Trump leaves open possible Taiwan meet,
questions Russia hacking
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[January 02, 2017]
By Richard Cowan
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump on Saturday left open the possibility of
meeting with Taiwan's president if she visits the United States after he
is sworn in on Jan. 20 and also expressed continued skepticism over
whether Russia was responsible for computer hacks of Democratic Party
In remarks to reporters upon entering a New Year's Eve celebration at
his Mar-a-Lago estate, Trump said, "We'll see," when pressed on whether
he would meet Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president if she were to be in the
United States at any point after he becomes president. Taiwan's
president will be in transit in Houston on Jan. 7 and again will be in
transit in San Francisco on Jan. 13.
Trump, citing protocol, said he would not meet with any foreign leaders
while President Barack Obama is still in office.
Beijing bristled when Trump, shortly after his Nov. 8 victory, accepted
a congratulatory telephone call from the Taiwan leader and has warned
against steps that would upset the "one-China" policy China and the
United States have maintained for decades.
Talk of a stop-over in the United States by the Taiwan president has
further rattled Washington-Beijing relations.
On another foreign policy matter, Trump warned against being quick to
pin the blame on Russia for the hacking of U.S. emails. The Washington
Post also reported on Friday that Moscow could be behind intrusion into
a laptop owned by a Vermont electric utility.
U.S. intelligence officials have said that they are confident Russia was
behind the hacks of political figures, which could have played a role in
Trump's defeat over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
"I think it's unfair if we don't know. It could be somebody else. I also
know things that other people don't know so we cannot be sure," Trump
Asked what that information included, the Republican President-elect
said, "You will find out on Tuesday or Wednesday."
He did not elaborate.
But he said that any computer is subject to hacks.
[to top of second column]
President-elect Donald Trump talks to reporters as he and his wife
Melania Trump arrive for a New Year's Eve celebration with members
and guests at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.
December 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
"It's very important. If you have something really important write
it out and have it delivered by courier the old fashioned way,"
Trump said, adding, "No computer is safe, I don't care what they
Trump tried to end the year on a positive note, however, despite
questions about the future of U.S.-Russia relations because of
escalating tensions between Obama and Russian President Vladimir
Putin, as well as Trump's promise to crack down on China's trade
practices, which he says unfairly target American workers.
"Hopefully we're going to have great relationships with many
countries and that includes Russia and that includes China," Trump
But he criticized U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for earlier
this week offering a stark assessment of Israel's policies in the
Middle East, which he said could threaten the possibility of
establishing a Palestinian state co-existing with Israel. Trump
called Kerry's speech "very unfair."
As he wrapped up a four-minute informal chat with reporters, Trump
also was asked what his 2017 new year's resolution was.
"Make America great again," he said.
(Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Nick Zieminski and Diane
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