deals. Now, I have to say one other thing. Over the weekend, I was offered $2 billion to do a deal in DubaI with a very, very, very amazing man, a great, great developer from the Middle East, Hussein Dumak (sp), a friend of mine, 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 ago, but it'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 getting — I understand, they don't want presidents getting tangled in minutiae. They want a president to run the country. So I could actually run my business. I could actually 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 would be the only one that would be 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'd 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.
Reporter: Do you believe the hacking was justified and will you release your tax returns to prove what you're saying about no deals in Russia?
Well, I'm not releasing the tax returns, because as you know, they're under audit.
Reporter: But every president since the '70s has —
Gee, I've never heard that. I've never heard that before. You know, the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters, OK?
Reporter: You don't think the American public is concerned about that?
No, I don't think so. I won. I mean, I became president. No, I don't think they care at all.
I think you care. I think you care. First of all, you learn very little from a tax return. What you should do is go down to federal elections and take a look at the numbers. And actually, 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're not going to discuss it with me. Again, I don't have to do this. They're not going to discuss it with me. And with that, I'm going to bring up Sheri Dillon, and she's going to go — these papers are just some of the many documents I've signed turning over complete and total control to my son.
[Break as Trump's attorney speaks about his business relations being turned over]
REPORTER: Thank you Mr. Trump. American news. What is your response to your critics that say not only do 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 —
TRUMP: Great question. I really think that when you watch what's going on with what's happening and why I was just watching, as an example, Rex 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.
You know, in the case of Rex, he ran incredibly ExxonMobil, when there was a find, he would get it. When they needed something, he would be there. A friend of mine who is very, very substantial in the oil business, Harold Hamm, big supporter, he said there's nobody in the business like Rex Tillerson. And that's what we want. That's what I want to bring to 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 they got successful because, generally speaking, they're 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 it's — I think they're doing very, very well.
REPORTER: Thank you, Mr. President-elect. I want to ask a few questions on Obamacare. Can you be specific on what guidance you're giving congressional Republicans on the timeline for repeal and replace, whether it needs to be simultaneous or a delay?
TRUMP: Finally, Obamacare.
REPORTER: I want to ask you if you —
REPORTER: — have outlined a plan for what you want the replace package to look like, would it guarantee coverage to those who have gotten health insurance through the Obamacare law?
TRUMP: You will be very, very proud, not only as the media and reporters, but you're going to 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 percent increase. And '17 — 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 it was a 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 to be to let it implode in '17 and, believe me, we would get pretty much whatever we wanted but it would take a long time. We're going to be submitting as soon as our secretary's 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 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're 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 will be filing a plan and it was actually pretty accurately reported today, The New York Times, and the plan will be repeal and replace Obamacare. We're going to have health care that is far less expensive and far better. OK.
STAFFER: Which one, Mr. President-elect?
TRUMP: Well, I was going right here. Go ahead. Then CBS.
REPORTER: President-elect Trump, when you look at all the meetings you've had with Carrier and Softbank and Alibaba, do you conceive of making this a program, maybe sitting inside of Commerce? And then my follow-up question, how soon will we see the program on capital repatriation and cuts?
TRUMP: Well, if I could save jobs. For instance, I was doing individual companies and people said, "Well, that's only one company." Like, we did a good job with Carrier and I want to thank you, United Technologies, which owns Carrier. But we saved close to a thousand jobs. And they were gone. And Mike Pence and his staff really helped us a lot. But those were — that was a tough one because they announced a year and a half before that they were leaving.
It's always tough when they're building a plant, a little tougher than before they start or before they make an announcement. 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, not going to happen that way anymore.
You want to move your plant and you think, as an example, you're going build that plant in Mexico and you're going to make your air conditioners or your cars or whatever you're making and you're going to sell it through a, what will be a, very, very strong border, not a weak border like it is — we don't even have a border. It's an open sieve. You're going to sell through a very strong border. 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 you there in the first place, you can move from Michigan to Tennessee and to North Carolina and South Carolina, you can move from South Carolina back to Michigan, you can do anywhere, you've got a lot of states at play, lot of competition, so it's not like, oh, gee, I'm taking the competition. You've got a lot of places you can move. And I don't care as long as it's within the United States. The borders of United States.
There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder. And if our politicians had what it takes, they would have done this years ago and you'd have millions more workers right now in the United States, that are 96 million really wanting a job and they can't get. You know that story. The real number. That's the real number. So that's the way it is. OK, go ahead.
REPORTER: A question about the Supreme Court and the border security, but I also want to ask you about something you said on Twitter this morning: Are we living in Nazi Germany? What were you driving at there? Do you have a problem with the intelligence community? On the Supreme Court, what's your timeline? You said a while ago you were down to four. Have you conducted those yet? What's your timeline for nominating? On the border fence, it now appears clear U.S. taxpayers will have to pay for it upfront. What is your plan to get Mexico to pay for it?
