U.S.-President-elect Donald Trump is holding his first news conference in nearly six months Wednesday, and is sure to face questions about U.S. intelligence allegations that Russia interfered in the election he won in November and how he plans to address potential conflicts of interest involving his business.
Trump's last news conference came in late July when he began his remarks by lambasting his Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton for going months without speaking to the press.
"It's been 235 days since crooked Hillary Clinton has had a press conference," Trump said at that time. "And you, as reporters who give her all of these glowing reports, should ask yourselves why. And I'll tell you why. Because despite the nice platitudes, she's been a mess."
Most modern U.S. presidents have given a news conference within a few days of winning the election, and while Trump has been active on Twitter and made brief statements during his process of preparing to take office January 20, he has not formally met with a group of reporters to take questions.
He had initially planned Wednesday's news conference for mid-December, saying he would discuss the fact he was leaving his business to avoid any appearance of conflict. Trump has a vast portfolio of U.S. and overseas business interests prompting questions about how they will be managed while he is in the White House making policy decisions.
Trump will also likely face questions about reported claims that Russia has compiled information to compromise him and that his campaign officials colluded with Russian intelligence. Trump, his attorney and a Russian presidential spokesman have all said the reports are false.
The unsubstantiated information was presented to Trump last week along with a report saying U.S. intelligence agencies have a high level of confidence Russia set out to undermine the U.S. presidential election, particularly to discredit Clinton. The report made no conclusion about whether the outcome of the election was affected.
The intelligence agencies concluded Russia hacked thousands of emails of Clinton campaign chief John Podesta, which were released by WikiLeaks.
Trump's incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus said Trump does not deny entities in Russia were behind the hackings. Trump himself used Twitter to blame the Democratic National Committee for poor internet security practices.
It was during that July news conference that Trump made his call for Russia to find and release tens of thousands of deleted emails dating to Clinton's time as secretary of state....
By: VOA - Africa - Wednesday, 11 January
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