Two weeks ago, President-elect Donald Trump promised to hold a news conference Thursday that would detail how he intends to deal with his business operations while president. There remain huge questions about him handing over control to his children and increasing concerns about conflicts of interest.
But now the news conference is off — delayed until next month, his team said.
This happens a lot. Trump, as Philip Bump noted back in August, often promises something will happen in a few weeks. Then it doesn’t. And then sometimes it never happens.
Below, we detail five things Trump has promised that we’re still waiting on.
Trump hasn’t held a news conference since July, despite criticizing Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign for avoiding her own news conferences. This fact has been noted repeatedly since his election because, as Brian Stelter reports, presidents-elect usually hold one within days of winning — an average of 3.4 days later. So, in the face of all of these questions about his business empire and other things, Trump and his top aide have been promising one for a while.
Nov. 21, Kellyanne Conway: “Soon, but he’s just got action-packed days filled with meetings.”
I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on December 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my …
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2016
I will hold a press conference in the near future to discuss the business, Cabinet picks and all other topics of interest. Busy times!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2016
Apparently Trump’s next news conference will be in the new year.
From a May 2014 interview with an Irish TV station: “If I decide to run for office, I’ll produce my tax returns, absolutely, and I would love to do that.”
From a February 2015 interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt, on whether he would release them if he ran: “I would release tax returns, and I’d also explain to people that as a person that’s looking to make money — you know, I’m in the business of making money until I do this — and if I won, I would make money for our country.”
From January on NBC’s “Meet the Press”:
CHUCK TODD: Will you release any of your tax returns for the public to scrutinize?
TRUMP: Well, we’re working on that now. I have very big returns, as you know, and I have everything all approved and very beautiful, and we’ll be working that over in the next period of time, Chuck. Absolutely. …
TODD: But you will release it —
TRUMP: I pay, it’s a little tax. And I say it. And the reporters said, “That’s the most refreshing answer I’ve ever heard on taxes,” because everyone tries to build it up, like Mitt Romney. He built it up, tried to build it up, how much he paid. It just doesn’t work that way. But I’ll be — we’re working on it right now, and at the appropriate time, you’ll be very satisfied.
From February on “The Today Show”:
MATT LAUER: Real quickly: When are you going to release your tax returns?
TRUMP: Probably over the next few months. They’re being worked on now.
Trump would later cite the fact that he is under audit for not releasing his returns (although: legally, that wouldn’t prevent their release), and his tax attorneys say he’s been “under continuous examination” by the Internal Revenue Service since 2002. So that’s not new — and it was the case when he made the pledge in the first place. He still hasn’t released them, and given that standard, it’s not clear when he might.
From August, when questions about whether her early work as a model in the United States was done legally: “She came in totally legally, all right? … I said to her, ‘No, no. Let it simmer for a little while. Let them go wild. Let it simmer, and then let’s have a little news conference.’ … Let me tell you one thing. She has got it so documented, so she’s going to have a little news conference over the next couple of weeks. That’s good. I love it. I love it.”
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) August 9, 2016
There has been no news conference or a release of evidence backing up his claim. Melania Trump would later tweet a letter from her immigration attorney laying out her timeline, but without substantiating the claims with documentation.
And in November, just before Election Day, the Associated Press reported she was paid for 10 modeling jobs in the United States in 1996 during a time when her timeline indicated she was still on a visitor’s permit — before she was authorized to work.
In October, he said he would sue the women who accused him of unwanted sexual advances and assault: “Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
Earlier that month, his team threatened to sue the New York Times over its reporting on those allegations, and he also threatened to sue the newspaper over its report that he could have avoided paying taxes for many years:
A lawsuit is being drafted now by Trump against the NYT. Very possible it could be announced tonight, though discussions ongoing.
— Robert Costa (@costareports) October 13, 2016
About two months later, Trump has not sued his accusers or the Times.
May 2015: “All I can tell you it is a foolproof way of winning, and I’m not talking about what some people would say, but it is a foolproof way of winning the war with ISIS.”
June 2015: “The problem with politics is if I tell you right now, everyone else is going to say, ‘Wow, what a great idea.’ You’re going to have 10 candidates go and use it, and they’re going to forget where it came from, which is me. But no, I have an absolute way of defeating ISIS.”
By August, Trump delivered a speech on radial Islamist terrorism that his website bills as “Donald Trump’s Detailed Plan to Defeat ISIS.” But the speech didn’t include all that much detail concerning the Islamic State, specifically. And a month later, Trump pulled a 180, saying he would go to the military generals and have them assemble a plan in his first 30 days in office.
By late September, Conway said there was still a plan: “He certainly has a plan. I’ve heard it.”
We still don’t know what that plan is. Trump has said he doesn’t want to telegraph too much. But it’s not clear whether his “foolproof” plan is the operable one, or whether he’ll defer to the generals.