By Jasper Craven, VTDigger.org
In his first news conference in more than a month, Republican Gov.-elect Phil Scott shared updates Monday, Dec. 12, on his budgeting and hiring process, tiptoed around any talk of the recent controversial pronouncements and political appointments by Donald Trump, and outlined details about selling his ownership in a construction company.
In comments about the president-elect, Scott — who did not support Trump’s candidacy — promised to protect Vermonters against any federal policies pushed by Trump that would hurt the Green Mountain State.
“I think we have to deal with reality. This is going to be our president, at least for this term,” Scott said. “So we have to look for ways to work together. We rely heavily on federal funding, so we have to make sure there is a rapport there — that we can work with this new administration.”
Scott did take issue with some of Trump’s recent rhetoric, including a Monday tweet where the president-elect proclaimed, “The F-35 program and cost is out of control.” The Vermont Air National Guard is expected to receive 18 F-35s to replace the current fleet of 18 F-16s in South Burlington by the fall of 2019.
“I’m a huge supporter of the F-35,” Scott said. “I think it is essential for Vermont and retaining our base here in Vermont is certainly important for our military. So, there’s an area that I would — I might, at least — disagree, as far as the deployment of the F-35s to Vermont.”