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President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday visited the offices of New York Times for a meeting with newspapers’ staff. Initially, Trump called off the meeting citing a change in “terms and conditions” just hours before he was expected to arrive at their Manhattan office, but it went ahead as per schedule. Reports suggested that Trump’s Chief of Staff, Reince Priebus may have played a role in cancelling the meeting. Priebus reportedly told Trump that NYT changed the rules of the meeting in the last minute. An NYT spokesperson, however, denied any knowledge of changing the terms. Preibus allegedly was against the idea of Trump meeting editors and reporters at NYT. He wanted the meeting to be off the record so as to avoid any potential embarrassment for the president-elect. Trump spent at least 75 minutes taking questions from the staff. He spoke about climate change, Hillary Clinton, Steve Bannon, Alt-Right and Barack Obama.
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Here are his top quotes from the meeting:
# Trump on GOP leaders McConnell Press and Speaker Paul Ryan: “Right now they’re in love with me. Four weeks ago, they weren’t in love with me”
# Trump on The New York Times: “I do read it. Unfortunately. I’d live about 20 years longer if I didn’t.”
# Trump on Steve Bannon: “If I thought he was a racist or alt-right or any of the things, the terms we could use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”
# Trump on conflict of interest: “In theory I could run my business perfectly and then run the country perfectly. There’s never been a case like this.”
# Trump on Alt-Right: “I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group. It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”
# Trump on Hillary Clinton: “I think it would be very very divisive for the country.”
# Trump on Climate Change: “I think there is some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much.
# Trump on Obama: “I didn’t know if I’d like him. I probably thought that maybe I wouldn’t, but I did. I really enjoyed him a lot.”
# Trump on US role in the world: “I don’t think we should be a nation-builder.”