Trump hires es­tab­lish­ment fig­ure, fire­brand

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump has vowed to move ag­gres­sively on a con­ser­va­tive agenda in fill­ing Supreme Court va­can­cies, crack­ing down on im­mi­gra­tion and cut­ting taxes, but also sought to re­as­sure wor­ried Amer­i­cans they have noth­ing to fear from his pres­i­dency. Set­ting aside the stri­dent tone of his cam­paign, the 70year-old as­sumed a gen­tler man­ner in his first tele­vi­sion in­ter­view since his shock elec­tion, say­ing he was “sad­dened” by re­ports of ha­rass­ment of Mus­lims and His­pan­ics, and telling the per­pe­tra­tors: “Stop It.”

The in­ter­view with CBS’s “60 Min­utes,” which was taped Fri­day and aired in full Sun­day, of­fered Trump an op­por­tu­nity to rein­tro­duce him­self af­ter an ugly, name­call­ing cam­paign and sur­prise vic­tory that sparked protests in cities across the United States. “I just don’t think they know me,” the bil­lion­aire real es­tate mogul said at one point, of the thou­sands of pro­test­ers who have massed in streets be­low his Trump Tower head­quar­ters. Told that many Amer­i­cans are scared of his pres­i­dency, Trump said: “Don’t be afraid. We are go­ing to bring our coun­try back.”

Mil­lions were ex­pected to tune in to Trump’s in­ter­view for clues on how the bil­lion­aire will gov­ern, and to what de­gree he in­tends to con­vert his slo­gans into pol­icy. Trump ear­lier Sun­day named anti-es­tab­lish­ment fire­brand Steve Ban­non his top strate­gist and se­nior Repub­li­can Reince Priebus his White House chief of staff, blend­ing prag­ma­tism with a rab­ble-rous­ing edge in the first ap­point­ments of his new ad­min­is­tra­tion. On the is­sues, how­ever, Trump made it clear he in­tends to ag­gres­sively push a right-wing agenda, pledg­ing to name jus­tices to the Supreme Court who are against abor­tion and for gun rights.

“The judges will be pro-life,” Trump told CBS. “In terms of the whole gun sit­u­a­tion,” he added, “they’re go­ing to be very proSe­cond Amend­ment.” He will have an im­me­di­ate op­por­tu­nity to fill a va­cancy on the court left by the death of arch con­ser­va­tive jus­tice An­tonin Scalia. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s at­tempt to fill the seat was blocked by the Repub­li­can-con­trolled Se­nate. On im­mi­gra­tion, Trump reaf­firmed his sig­na­ture cam­paign pledge to build a wall on the bor­der with Mex­ico, although he con­ceded parts of it may be just a fence.

And he said as many as three mil­lion un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grants with crim­i­nal records would be de­ported or in­car­cer­ated. “What we are go­ing to do is get the peo­ple that are crim­i­nal and have crim­i­nal records, gang mem­bers, drug deal­ers,” he said. “We have a lot of these peo­ple, prob­a­bly two mil­lion, it could be even three mil­lion, we are get­ting them out of our coun­try or we are go­ing to in­car­cer­ate,” he said.

He left the door open, how­ever, on the fate of the mil­lions of other im­mi­grants in the coun­try il­le­gally. “Af­ter the bor­der is se­cured and af­ter ev­ery­thing gets nor­mal­ized, we’re go­ing to make a de­ter­mi­na­tion on the peo­ple that you’re talk­ing about who are ter­rific peo­ple,” he said. Im­mi­gra­tion, he said, was one of three top leg­isla­tive pri­or­i­ties he has dis­cussed with House Speaker Paul Ryan, the oth­ers be­ing ac­tion to undo Obama’s sig­na­ture health care re­form and a bill to cut taxes and sim­plify the tax code.

Trump had pre­vi­ously in­di­cated he would keep some as­pects of Oba­macare, in­clud­ing a ban on in­sur­ance com­pa­nies deny­ing cov­er­age for pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions. He also sig­naled that he would not seek to over­turn the le­gal­iza­tion of same­sex mar­riage in the United States. “It’s law. It was set­tled in the Supreme Court. I mean it’s done,” Trump said when asked if he sup­ports mar­riage equal­ity. “And I’m-I’m fine with that,” he added. He also con­firmed he would forgo the $400,000 salary that comes with the of­fice of US pres­i­dent.

“I’m not go­ing to take the salary. I’m not tak­ing it,” he said. “I think I have to by law take $1, so I’ll take $1 a year,” he added. In a call to Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping, Trump told the leader he be­lieves they will have “one of the strong­est re­la­tion­ships for both coun­tries mov­ing for­ward,” ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased by the pres­i­dent-elect’s team yes­ter­day. Trump-who fre­quently sav­aged China on the cam­paign trail and threat­ened to im­pose a 45-per­cent tar­iff on Chi­nese-made goods-agreed to meet “at an early date” to dis­cuss the re­la­tion­ship, Chi­nese state broad­caster CCTV said.

While Trump has veered on some pledges, his choice of Ban­non as top strate­gist sug­gests he in­tends to pre­serve his pop­ulist edge. Ban­non, who was cam­paign chair­man in the fi­nal months of the Trump cam­paign, is CEO of the right-wing, con­spir­acy-mon­ger­ing Bre­it­bart News web­site known for with­er­ing at­tacks on the Repub­li­can elite. It has railed against ev­ery­thing from Mus­lim im­mi­grants to women, once telling fe­males fac­ing on­line ha­rass­ment to go away and stop “screw­ing up the in­ter­net for men.” Priebus, mean­while, is a sea­soned po­lit­i­cal op­er­a­tive and head of the Repub­li­can Na­tional Com­mit­tee, with close ties to Ryan, the House speaker. —AFP

WASH­ING­TON: This com­bi­na­tion of pictures shows Repub­li­can Na­tional Con­ven­tion Chair­man Reince Priebus (left) and Don­ald Trump’s cam­paign Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Stephen K Ban­non. Pres­i­dent elect Don­ald Trump an­nounced his White House tran­si­tion team by ap­point­ing run­ning mate Mike Pence as its chair­man and nam­ing Reince Priebus and Stephen Ban­nonon as mem­bers of the ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee. —AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.