Wednesday April 25th, 2018 8:37AM

Combative Trump concedes Russia's role in election hacking

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump's first news conference since winning the election was a combative and freewheeling affair, and the famously unconventional politician demonstrated he had not been changed by the weight of his victory.

Trump said for the first time Wednesday he accepts that Russia was behind the election-year hacking of Democrats that roiled the White House race. Looking ahead, he urged Congress to move quickly to replace President Barack Obama's signature health care law and insisted anew that Mexico will pay the cost of a border wall.

He defiantly denied reports that Russia had collected compromising personal and financial information about him, lambasting the media for peddling "fake news" and shouting down a journalist from CNN, which reported on the matter. His family and advisers clapped and cheered him on throughout.

Trump's transition has been overshadowed by U.S. intelligence assessments that Russia not only meddled in the election, but did so to help him defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton. After spending weeks challenging that idea, Trump finally accepted at least part of the intelligence conclusions.

"As far as hacking, I think it was Russia," Trump said, quickly adding that "other countries and other people" also hack U.S. interests. Still, he kept needling the intelligence agencies, saying it would be a "tremendous blot" on their record if officials were leaking information from his classified briefings.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement later that he had spoken with Trump Wednesday evening and told him he does not believe any leaks came from the intelligence community.

Trump has not said whether he believes Clapper's claim about the source of the leaks. He tweeted Thursday: "James Clapper called me yesterday to denounce the false and fictitious report that was illegally circulated. Made up, phony facts. Too bad!"

One U.S. official told The Associated Press Tuesday night that intelligence officials had informed Trump last week about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about him. The official was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Some media outlets reported on the document, which contains unproven information alleging close coordination between Trump's inner circle and Russians, as well as unverified claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump. The AP has not authenticated any of the claims.

Clapper said Wednesday he had told Trump the intelligence community "has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable."

Wednesday's news conference was initially billed as a chance for Trump to answer questions about his plans for distancing himself from his sprawling, family-owned real estate and licensing business. Lawyer Sheri Dillon stepped to the lectern midway through the event to announce that the president-elect was relinquishing control of the Trump Organization to his adult sons and an executive, as well as putting his business assets in a trust. While new international business deals will be banned, the company will be allowed to start new projects in the U.S.

The move appears to contradict a previous pledge by the president-elect. In a tweet last month, Trump said that "no new deals" would be done while he was in office.

The president-elect set some concrete policy markers Wednesday, though specifics continued to be in short supply on some of his major campaign promises.

He promised that a replacement for Obama's sweeping health care overhaul would be offered "essentially simultaneously" with a congressional vote to repeal the measure. He said his team would send a plan to Congress after Rep. Tom Price, his pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, is confirmed.

Turning to his plans to build a wall along the nation's southern border, Trump vowed that Mexico would "reimburse" the cost of the project through an unspecified tax or payment. He said that while his administration would begin negotiating with Mexico after his Jan. 20 inauguration, he did not want to delay the work until an agreement was reached, raising the prospect that U.S. taxpayers could ultimately bear the costs.


Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Laurie Kellman in Washington and Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.


