The Latest: China calls Trump remarks on NKorea ‘pandering’


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

10:45 p.m.

A state-run Chinese tabloid says Donald Trump is “pandering to ‘irresponsible’ attitudes” after the U.S. president-elect accused China of not stepping in to curtail the North Korean nuclear program.

The Global Times newspaper says Pyongyang’s nuclear program “stokes the anxieties of some Americans” who blame China rather than looking inward.

The Communist Party-controlled newspaper published its report a few hours after Trump tweeted Monday that China “won’t help with North Korea.”

China is North Korea’s principal ally and economic lifeline. While Beijing has publicly reprimanded Pyongyang after nuclear tests, critics say China hasn’t done enough to tighten economic pressure on North Korea.

Since winning the November election, Trump has repeatedly criticized China. He also spoke to the president of Taiwan, the self-governing island China considers part of its territory.

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8:55 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to nominate lawyer Robert Lighthizer as U.S. Trade Representative, according to a transition official.

Lighthizer served as deputy USTR under President Ronald Reagan. His responsibilities included industry, agriculture, investment and trade policy, according to his law firm biography.

Trump made trade a central issue in his campaign, vowing to pull out of a major Pacific Rim trade pact. He has said he prefers unilateral trade deals that he says would lead to more favorable conditions for U.S. businesses and workers.

The transition official was not authorized to publicly confirm Trump’s expected decision and insisted on anonymity.

— Julie Pace

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6:30 p.m.

Donald Trump insists North Korea won’t develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States.

Trump addressed the issue Monday evening on Twitter. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Sunday in his annual New Year’s address that preparations for launching an ICBM have “reached the final stage.” He did not explicitly say a test was imminent.

Trump tweeted: “North Korea just stated that it is in the final stages of developing a nuclear weapon capable of reaching parts of the U.S. It won’t happen!”

It was unclear if Trump meant he would stop North Korea or he was simply doubting the country’s capabilities. His aides did not immediately respond to questions seeking clarification.

Trump then berated North Korea’s most important ally, tweeting: “China has been taking out massive amounts of money & wealth from the U.S. in totally one-sided trade, but won’t help with North Korea. Nice!”

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2:10 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump is showing little sign of forgiving his critics as he prepares to move into the Oval Office.

The incoming president tweeted Monday that, “Various media outlets and pundits say that I thought I was going to lose the election. Wrong…”

He continued: “I thought and felt I would win big, easily over the fabled 270” electoral votes.

Trump’s continued focus on his unexpected Nov. 8 victory comes as he works behind closed doors to shape his new administration. He’s set to be sworn into office in just 18 days.

Trump also complained Monday about a cover photo used in a new book released by CNN. He tweeted, “Hope it does well but used worst cover photo of me!”

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1 p.m.

President-elect Donald Trump says Rahm Emanuel, Chicago’s mayor and President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff, should ask for federal assistance if he can’t bring down the city’s rising homicide tally.

The nation’s third largest city had 762 homicides in 2016 — the most in two decades and more than the largest cities, New York and Los Angeles, combined. The Chicago Police Department says the city had 1,100 more shootings last year than in 2015. The statistics have put Chicago at the center of a national dialogue about gun violence.

Trump on Monday noted the spike in shooting deaths on Twitter. He wrote, “If Mayor can’t do it he must ask for federal help!”

Emanuel’s spokesman Adam Collins responded with a carefully worded statement in which he says if the federal government really wants to help it can do things like fund summer jobs programs for at-risk youth and pass meaningful gun laws.

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8:10 a.m.

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer is defending cryptic comments by President-elect Donald Trump that he knows “things that other people don’t know” when it comes to allegations of Russian hacking.

Spicer tells Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” that Trump is getting national security briefings “on a daily basis” and “there doesn’t seem to be conclusive evidence” Russians were behind the hacking of Democratic emails during the election.

Spicer also dismissed on Monday a report released by the FBI and Homeland Security Department supporting the accusations against Russia, calling it a “how-to” manual on basic cybersecurity for Democrats.

In an interview on NBC’s “Today Show,” Spicer said President Barack Obama only punished Russia after Democrat Hillary Clinton lost the election and that the recent sanctions were politically motivated.

Trump has said he will get a briefing from U.S. intelligence officials this week.

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