President-elect Donald Trump condemned bigotry while speaking at a victory rally.
“We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all its forms,” Trump said Thursday in Cincinnati in a rare address since defeating Hillary Clinton several weeks ago. “We denounce all of the hatred and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation. We have no choice. We have to, and it’s better.”
During his campaign, the Republican candidate came under fire first from his party rivals in the primaries and then from Clinton, his Democratic rival, for his broadsides against Muslims and Mexicans, his perceived insensitivity to blacks and the disabled, and the disparaging terms he used to describe women. He also used imagery and themes that originated among anti-Semites.
Trump responded by saying his critics were deliberately misconstruing his remarks. However, on election night, after it was clear he won the presidency, the real estate magnate and reality TV star called for an end to rancor and more unity.
The speech in Cincinnati was otherwise typical of his campaign rallies, with jabs at his critics and triumphant extemporizing.
“The bottom line is, we won!” Trump said in a speech in which he mostly mocked the incorrect predictions of his naysayers.
The president-elect reiterated pledges not to “topple regimes,” reflecting the 180-degree turn his victory represents in Republican foreign policy, which was characterized in the early 2000s by the invasions of Afghanistan and of Iraq launched by President George W. Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
Trump said he would be seeking stringent controls on immigration from the Middle East.
“We will do everything in our power to keep the scourge of terrorism out of our country,” he said. “People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East. We have no idea who they are, where they come from, what they’re thinking. And we’re going to stop that dead, cold, flat. People coming into the country have to have the potential to love us, not to hate us.”
In an unrelated statement on Friday, Trump’s transition team named Stephen Schwarzman as chairman of a group of leading businessmen who will advise him on economic policy.
Schwarzman, a billionaire who founded the Blackstone Group, an equity management firm, is a leading money manager and a contributor to Jewish and Catholic causes.
He will lead a 16-person “strategic and policy forum” that will advise Trump on “how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation, and productivity,” a release Friday from Trump’s transition team said.
Schwarzman is known to joke about his interfaith marriage with Christine Hearst, a Roman Catholic. He has fundraised for the Archdiocese of New York, as well as for the American Jewish Committee and an array of charities.
He is one of at least six members of the 16-member board who are Jewish or who have Jewish ties. Others include Daniel Yergin, an authority on the role energy plays in international affairs; Mark Weinberger, the chairman of Ernst and Young, the tax accounting giant, who was honored with the 2012 Anti-Defamation League Achievement Award; Larry Fink, who helms BlackRock, an investment management firm; Robert Iger, the Disney CEO; and Kevin Warsh, a former governor of the Federal Reserve who is married to Jane Lauder, an heiress to the Lauder cosmetics fortune.