Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Outtakes From Donald Trump Meeting With New York Times

Hiroko Masuike/The New York Times

New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman live-Tweeted insights from this morning's Donald Trump / New York Times confab.

The meeting was scheduled then briefly cancelled, then reconfirmed hours later apparently due to an erroneous report from Trump advisor Reince Priebus to the Trumpster that the Times had changed the terms of the meeting. The Times confirmed no terms were changed on their part.

While part of the meeting was off the record, both sides agreed some of the exchange would be for public consumption.

Some highlights:

• Regarding the end of the campaign, Trump went into Michigan because his team learned Clinton's campaign was worried about the state.

• While he admits "We had a great victory" in the election, he did mention he's well-aware he did not win the popular vote. "I'll see every once in awhile someone says, 'Well, the popular vote.'" Says he was never a fan of the Electoral College "until now."

• Trump on alt-right supporters: "It's not a group I want to energize. And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why."

• Trump says "no" when asked if he is taking investigations off the table for Clintons but adds he doesn't want to "hurt the Clintons." He added "I think it would be very very divisive for the country."

• Regarding the concerns about his businesses and conflicts of interest: "The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest." Furthermore, "I'd assumed that you'd have to set up some type of trust or whatever and you don't."

• On Bannon:"If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn't even think about hiring him." Regarding Breitbart: "Breitbart is just a publication. The cover stories like you cover stories."

• Regarding Congress: "Paul Ryan, right now, loves me. Mitch McConnell loves me," Trump says. Then says, "I've liked Chuck Schumer for a long time."

• Trump asked about potential pushback on an infrastructure plan from GOP leaders. "Right now, they're in love with me," Trump says.

• Trump says he is "seriously considering" Mattis for DoD, says he asked Mattis about waterboarding, was surprised he didn't favor it.

• Asked about son in law Jared Kushner, Trump says he will probably not have a formal position in the White House but could "could be a player on Mideast peace.

• Trump gets asked about his commitment to first amendment, says, "I think you'll be happy."

Haberman is an excellent reporter you should definitely follow on the Twitter - @maggieNYT

For more details on the meeting, click over to the New York Times.

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