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Trump on dismantling Obama’s legacy: ‘No, no, no’

December 19, 2016


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President-elect Donald Trump says he isn’t set on dismantling President Barack Obama’s legacy — but wants to streamline federal agencies’ interactions with businesses.

Asked on “Fox News Sunday” by host Chris Wallace if he is going to “take a wrecking ball to the Obama legacy,” Trump quickly answered,

“No, no, no.”

“I don’t want to do that at all,” he said. “I just want what’s right.”

Trump’s comments come after he appointed heads of several agencies — including Health and Human Services, Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency — that have been strident critics of the Obama administration’s policies.

Democrats are incensed that Trump chose former Rep. Tom Price, a vocal critic of Obama’s health care law, to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has sued to stop EPA power plant regulations, as that agency’s administrator.

Trump said his appointments aren’t about dismantling Obama’s legacy — but are intended to streamline businesses’ interactions with government, and particularly the EPA.

“EPA, you can’t get things approved. I mean, people are waiting in line for 15 years before they get rejected, OK? That’s why people don’t want to invest in this country,” Trump said.

“I mean, we have jobs that are in the pipeline and I deal with all the executives, the big ones and the small ones. I have really gotten to know this country and when you have to wait 10 and 15 years for an approval and then you don’t even get the approval, it’s no good,” he said.

“So we’re going to clean it up. We’re going to speed it up and, by the way, if somebody is not doing the right thing we’re not going to approve.”

Wallace pressed Trump on whether his meetings with climate science activists Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio had led him to change his mind. Prior to the 2016 race and on the campaign trail, Trump was a climate science denier, asserting at times that the reality that human activity is contributing to global warming is a hoax by the Chinese intended to boost the country’s business interests.

Trump said those were “good meetings.”

Asked about his position on climate change, Trump said he’s “very open-minded. I’m still open-minded. Nobody really knows.”

“It’s not something that’s so hard and fast,” Trump said. “I do know this: Other countries are eating our lunch.”

In the interview, Trump didn’t just assail some Obama policies.

He made clear he opposes the Republican Party’s long-held belief in free markets — and particularly trade deals that have allowed companies to outsource their production of goods.

He complained that companies now sell products made overseas “right through our border like we’re a bunch of jerks.”

“That’s the dumb market, OK?” Trump said. “That’s the dumb market. I’m a big free trader, but it has to be fair.”

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