President-elect Trump announces plans for his business assets

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump points towards guests during an campaign event with employees at Trump National Doral, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, in Miami. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President-elect Donald Trump (all times EST):

Noon

President-elect Donald Trump says that the Democratic National Committee was “totally open to be hacked” and argues that if Russian hackers had gotten anything on him they “would have released it.”

At Wednesday’s news conference, Trump took questions about the role he believes Russia played in the election year hacking of Democratic groups. The intelligence community says the interference was intended to help the Republican defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Trump said the Democratic National Committee could have “had hacking defense.” He praised his future chief of staff Reince Preibus, saying he ordered such a defense at the Republican National Committee.

Trump also said that “hacking is bad,” but added “look at what we learned from that hacking.”

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11:50 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says that more factories open in the industrial Midwest, highlighting his direct outreach to companies and repeating his campaign pledge to be “the greatest jobs producer that God created.”

At his first news conference since his election, Trump beamed over plans by Fiat Chrysler to add 2,000 jobs at plants in Michigan and Ohio. He also noted that Ford would not be building a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and would instead update an existing Michigan factory and add 700 jobs. Trump had called on Ford to not open a new factory in Mexico, although economic forces beyond the incoming administration’s direct control such as gasoline prices also influenced the decision.

Trump said additional factory job announcements would be coming, saying, “I hope General Motors will be following.”

The president-elect added that he wants to bring overseas pharmaceutical manufacturing jobs to the United States, although he plans to negotiate on the prices the government pays for medication.

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11:40 a.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says he’s finally settled on a candidate to lead the sprawling Veterans Affairs department.

Trump says his choice is David Shulkin, who is currently the department’s undersecretary for health.

Trump made the announcement at a news conference in New York. He says Shulkin is “fantastic” and will do a “truly great job.”

The president-elect focused on veterans’ issues during the presidential campaign. He says veterans have been mistreated under the Obama administration and promises to straighten things out.

The VA secretary post was one of two Cabinet posts Trump still has to fill. Agriculture secretary is the other one.

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11:31 a.m.

Donald Trump plans to put all his business assets in a trust and hand control of his company to his two adult sons and a longtime business executive to allay concerns about conflicts of interest.

A lawyer who worked with the Trump Organization on the plan says Trump is planning to make the change by Inauguration Day, relinquish control over the Trump Organization and isolate himself from the business.

The lawyer says the company will do no new foreign deals but can pursue domestic ones, and says that the Trump Organization will appoint an ethics adviser to its management team who must approve deals that could raise concerns about conflicts.

The lawyer spoke to reporters before Trump’s news conference, the first since his Nov. 8 election, and requested anonymity to discuss details of the plan.

–AP Business Writer Bernard Condon

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11:30 a.m.

Donald Trump says intelligence agencies will have a “tremendous blot on their record” if they leaked a report claiming top intelligence officials told him about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had about him.

Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer also calls a report, first published Tuesday by CNN, “outrageous” and “irresponsible.”

A U.S. official says top intelligence officials told Trump about an unsubstantiated report last week.

A summary of the allegations was separate from a classified assessment of Russia’s suspected attempts to meddle in the U.S. presidential election. Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the intelligence community’s findings last week.

The dossier contains unproven information about close coordination between Trump’s inner circle and Russians about hacking into Democratic accounts as well as unproven claims about unusual sexual activities by Trump among other suggestions attributed to anonymous sources. The Associated Press has not authenticated any of the claims.

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