Based on his erratic behavior and his tendency to lie to the public, it’s safe to assume that Donald Trump believes the American people are stupid and he can get away with anything. Well, he’s in for a rude awakening.
With mounting evidence that Russia interfered with the election in order to help him defeat Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump finally acknowledged Wednesday that Russia meddled in the November election, but –get this– said that if Vladimir Putin likes him he considers that “an asset, not a liability.”
After arriving late to his first news conference in nearly six months, Trump immediately denied having any financial interest in Russia, saying, “I have no deals in Russia, no deals that could happen, no loans in Russia.”
He went on to say that even if Putin helped him win over 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.”
Yes, Mr. Trump, Putin helped you win the election because he was afraid of Hillary.
Trump also 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,” he said.
Adding to the nightmarish development, Trump left the door wide open for years of ethics conflicts, signaling that he won’t divest from his business interests.
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 20, 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.”
Of course, he expects the American people to believe that.
Trump has an extensive portfolio of U.S. and overseas business interests, golf courses, hotels, office buildings and consumer products, prompting questions about how they will be managed while he is running the U.S. government and making policy decisions.
Ethics officials who worked for President Barack Obama and his predecessor, President George W. Bush, have said that anything short of placing his extensive assets in a blind trust, which Trump would have no control over, would lead to unprecedented conflict of interest.
The president-elect’s turnover of control of his business empire to his adult sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric, falls short of putting the assets in a blind trust because he still will have basic knowledge of what businesses he holds.
A prominent Washington lawyer said that Trump’s comments feels like a bad joke on the American people.
“He can’t unknow he owns Trump Tower,” she said.
Thousands of Twitter users did their best to sum up Trump’s comments, making it clear that no one believed what he said.
Don's my name.
Gaslighting's my game.
US treasury is mine, mine, mine.
I love the press that loves me best.
Don't cross me. pic.twitter.com/zi35orSexc
— Marguerite (@margcellent) January 11, 2017
Shorter Trump: pic.twitter.com/hZqrLqWE93
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) January 11, 2017