(CNN) — President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday held his first news conference since winning the election, and CNN’s Reality Check Team vetted his statements.
The team of reporters, researchers and editors across CNN listened throughout the event and analyzed key statements, rating them true, misleading or false.
Claim: Sean Spicer says Trump does not know Carter Page
By Kate Grise, CNN
Trump and his aides are denying new reports of the President-elect’s possible ties to Russia. Carter Page is a former Trump adviser whose reportedly close ties to Russia have been called into question during the campaign. The FBI looked into allegations that, while in Russia last year, Page had meetings related to individuals under US sanctions.
“Carter Page is an individual whom the President-elect does not know and was put on notice months ago by the campaign,” Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, said Wednesday.
Trump, however, does at least know Page’s name.
In an interview with The Washington Post editorial board in March, Trump named “Carter Page, Ph.D.,” as one of the people he was considering for his foreign policy team.
On March 21, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks confirmed those people, including Page, to CNN.
Page founded an investment company, Global Energy Capital, and has worked as an investment banker in London and Moscow.
Page has denied the allegations that he met with sanctioned Russian officials, telling The Washington Post, “All of these accusations are just complete garbage.”
He told The New York Times in March he had been sending policy memos to the campaign.
In a September appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, said Page was no longer involved in the campaign and “not authorized” to speak with Russian officials on behalf of the Trump campaign.
It’s unclear whether Trump knows Page personally, but it’s evident Page was involved in the campaign as an early adviser. We rate Spicer’s claim that Trump does not know Page misleading and his claim that Page was “put on notice” as true.
Claim: Trump says US most vulnerable to cyberattack
By Jen Christensen, CNN
Trump said the US government “is the worst” when it comes to the nation’s vulnerability in being hacked.
“If you look at the retail industry, if you look at the banking industry, various industries, out of 17 industries — they put this in a category of an industry — the United States is last in terms of protecting, let’s say hacking defense,” he said.
That claim is true, according to a 2016 US government cybersecurity report from SecurityScorecard.
On a list that included 17 private industries, including retail and health care, the startup put the US government at the very bottom. The government is vulnerable to hacking, the report suggests, as it struggles with overall network security issues, software patching problems and malware infections. The problem, in part, stems from the large size of federal agencies; however, the report says, the upside is that those agencies may have larger budgets and larger security teams to deal with a hack attack.
Hacking has been a problem for the US government before. In July 2015, thieves stole data from Office of Personnel Management computer systems that included Social Security numbers of over 21.5 million people.
President Barack Obama addressed the issue at a news conference last month.
“Our economy is more digitized, it’s more vulnerable, partly because we’re a wealthier nation and we’re more wired than other nations,” Obama said.
Conflicts of interest
Claim: Trump: ‘no conflict of interest’ for president
By Eve Bower, CNN
Repeating a claim he has made several times in recent weeks, Trump appeared certain when he said, “I have a no-conflict-of-interest provision as president.”
Specifically, he added, “I could actually run my business and run government at the same time.”
The reality is much less clear-cut. Though there are a number of laws designed to prevent conflicts of interest for other public servants — and do not apply to the President — there are other constitutional and federal statutory provisions that may indeed be interpreted to restrict the business dealings of the President.
Nine such provisions were recently outlined in a memo from the Congressional Research Service. The provisions include both restrictions on gifts and other benefits the president may receive and financial disclosure requirements.
One key question concerns a part of the Constitution known as the Emoluments Clause, which prohibits the president from receiving gifts from foreign governments. Because courts have not interpreted this provision in detail, it is unclear whether the various interests of the Trump Organization could become a conflict for the President-elect.
Because the truth is far more nuanced and uncertain than Trump portrays it to be, we rate this claim misleading.