TRUMP: I got it. Anything more? [crowd's laughter]
TRUMP: On the fence. It's not a fence, it's a wall. You just misreported it. We're going to build a wall. I could wait about a year and a half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which will start immediately after we get to office. But I don't want to wait. Mike Pence is leading an effort to get final approvals through various agencies and through Congress for the wall to begin. I don't feel like waiting a year or a year and a half. I'm going to start building. Mexico in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall.
That will happen, whether it's a tax or whether it's a payment. Probably less likely that it's a payment. But it will happen. So remember this, OK, I would say we are going to build a wall and people would go crazy. I would then say who is going to pay for the wall? And people would all scream out, 25, 30,000 people, because nobody has ever had crowds like Trump has had. You know that. You don't like to report that but that's OK. OK. Now we agree. Finally, he agrees.
But I say, "Who is going to pay for the wall?" And they will scream out, "Mexico!" Now, reports went out last week, oh, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall because of a reimbursement. What's the difference? I want to get the wall started. I don't want to wait a year and a half until I make my deal with Mexico. And we probably will have a deal sooner than that. By the way, Mexico has been so nice, so nice.
I respect the government of Mexico. I respect the people of Mexico. I love the people of Mexico. I have many people from Mexico working for me. They are phenomenal people. The government of Mexico is terrific. I don't blame them for what's happened. I don't blame them for taking advantage of the United States.
I wish our politicians were so smart. Mexico has taken advantage of the United States. I don't blame the representatives and various presidents, et cetera, of Mexico. What I say is, we shouldn't have allowed that to happen. It's not going to happen anymore. So in order to get the wall started, Mexico will pay for the wall. But it will be reimbursed. OK?
Supreme Court judge. So as you know, I have a list of 20. I've gone through them. We've met with numerous candidates. They're outstanding in every case. They were largely recommended and highly recommended by Federalist Society. Jim DeMint was also very much involved in this group, which is fantastic and he is a fantastic guy so between Leo and Jim DeMint and some senators and some Congress people, we have a great group of people.
I'll be making the decision on who we will put up for Justice of the United States Supreme Court, a replacement for the great, great Justice Scalia. That will be probably within two weeks of the 20th. So within about two weeks probably the second week, I consider the first day because we'll also be doing some — some pretty good signings. And I think what we'll do is we'll wait until Monday.
That will be our really first business day as opposed to doing it on Friday, because on Friday people are going to have a very good time at the inauguration. And then Saturday as you know we're having a big church service and lots of good things are happening. So our first day, and you will be invited to the signings, but we'll be doing pretty good signings on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and then also the next week. And you're all invited.
But on the Supreme Court, I'll be make that decision and it will be a decision which I very strongly believe in. I think it's one of the reasons I got elected. I think the people of this country did not want to see what was happening with the Supreme Court. So I think it was a very, very big decision as to why I was elected.
[ inaudible ]
I think it was disgraceful, disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out. I think it's a disgrace. And I say that and I say that.
And that's something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do. It's a disgrace. That information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public, as far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing it, I think they're going to suffer the consequences.
They already are. And as far as CNN going out of their way to build it up — and by the way, we just found out, I was coming down, Michael Cohn is a very talented lawyer, good lawyer in my firm. Was just reported that it wasn't this Michael Cohn were talking about. All night long, Michael Cohn. I want to see your passport.
He brings his passport to my office. I say, wait a minute, he didn't leave the country. He wasn't out of the country. They had Michael Cohn of the Trump organization was in Prague. It turned out to be a different Michael Cohn. It's a disgrace what took place. It's a disgrace and I think they ought to apologize to start with, Michael Cohn.
Go ahead. Go ahead. Go ahead. No, not you. Not you. Your organization is terrible. Your organization is terrible. Let's go. Go ahead. Quiet. Quiet. She's asking a question. Don't be rude. Don't be rude. Don't be rude. No, I'm not going to give you a question. I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news. Go ahead. Go ahead.
REPORTER: — with the sanctions that they put on Russia after the hacking.
TRUMP: I don't think he went too far.
REPORTER: What do you think of Lindsey Graham's plan for a bill to send you tougher ones?
TRUMP: Plans to send me a bill for what?
REPORTER: Tougher sanctions.
TRUMP: I haven't heard Lindsey Graham is going to do that. Lindsey Graham, I've been competing with him for a long time. He's going to crack that 1 percent barrier one day. I didn't realize Lindsey Graham was still at it. It's all right. I heard he's a nice guy actually. I've been hearing it. I've been hearing it. Go ahead. Yeah, go ahead. You've been waiting.
REPORTER: As far as we understand, the intelligence —
TRUMP: Stand up.
REPORTER: Ian Pannell from BBC News.
TRUMP: Another beauty.
REPORTER: Thank you. As far as we understand it, intelligence community are still looking at the allegations. It's false news, as you describe it. If they come back with any kind of conclusion with any of it stands up, if any of it is true, will you consider your position, would you think —
TRUMP: There's nothing they can come back. Yes, yes, go ahead. Go ahead.
