Trump celebrates Wisconsin recount, makes peace with Paul Ryan
Washington, Dec 14 (IANS) US President-elect has celebrated the result of the recount in Wisconsin state, which widened his lead over his Democrat presidential rival Hillary Clinton, and made peace with House of Representatives Chairman Paul Ryan with whom he had clashed during the presidential campaign.
Paul Ryan “is like a fine wine. Every day goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more now”, EFE news quoted Trump as saying during a Thank You rally in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
However, relations between Trump and Ryan softened only after the New York business tycoon won the White House election on November 8, as both had exchanged multiple reproaches and criticism during the campaign.
Ryan was one of the main opponents of Trump and tried to prevent his election during the primaries and although both sealed a delicate truce, the Congressman broke it after repeated scandals implicating Trump were exposed during the polls.
Besides making peace with one of his most vocal enemies, Trump also took advantage of his visit to Wisconsin to celebrate the results of the recount in that state.
The Electoral Commission said Trump won 1,405,284 votes (844 more than the initial count) while Clinton won 1,382,536 (713 more than the first count), taking the difference between the two to 22,748 votes in favour of the Republican with 131 additional votes.
“After all of this money was spent — by the Democrats, believe me, they were behind it — OK? And the Green Party. Wonderful party (…) All that money. All that time. All that effort, we got 131 votes than we had before,” said Trump in a taunt to the Opposition.
Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were three of the states in which Trump won against all odds and the Green Party pushed for recounts due to reports that voting machines in some counties may have suffered a computer attack.
“I will never forget you, and I will never ever stop fighting for you,” Trump told the audience.
Trump on Tuesday also spoke about his decision to appoint Exxon Mobil head Rex Tillerson as the next Secretary of State.
The nomination of Tillerson, 64, head of the largest oil company in the country, first needs to be ratified by the Senate, a process that is expected to be complicated owing to Tillerson’s international ties especially with Russia.
Several Republican senators have expressed reservations about Tillerson’s years of work in Russia and the Middle East on behalf of the multinational, although some softened their stance once the announcement was made official.
All this comes amid growing pressure from legislators and members of the Electoral College to explain Russian interference in the elections, denounced by the Central Intelligence Agency.
Like others in the new Trump team, the ExxonMobil CEO lacks experience in government jobs, but is expected to apply his experience in the business world (having worked extensively around the world to extend the interests of the oil company) to the field of diplomacy.
Trump will continue with his thank you tour in Pennsylvania on Thursday with stops in Florida and Alabama on Friday and Saturday.