Exclusive WSJ Trump Interview
by Stephen Lendman
In his first interview as president-elect, Trump softened his opposition to Obamacare, suggesting he’ll amend, not repeal it.
In a separate interview to air Sunday on CBS’ 60 Minutes, he stepped back from his pledge to repeal and replace the law, repeating what he told the Journal - indicating a willingness to preserve at least two provisions:
- assuring coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, one of the law’s “strongest assets,” he said, and
- and letting young adults remain covered by their parents’ insurance until age 26.
“I like those (provisions) very much,” Trump said. According to the Journal, “(o)ther urgent priorities (include) deregulating financial institutions to allow ‘banks to lend again,” along with border security to keep out undocumented immigrants and illicit drugs, both objectives unlikely to succeed.
Industry profits hugely from unregulated cheap labor. Wall Street banks and the CIA benefit from drugs trafficking. Expect little or nothing interfering with what’s now ongoing
Trump’s jobs creation program involves greater infrastructure spending and “improved international trade deals,” possibly imposing tariffs to incentivize industry to produce in America, not abroad in low-wage countries.
Mindful of anti-Trump street protests, he said “I want a country that loves each other. I want to stress that.” The best way is by “bring(ing) in jobs.”
He intends shifting from confrontational campaign rhetoric to a more positive tone. “It’s different now,” he said.
His campaign pledge to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary, if elected, appears discarded. “It’s not something I’ve given a lot of thought, because I want to solve healthcare, jobs, border control (and) tax reform,” he explained.
He got a “beautiful” letter from Vladimir Putin, he said, adding both leaders will speak by phone shortly.
Pre-and-post-election, I stressed Trump will continue dirty business as usual - how America’s political system always works, serving special interests, not the needs, concerns and welfare of everyone equitably.
Yet Trump has his own ideas about foreign entanglements, including wanting better relations with Russia and stepping back from the Middle East mess Obama and Bush made.
He wants ISIS defeated, not Assad ousted in Syria, saying “(m)y attitude was you’re fighting Syria. Syria is fighting ISIS, and you have to get rid of ISIS.”
“Russia is now totally aligned with Syria, and now you have Iran, which is becoming powerful, because of us, is aligned with Syria…”
“Now we’re backing rebels against Syria, and we have no idea who these people are (sic).” Attacking Assad means “we end up fighting Russia, fighting Syria” - the most encouraging comments he made.
Hopefully his foreign policy intends prioritizing greater diplomacy, less confrontation, taking a major step back from possible devastating nuclear war on Russia - the greatest threat of a Hillary administration had she triumphed last Tuesday.
Overall, political rhetoric is best ignored. Judge Trump solely on how he governs once sworn in as president on January 20 - including who’s chosen for cabinet posts and other key ones.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.