President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday held his first news conference in six months, during which he discussed a variety of topics including the recent report that Russian operatives claim to have compromising information on Trump.
Trump opened the conference by saying that the memo recently released by BuzzFeed, which includes many salacious but unsubstantiated allegations about the president-elect, should not have been published, criticizing BuzzFeed for doing so and thanking the other news organizations in the room for having refrained from writing about the memo because it has not been verified.
When asked about his intelligence briefing last week, Trump would not detail what happened during this meeting but said that all of the allegations in the report published by BuzzFeed are not true. He seemed to make reference to some of the more sexually explicit allegations by noting that they couldn’t be true because he is a germaphobe.
“Does anyone really believe that story?” Trump asked. “I’m also very much of a germaphobe. Believe me.”
Trump then said for the first time that Russia “probably” was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee. When asked if he believes that Putin wanted him to be elected president, Trump said he doubts that, but even if this were true, it wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
“If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what folks? That’s called an asset, not a liability,” Trump said.
Trump went on to say that he has no assets or dealings with Russia. However, he said he still refuses to release his tax returns, which would prove he has no business dealings with Russia, and that he believes only reporters care about this.
After taking a few questions, Trump had his attorney, Sheri Dillon, speak about the president-elect’s plan to hand over his business to his children. However, Trump will not be placing his business into a blind trust; that would involve having The Trump Organization run by individuals with no connection to Trump as opposed to having them run by his family.
Trump then took the microphone again and answered more questions on a variety of topics including Obamacare and the Supreme Court, saying he plans to name his Supreme Court nominee in the next few weeks. Trump did not answer a question about whether any member of his campaign has had contact with Russia.
This is the first news conference Trump has held since July. He said today that the campaign stopped holding them because “we were getting quite a bit of inaccurate news.”