Follow Julie Pace at

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, U.S. News, Politics, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Business
© Copyright 2018
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Prosecutors: Prof killed boyfriend as part of sexual fantasy
Prosecutors say fatal stabbing of hairstylist in Chicago was part of sexual fantasy hatched online between professor and university employee
9:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Eclipse eve: Millions converge across US to see sun go dark
Millions of eclipse watchers are converging on a narrow corridor stretching from Oregon to South Carolina to watch the moon blot out the sun Monday
9:55PM ( 1 hour ago )
Jerry Lewis, comedy icon and telethon host, dies at 91
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died
6:38PM ( 4 hours ago )
U.S. News
Trump will address path forward on Afghanistan
White House announces that President Donald Trump would address the nation's troops and the American people Monday night to update the path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia
4:35PM ( 6 hours ago )
Lanier Tea Party Patriots president to run for State Senate
The president of the Lanier Tea Party Patriots, Lucretia Hughes, has announced plans to run for the District 47 state Senate Seat, now held by Frank Ginn, next year.
9:00PM ( 1 day ago )
Qualifying begins Monday for Nov. city elections across Georgia
The dust has hardly settled from last year's elections but Georgia is fast approaching another election day.
11:00AM ( 1 day ago )
Boldin abruptly retires 2 weeks after signing with Bills
Anquan Boldin has abruptly announced his retirement just under two weeks after signing with the Buffalo Bills
11:12PM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Senator tweets prayers for USS John S. McCain
U.S. Sen. John McCain says he is praying for the sailors aboard the USS John S. McCain after the warship collided with a tanker in Southeast Asian waters
11:07PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Bell powers Pirates past Cards 6-3 in Little League Classic
Josh Bell homered and drove in four runs to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 in the Little League Classic
10:33PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Notre Dame holds Mass for world's attack victims
Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has held a Mass dedicated to the victims of the suspected Islamic extremist attacks around Barcelona
9:03PM ( 2 hours ago )
Spanish town struggles to reconcile locals as extremist cell
Spanish town where alleged members of extremist cell accused of attacks grew up struggles to reconcile the violence with the boys and brothers it knew
8:04PM ( 3 hours ago )
Rescuers expand search for Army helicopter crew in Hawaii
The Coast Guard has expanded its search for five crew members of a downed Army Black Hawk helicopter that crashed into the ocean off the coast of Hawaii more than four days ago
7:19PM ( 4 hours ago )
AP National News
Spain: Police think extremists planned massive bomb attack
Police in Spain think a 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged dual vehicle attacks was plotting a much deadlier attack using explosives favored by the Islamic State group
2:34PM ( 8 hours ago )
Iraq launches operation to take back IS-held town near Mosul
U.S.-backed Iraqi forces have launched a multi-pronged assault to retake the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, marking the next phase in the country's war on the Islamic State group
1:54PM ( 9 hours ago )
Attack victims came from around world to celebrate Barcelona
The victims of the vehicle attacks in Barcelona and a nearby resort town came from around the world and across generations
1:52PM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online National News
French designer in costly dispute over Pitt-Jolie chateau
A French lighting designer has won a $600,000 court ruling in a dispute with Brad Pitt over a grandiose re-design of his and Angelina Jolie's chateau in Provence
9:19AM ( 14 hours ago )
100 gas tanks: Extremists in Spain planned massive attack
Police put up scores of roadblocks across northeast Spain on Sunday in hopes of capturing the fugitive suspect from a 12-member Islamic extremist cell that staged dual vehicle attacks and plotted much deadlier carnage
9:11AM ( 14 hours ago )
The Latest: No ID yet for bodies at attack cell hub in Spain
Spanish authorities say they have been unable to identify the remains in at a house that exploded in Alcanar, complicating the manhunt for the Barcelona attackers because they are not confident about who is on the run
8:07AM ( 15 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Trump to address nation Monday on Afghanistan
Trump to reveal plan for war in Afghanistan in national address Monday night
7:53PM ( 3 hours ago )
Kasich urges Trump to end staff chaos and 'settle it down'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich says President Donald Trump needs to stop the staff chaos at the White House and "settle it down"
3:56PM ( 7 hours ago )
US military leaders await Trump decision on Afghan mission
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan signals the U.S. military expects its mission to continue
3:55PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Trump dumps Bannon, who returns to conservative website
Trump pushes out strategist Steve Bannon, who returns to Breitbart News with goal of 'going to war' with Trump opponents
4:03PM ( 1 day ago )
Trump remarks could sidetrack Democrats from other issues
Responding to Trump's remarks about white supremacist violence could sidetrack Democrats from issues important to a wider range of voters in 2018 midterm elections
11:10AM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Steve Bannon returns to Breitbart News site
Breitbart News says Steve Bannon has returned to the website after leaving his position as President Donald Trump's chief strategist
12:05AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn't happen this week
12:35PM ( 2 days ago )
Republican leaders dance around Trump remarks
Republican leaders tiptoe around President Donald Trump's extraordinary remarks on white supremacists as the GOP grapples with an escalating political crisis
3:37AM ( 3 days ago )
Ousted chief justice makes runoff in Alabama Senate race
Ousted Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is trying to play usurper to deep-pocketed Republican forces after making a runoff with incumbent Sen. Luther Strange in the state's Senate primary
8:36PM ( 4 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
Kenseth puts on brave face as he's being shown the door
Erik Jones and Matt Kenseth had to race each other hard at Bristol in a battle that had awkward undertones
4:43PM ( 6 hours ago )
America still in turmoil a year after Kaepernick's protest
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's national anthem protest is still causing debate in and around the NFL a year later as the embattled quarterback looks for a chance to play again
12:08PM ( 11 hours ago )
'The Hitman's Bodyguard' outdoes 'Logan Lucky' at box office
The Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds action comedy "The Hitman's Bodyguard" has taken the top spot at the box office this weekend with an estimated $21.6 million in grosses from 3,337 theaters according to studio estimates Sunday
11:47AM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Business
Child flown for care after incident on Lake Burton
Preliminary details are emerging about a medical emergency involving a child on Lake Burton Sunday afternoon.
9:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
Trump will address path forward on Afghanistan
White House announces that President Donald Trump would address the nation's troops and the American people Monday night to update the path forward in Afghanistan and South Asia
4:35PM ( 6 hours ago )
Gainesville native now living in Barcelona says Thursday attack was 'shocking'
A Gainesville woman and her family, now living in Barcelona, Spain, are safe after this past Thursday's deadly terrorist attack in a popular market in the city.
2:00PM ( 9 hours ago )
Changes may be coming to make historic Settles Bridge safer
Changes proposed after two drownings this summer
By Associated Press
12:43PM ( 10 hours ago )
Forsyth County parks now equipped with lightning-sensing alert system
All of the parks in Forsyth County are now equipped with a weather-sensing device that will help predict lightning during inclement weather.
11:04AM ( 12 hours ago )