Trump Says He's "Been Proven to be Right" When Asked About Proposed Muslim Ban After Berlin Attack
The president-elect opened his day Wednesday by boasting anew about his Nov. 8 election victory on Twitter.
President-elect Donald Trump declared Wednesday that the deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Germany was "an attack on humanity and it's got to be stopped." He also suggested he might go forward with his campaign pledge to temporarily ban Muslim immigrants from coming to the United States.
"All along, I've been proven to be right, 100 percent correct," Trump said when asked if the attack in Berlin had caused him to reevaluate the proposal. "What's happening is disgraceful."
Trump proposed the Muslim ban during the Republican primary campaign, prompting criticism from both parties. He shifted his rhetoric during the general election to focus on temporarily halting immigration from an unspecified list of countries with ties to terrorism, though he did not disavow the Muslim ban.
Trump addressed reporters for less than two minutes before a meeting with incoming White House national security adviser Michael Flynn. Transition officials did not respond to questions Wednesday seeking clarification about Trump's positions.
Trump's meeting with Flynn comes a day after Flynn and several other members of the incoming national security team met with Vice President-elect Mike Pence in Washington, as well as the aftermath of violence abroad as the process of filling top jobs in his administration presses on, marked by some infighting among advisers.
Aides said the meeting was planned before the acts of violence in Germany and Turkey, though they were discussed. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for Monday's attack in Berlin that left 12 people dead and 48 injured. On Wednesday, German officials launched a Europe-wide manhunt for a "violent and armed" Tunisian man suspected in the killings.
Trump was spending the final days of 2016 huddling with advisers at his palatial private estate in South Florida. He also met Wednesday with Dennis Muilenburg, CEO of Boeing, whose company has a multi-billion dollar contract to build two new Air Force One planes.
Earlier this month, Trump said the cost of the project, which he estimated to be $4 billion, was "out of control." Following his meeting with the president-elect, Muilenburg vowed to get the job done for less.
"We're committed to working together to make sure that happens," he said.
The president-elect was also finalizing his senior White House team, wrapping up a decision-making process that has been dogged by infighting among rival factions within Trump's organization. Some of Trump's original campaign aides have expressed concern to the president-elect himself that they are getting boxed out in favor of those more closely aligned with incoming chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Among the early advisers who will not be joining Trump at the White House is Corey Lewandowski, his combative first campaign manager. But the operative won't be far away — Lewandowski announced plans to start a political consulting firm with offices just a block away from the White House.
Trump opened his day Wednesday by boasting anew about his Nov. 8 election victory, tweeting that his win in the Electoral College was more difficult to pull off than winning the popular vote would have been if he had tried. Democrat Hillary Clinton won at least 2.6 million more votes than Trump, an apparent sore point for the president-elect. "I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote — but would campaign differently," he tweeted.
He also tweeted about the media, posting, "I have not heard any of the pundits or commentators discussing the fact that I spent FAR LESS MONEY on the win than Hillary on the loss!"
I would have done even better in the election, if that is possible, if the winner was based on popular vote - but would campaign differently— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2016
I have not heard any of the pundits or commentators discussing the fact that I spent FAR LESS MONEY on the win than Hillary on the loss!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2016
Dec. 21, 5:25 p.m. ET: Updated with Trump quotes and video.