Saturday 3 December 2016

Donald Trump 'will not pursue probe into Hillary Clinton emails'

Published 22/11/2016 | 05:51

President-elect Donald Trump said the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a potential disaster for the US (AP)
President-elect Donald Trump said the Trans-Pacific Partnership was a potential disaster for the US (AP)

Donald Trump does not want to pursue further investigations into Hillary Clinton's email practices, a senior adviser has said, in a turnaround from all the campaign rallies when he roused supporters to chants of "lock her up".

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"I think Hillary Clinton still has to face the fact that a majority of Americans don't find her to be honest or trustworthy, but if Donald Trump can help her heal then perhaps that's a good thing," Kellyanne Conway said.

The U-turn came after months of the president-elect nicknaming his Democratic rival Crooked Hillary, and raging against the Justice Department for refusing to prosecute her for blending private and official business on her own email server.

He told her face-to-face at a presidential debate that if he won the presidency, she would "be in jail".

Ms Conway's comments were striking because Justice Department investigations are historically conducted without the influence or input of the White House.

Presidents do not dictate decisions on which criminal investigations are pursued or their outcome.

The disparity between Mr Trump's taunts on the campaign trail and his approach now, Ms Conway suggested, is part of a purposeful shift away from at least the tone, if not the substance, of his past rhetoric.

"I think he's thinking of many different things as he prepares to become the president of the United States and things that sound like the campaign aren't among them," she said.

Mr Trump has appeared to waver on whether he would seek further probes into possible wrongdoing by the Clintons.

"I'm going to think about it," he said in a 60 Minutes interview, his first sit-down interview after the November 8 election.

"I feel that I want to focus on jobs, I want to focus on health care, I want to focus on the border and immigration and doing a really great immigration bill. We want to have a great immigration bill. And I want to focus on all of these other things that we've been talking about."

He said in that interview that Ms Clinton "did some bad things", but ultimately the Clintons are "good people" and "I don't want to hurt them".

Ms Conway's comments came as Mr Trump abruptly cancelled a meeting with The New York Times on Tuesday, accusing the organisation of changing the conditions for the session "at the last moment".

The newspaper denied this and said his aides tried to change the rules, but Hope Hicks, speaking for Mr Trump, said later that the meeting was back on and he would be "going to The New York Times" later.

He met representatives of the television networks privately on Monday.

The president-elect also heralded "more great meetings" in his Manhattan tower as he continues shaping his administration before heading to Florida for Thanksgiving on Tuesday.

Earlier, he confirmed he will take the US out of a key trade pact as he defended his worldwide business interests.

The US president-elect released a short video about his plans for his administration, which included the intention to quit the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"I am going to issue a notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country," Mr Trump said.

"Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back on to American shores."

Mr Trump said in the video he wa s assembling a cabinet made up of "patriots" and that his agenda "will be based on a simple core principle - putting America first".

He repeated a number of promises for the first 100 days of his administration, including vows to negotiate new trade deals, remove regulations on businesses and establish a five-year ban on executive officials becoming lobbyists.

Notably missing from his promises was his pledge to repeal the Affordable Care Act and his vow to build a southern border wall with Mexico.

The president-elect later appeared to deny using the powers of his future office to benefit his businesses worldwide.

He tweeted: " Prior to the election it was well known that I have interests in properties all over the world. Only the crooked media makes this a big deal!"

AP

Press Association

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