REPORTER: Can you —
TRUMP: Go ahead.
REPORTER: — public state news and all the problems seen throughout the media over the course of the election, what reforms do you recommend for this industry here?
TRUMP: Well, I don't recommend reforms. I recommend people that are — that have some moral compass. You know I've been hearing more and more about a thing called fake news and talking about people go and say all sorts of things. I will tell you some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news. More so than anybody. I could name them, but I won't bother. You have a few sitting right in front of us. So they're very, very dishonest people.
But I think it's just something we're going to have to live with. I guess the advantage I have is that I can speak back. When it happens to somebody that doesn't have this, doesn't have that kind of a megaphone, they can't speak back. It's a very sad thing. I've seen people destroyed. I've seen people absolutely destroyed and I think it's very unfair. So all I can ask for is honest reporters. Yes.
REPORTER: I just want to follow up on the questions about the U.S. intelligence community and be very clear about what you're saying. Do you trust your U.S. intelligence officials and what do you say to foreign policy experts who say you are actually weakening national security by waging this war of words against that community?
TRUMP: Intelligence agencies are vital and very, very important. We are going to put in Mr. Pompeo and others, you know the senator, Dan Coats, we're going to put in outstanding people. Within 90 days they're going to be coming back to me with a major report on hacking.
I want them to cover this situation. I also want them, however, to cover maybe most importantly, because we're hacked by everybody. You know the United States, our government, out of a list of 17 in terms of industries, it's the worst, number 17 in terms of protection.
If you look at the retail industry, if you look at the banking industry, various industries, out of 17 industries they put this in the category of an industry, the United States is last in terms of protecting, let's say hacking defense. Like we had a great hacking defense at the Republican National Committee. That's why we weren't hacked. By the way, we were told they were trying to hack us but they weren't able to hack.
I think I get some credit because I told Reince and Reince did a phenomenal job. But I said I want a hacking defense. The Democratic National Committee did not do that. Wait, wait, wait. Let me finish. Within 90 days we will be coming up with a major report on hacking defense.
How do we stop this new phenomena, fairly new phenomena, because the United States is hacked by everybody. That includes Russia and China and everybody. Everybody. OK. Go ahead. Go ahead.
REPORTER: You said just now that you believe that Russia indeed was responsible for the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta's e-mail, etcetera.
TRUMP: But you know what, it could have been others also.
REPORTER: Why did you spend weeks undermining U.S. Intelligence community before simply getting the facts and then making a public statement.
TRUMP: I think it's pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it's pretty sad. First of all, it's illegal. You know, these are — these are classified and certified meetings and reports. I'll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet people are reading about it. Somebody is leaking it out. So there's — maybe it's my office. Maybe my office.
Because I have a lot of people, a lot of great people. Maybe it's them. And what I did is I said, I won't tell anybody. I'm going to have the meeting. And I won't tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence. And what happened is I had my meeting. Nobody knew. Not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years.
She didn't know. I didn't tell her. Nobody knew. The meeting was had. The meeting was over. They left. And immediately the word got out that I had a meeting. So I don't want that. I don't want that. It's very unfair to the country. It's very unfair to our country what's happened. That report should have never — first of all, it shouldn't have been printed because it's not worth the paper it's written on. I thank The New York Times for saying that. I thank a lot of different people for saying that. But I will tell you that should never ever happen. OK.
REPORTER: Thank you, Mr.President-elect. Can you stand here today once and for all and say that no one connected to you or your campaign had any contact with Russia leading up to or during the presidential campaign and, if you indeed do believe that Russia was behind the hacking, what is your message to Vladimir Putin right now?
TRUMP: He shouldn't be doing it. He won't be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I'm leading it than when other people have led it. You will see that. Russia will respect our country more. He shouldn't have done it. I don't believe he will be doing it more now. We have to work something out. But it's not just Russia.
Take look at what's happened. You don't report it the same way. Twenty-two million accounts were hacked in this country by China. And that's because we have no defense. That's because we're run by people that don't know what they're doing. Russia will have far greater respect for our country when I'm leading it. And I believe — and I hope, maybe it won't happen, it's possible, but I won't be given a little reset button like Hillary.
Press this piece of plastic. The guy looked at her like, what is she doing? There's no reset button. We're either going to get along or we're not. I hope we get along. But if not, that's possible, too. But Russia and other countries and other countries including China, which has taken total advantage of us economically, totally advantage of us in the South China Sea by building their massive fortress, total. Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, all countries will respect us far more, far more than they do under past administrations.
I want to thank everybody. So this is all — just so you understand, these papers, because I'm not sure that was explained properly. 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 and I hope at the end of eight years I'll come back and I'll say, "Oh, you did a good job." Otherwise, if they do a bad job, I'll say, you're fired. Goodbye, everybody. Goodbye.