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Thursday December 2nd

3 takeaways from Trump’s first solo news conference

<p>U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 16, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Photo Courtesy of&nbsp;Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS.</p>
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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a press conference in the East Room of the White House on Feb. 16, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Photo Courtesy of Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS.

Acosta nominated for Secretary of Labor

In his first solo news conference since taking office, President Donald Trump addressed reporters Thursday in the White House.

Trump announced R. Alexander Acosta would be nominated for U.S. Secretary of Labor. Acosta, currently the dean of the Florida International University Law School and a graduate of Harvard University Law School, has served in three other senate-confirmed positions.

“He has a law degree from Harvard Law School, was a great student. Former clerk for Justice Samuel Alito. And he has had a tremendous career,” Trump said.

Acosta, who was a first-generation university graduate and lawyer, was nominated after Andrew Puzder withdrew his name from the position Wednesday.

FIU President Mark Rosenberg also highlighted Acosta’s background as being a point of pride.

“Alex Acosta is a thoughtful, conscientious American who is dedicated to excellence, integrity and public service,” he said in a statement. “We are proud that he is the first Hispanic nominated to serve in President Trump’s cabinet.”

Allegations of contact with Russia

Trump distanced himself from allegations that he and his campaign had interaction with Russian government or Russian intelligence during the campaigning process.

“Well, the failing New York Times wrote a big, long front-page story yesterday. And it was very much discredited, as you know,” he said in the news conference. “It was — it’s a joke.”

Trump confirmed he fired Mike Flynn, who served as his national security adviser.

But the problem Trump identified was not information about potential interaction with Russians. Rather, he said he took issue that classified information was accessed by the press.

“And you can talk all you want about Russia which, was all a fake news, fabricated deal to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats, and the press plays right into it,” Trump said. “In fact, I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this — they know nothing about it.”

Trump said the White House will continue to investigate the source of the government leak.

Executive orders and immigration

“The court system has not made it easy for us,” Trump said in response to a question about his executive order restricting immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations.

He assured that the White House has taken actions to deter Islamic radicalism and terrorism from entering the country.

After provisions of his executive order were blocked by a federal judge in January, Trump said his administration will continue to defend what he sees as a lawful order.

“Though parts of our necessary and constitutional actions were blocked by a judge’s, in my opinion, incorrect and unsafe ruling, our administration is working night and day to keep you safe,” he said.

Sometime within the next week, Trump said to expect new executive action to protect the country.

“… So we’ll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that,” Trump said. “At the same time we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people.” 

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