WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump released a “video message” Monday to the American people outlining the core principle of his presidency — “putting America first” — and laying out executive actions he wants to take beginning on day one in office, including scrapping regulations on energy production, withdrawing from trade agreements and "investigating all abuses of visa programs."
“Whether it’s producing steel, building cars or curing disease, I want the next generation of production and innovation to happen right here, on our great homeland: America – creating wealth and jobs for American workers,” Trump says in the video, his first address since his acceptance speech on election night.
By posting the video on YouTube rather than making a personal appearance, he avoided follow-up questions, and his aides could manage how he was portrayed, rather than relying on independent media to capture the footage they wanted shown.
The president-elect has been holed up in Trump Tower and his golf club in New Jersey in recent days, meeting with a parade of potential advisers and cabinet members.
“Our transition team is working very smoothly, efficiently and effectively,” Trump said in the video. “Truly great and talented men and women, patriots indeed are being brought in and many will soon be a part of our government, helping us to make America great again.”
He said he wanted to provide an update on the White House transition and policy plans for the first 100 days of his administration.
Trump said he plans to issue formal notification that the United States will withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement hammered out with a dozen Pacific-rim countries which had already stalled and virtually died in Congress when Trump was elected.
Instead, Trump said he will seek to negotiate “fair” bilateral agreements. And on immigration, he said he will direct the Department of Labor to "investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker." He said he will rescind "job-killing" rules on clean coal and natural-gas production, "creating millions of high-paying jobs."
"That's what we want, that's what we've been waiting for," Trump said.
He said he will direct the Department of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to come up with plans to protect American infrastructure from cyber- and other attacks. Trump also wants to impose a rule that requires federal agencies to eliminate two regulations for each new one imposed.
"These are just a few of the steps we will take to reform Washington and rebuild our middle class," he said. "I will provide more updates in the coming days, as we work together to make America great again for everyone, and I mean everyone."
Trump has not had a news conference since his election and has made cabinet picks public through press releases.
"The man works 18 hours a day interviewing people taking calls from all around the world," Trump campaign manager and senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said. "He will take have a press conference in due course. And he will make his announcements for his cabinet."