US & Canada

Ten questions for Donald Trump

US property tycoon Donald Trump at the local public inquiry into his planned £1 billion golf resort at the Menie Estate, Balmedie, in Boyd Orr hall at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen Image copyright PA
Image caption Donald Trump has shied away from giving formal press conferences

US President-elect Donald Trump gave his first news conference in nearly six months on Wednesday. There had been speculation over whether the event would go ahead, following the leak of a dossier containing unsubstantiated allegations that Russian security services had compromising information on Mr Trump.

But even aside from the Russia dossier, a host of controversies have arisen since the president-elect last faced reporters.

Ahead of the conference, we compiled a list of a few questions they might want to put to him after all this time.

So did they get asked and - more importantly - did he answer?

The Russia dossier

Q: Were any of your team in contact with Russian officials during the campaign?

An unsubstantiated report leaked to the press alleges that there was secret contact between the Trump campaign team and Moscow concerning compromising material on the president-elect.

Did it come up? Mr Trump failed to answer when asked directly about contact, but did say there was no truth to any part of the report earlier in the press conference.

Business interests

Q: You are about to assume the highest office in the land. Will you completely divest yourself of your business interests?

The president-elect's wide-ranging business interests are a major source of concern. The US Office of Government Ethics has said only a full divestiture from his business interests can protect Mr Trump's presidency from conflicts, but he has so far refused to meet this demand.

Did it come up? Yes - and Mr Trump confirmed he would be handing total control of his businesses to his two sons and he would have no hand at all in its running.

"Don and Eric [his sons] are going to be running the company," he told reporters. "They are going to be running it in a very professional manner. They're not going to discuss it with me."

The business will also be donating all income made by its hotels from foreign governments to the US Treasury, and said no foreign deals would be made during Mr Trump's term in office.

But significant questions remain about whether he has done enough - the Office of Government Ethics has already said he hasn't.

US intelligence

Q: Do you have confidence in the US intelligence services, and do you think they have confidence in you?

Mr Trump had lashed out at the FBI, CIA and NSA after they said that they had reached a consensus that Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic party. It was an unprecedented move for a president-elect to question the country's own intelligence services.

Did it come up? Almost. Mr Trump was asked "do you have a problem with the intelligence community", which he did not answer at the time.

Later, he said he thought their work was "vital" but he did say he thought it was "pretty sad" that documents were being leaked by the agencies.

Relations with Russia

Q: You mocked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton over their attempts at a "reset" of relations with Russia. How does your approach to improving relations differ from theirs?

Mr Trump has repeatedly praised Russian leader Vladimir Putin and said he wishes to improve US-Russia relations, but there is little indication as to how his plans differ from those of the Obama administration in 2009.

Did it come up? Mr Trump did touch on his relationship with Mr Putin, telling reporters "Russia will have a much greater respect" for the US under his administration, adding there was "no reset button".

Earlier, he said: "I don't know that I'm going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there's a good chance I won't.

"And if I don't, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Give me a break."

Other details remain unclear.

Draining the swamp

Q: How have your nominations made good on your campaign promise to "drain the swamp"?

The president-elect has faced criticism for pledging to drain the Washington "swamp" of lobbyists and corporate interests, only to appoint former Goldman Sachs staffers and the CEO of Exxon Mobil to his cabinet.

Did it come up? Not quite, but Mr Trump was dismissive when asked about appointing people with potential conflicts of interest.

"I think we have one of the great cabinets ever put together, and we've been hearing that from so many people. People are so happy."


Q: John Kelly, your nomination for homeland security, said yesterday: "I don't think it's ever appropriate to focus on something like religion." Is he contradicting your position, or have you changed your mind?

Mr Trump caused huge controversies during the campaign when he called for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States, and suggested that his administration would compile a registry of Muslims in the country. His actual intentions regarding these policies remain uncertain.

Did it come up? No.

Repealing Obamacare

Q: You told the New York Times this week that you intend to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it "very quickly or simultaneously". What's your plan?

Both Democrats and Republicans have voiced concerns over the president-elect's stated intention to repeal so-called Obamacare immediately. Mr Trump's team has not outlined a plan for what might replace the programme, which provides 20 million Americans with health cover.

Did it come up? Yes, but the details remain non-existent - Mr Trump would only reveal that the new plan would make people "very, very proud".

Nuclear weapons

Q: You suggested in a recent tweet that the US should "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear weapons programme until the world "comes to its senses". Can you explain how the US ramping up its nuclear weapons programme helps the world come to its senses?

Mr Trump has been accused of jeopardising decades of nuclear non-proliferation efforts by calling for the US to strengthen its arsenal and reportedly saying: "Let it be an arms race" with Russia. Both countries currently have about 4,000 nuclear warheads in their stockpiles.

Did it come up? No.

The Wall

Q: How do you plan to make Mexico pay for a border wall?

The Wall was the key rallying cry of the Trump campaign, and his fans delighted in his claim that Mexico would pay for it. But Mexico's president has said emphatically that it won't, and the Trump team has yet to outline a detailed plan for how to raise the funds.

Did it come up? Yes, but there are no clearer details on how it will be funded - although Mr Trump was clear it would be a wall, and not a fence as some have suggested.

It will also be a top priority, if Wednesday's press conference is anything to go by.

"I don't feel like waiting a year or a year-and-a-half. We're going to start building. Mexico in some form, and there are many different forms, will reimburse us and they will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen, whether it's a tax or whether it's a payment - probably less likely that it's a payment. But it will happen."

North Korea

Q: How would you keep North Korea's nuclear weapons programme under control?

North Korea could be one of the major foreign policy tests for Mr Trump's administration. The world's most unpredictable state claimed this week it was developing Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles which could strike the US mainland.

Did it come up? No.