World Defiant Trump denies reports on Russia ties: 'a disgrace'
Russia flags war games with US ally Philippines
The Russian Navy said Tuesday it was planning to hold war games with the Philippines, as two of its ships made a rare stop in Manila following Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte's pivot from the United States. Rear Admiral Eduard Mikhailov, the deputy commander of the Russian Navy's Pacific fleet, said the joint military exercises would focus on maritime piracy and terrorism, which he described as the region's two top security concerns.
Defiant and unyielding, President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday adamantly denied reports that Russia had obtained compromising personal and financial information about him, calling it a "tremendous blot" on the record of the intelligence community if it had released such material.
The incoming president, in his first news conference since late July, firmly pushed back on the media reports and chided news organizations for publishing the material late Tuesday night. His extraordinary defense, coming just nine days before Trump's inauguration, dominated a highly anticipated press conference in which the future president also announced a new Cabinet member and his plans to disentangle himself from his sprawling global business empire.
Fan opens Trump-themed restaurant in Iraqi Kurdistan
A Donald Trump fan named his restaurant in Iraqi Kurdistan after the president-elect, according to several media reports. Nadyar Zawiti, the owner of the restaurant, named it "Trump Fish" and is featuring a logo of Trump's face.
"I think it's a disgrace that information would be let out. I saw the information, I read the information outside of that meeting," he said, a reference to a classified briefing he received from intelligence leaders. "It's all fake news, it's phony stuff, it didn't happen," Trump said. "It was gotten by opponents of ours."
Asked about his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump called it "an asset, not a liability" and an improvement over what he called America's current "horrible relationship with Russia."
"If Putin likes Donald Trump, guess what, folks, that's called an asset not a liability. I don't know if I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin — I hope I do — but there's a good chance I won't."
Trump, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer denounced the reports about Russia's influence on Trump and the incoming president said the report never should have been released. He thanked some news organizations for showing restraint.
Top US spy chiefs give hacking evidence
Intelligence chiefs who say Russia interfered in the US election are presenting evidence to Congress.The Senate Armed Services Committee is led by Republican John McCain, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
A U.S. official told The Associated Press on Tuesday night that intelligence officials had informed Trump last week about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had obtained compromising personal and financial information about him. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to publicly discuss the matter.
Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the intelligence community's findings last week, the official said.
Media outlets reported on the document late Tuesday and Trump denounced it on Twitter before his news conference as "fake news," suggesting he was being persecuted for defeating other GOP presidential hopefuls and Democrat Hillary Clinton in the election.
The dossier contains unproven information about close coordination between Trump's inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump among other suggestions attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.
Rooster inspires new year resolutions in Singapore bird park
A rooster at Singapore's Jurong Bird Park inspired visiting Chinese tourists to make a few resolutions on Wednesday, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday. The holiday, which ushers in the "Year of the Rooster" in the Chinese zodiac is an important festival in several Asian nations, where Chinese traditions hold sway.The bird park's two-year-old rooster was fed extra helpings of mealworms as visitors looked on."This rooster brings me back to nature," said Chinese tourist Wang Jian. "I hope that our lives will also be able to slow down a bit, to return to a more natural pace."The holiday begins on Jan.
Pence said the decision by some media to publish the reports could "only be attributed to media bias" and an attempt to "demean" Trump.
Only days from his inauguration as the nation's 45th president, Trump announced that he would nominate David Shulkin to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, elevating him from his current role as VA undersecretary.
Trump also announced his plans for the future of the Trump Organization, bringing to the podium attorney Sheri Dillon of Morgan Lewis, who worked with the Trump Organization on the arrangement.
Dillon said the Trump Organization would continue to pursue deals in the U.S., though Trump will relinquish control of the company to his sons and an executive, put his business assets in a trust and take other steps to isolate himself from his business. She said Trump "should not be expected to destroy the company he built."
The move appears to contradict a previous pledge by the president-elect. In a tweet last month, Trump vowed to do "no new deals" while in office.
The lawyer who advised Trump also said that the Trump Organization will appoint an ethics adviser to its management team who must approve deals that could raise concerns about conflicts.
Donald Trump Inauguration Prompts Celebration In Russia .
The Kremlin may have spent years reviling America, but Russians hoping Donald Trump will usher in a new era of detente marked his inauguration on Friday with parties and trinkets from commemorative coins to “matryoshka” nesting dolls in his image.Washington was turned into a virtual fortress with an estimated 900,000 people ― backers and protesters ― descending on the capital. In London, anti-Trump activists draped a banner reading “Build Bridges Not Walls” from Tower Bridge. Protests were planned across western Europe on Friday and Saturday.
Defiant Trump denies reports on Russia ties: ‘a disgrace’
President-elect Donald Trump adamantly denied reports that Russia had obtained compromising personal and financial information about him. (Jan. 11, 2017)
Watch the Second Presidential Debate (Full Debate - 10/09/16)
Bloomberg Politics was on the ground at the second presidential debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. Like this video?
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