In his first solo press conference from the White House as President, Donald Trump mocked some journalists' questions and offered often snarky responses as he was peppered with queries about Russia—though he also did address the issue, mostly outlining how the stories were all wrong and he had no deals or connections with the country.
The press conference began with Trump telling the press corps they were dishonest, part of an almost half-hour opening statement that was a defense of his first weeks and an attack on the press who have been covering them.
He called the Russia story "fake news put out by the media" [actually, he upped the ante, calling it "very fake news"] and said the New York Times story about Russian contacts with his campaign was a joke. He even attacked the Wall Street Journal, saying it was “almost as disgraceful as the failing New York Times.”
He said he has never seen more dishonest media than the political reporters and asked why they never call him for their stories.
He said that "much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular, speaks not for the people but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system."
Trump said the press has become "so dishonest that if we don't talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. The dishonesty is out of control."
He did say some of the media is "fantastic," but much of it is "distortion" and suggested that he would take his message direct to the people. He has already been doing that via his numerous tweeted responses to stories and attacks on the press.
Trump said he inherited a mess, at home and abroad, suggesting he was just trying to fix it. He spoke almost entirely in superlatives, signaling things would soon be great and fantastic, including the "monumental" task of returning the government to the people.
He reminded everyone about his 306 electoral votes and said the media was attacking him because he was following through on pledges he made. "And they are not happy about it."
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