President-elect Donald Trump tells New York Times his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “would be very good” as Mideast envoy because “he knows the region” • Trump denounces white nationalist conference where attendees gave Nazi salute: “I disavow the group.”
A meeting on Tuesday between U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and senior journalists from The New York Times provided quite a few headlines. In Jerusalem, however, officials were more interested in a specific one: I would love to make peace with Israel and the Palestinians, and my son-in-law will help me.
When asked by senior columnist Thomas Friedman what he thinks the role of the U.S. should be in the world, Trump said, “I would love to be able to be the one that made peace with Israel and the Palestinians. That would be such a great achievement.” He added that his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “would be very good” in advancing the matter because “he knows the region.”
Trump also said he had no intention of pushing for an investigation against his campaign rival, Hillary Clinton. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”
The president-elect defended his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, saying, “If I thought he was a racist or alt-right, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”
He strongly denounced an “alt-right” white nationalist conference last weekend in Washington, where attendees gave the Nazi salute and made anti-Semitic remarks. “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group,” Trump said. “And if they are energized I want to look into it and find out why.”
On Monday, meanwhile, during an off-the-record meeting at Trump Tower in New York, Trump admonished senior members of other various media outlets.
“It was like a f−−−ing firing squad,” one source told the New York Post of the meeting between Trump and around 25 network executives and new anchors.
“Trump started with [CNN chief] Jeff Zucker and said, ‘I hate your network, everyone at CNN is a liar and you should be ashamed,'” the source told the New York Post.
“The meeting was a total disaster. The TV execs and anchors went in there thinking they would be discussing the access they would get to the Trump administration, but instead they got a Trump-style dressing-down,” the source added.
Another source told the New York Post: “Trump kept saying, ‘We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful, dishonest media who got it all wrong.'”
With that, one source, speaking to U.S. news site Politico, characterized the meeting as less intense. The source said the discussion included Trump expressing the possibility of a “reset” of his relationship with the media and that all he wants is “fairness” in the coverage he receives.