press conference

Highlights of Trump’s stark-raving-mad press conference, 2-16-17

I watched Trump’s insane press conference today. According to some reporting, it came as a surprise even to his top staff. Apparently, he just wanted to get out there and vent — and also distract attention from the “what did he know and when did he know it” question — and put out some red meat for the base. Note that, on Saturday, Feb. 18, he will be holding a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida–a rally paid for by the Trump re-election campaign [he filed for re-election on Inauguration Day]–not a White House event. But I digress. It’s contagious.

I didn’t take notes as I watched the press melee. It was too painful. But here’s what I came away with–not necessarily in chronological order, and not verbatim. [You can check the accuracy of my impressions by watching the whole sorry affair on YouTube or DVR or by reading the transcript. My heart goes out to the unlucky person charged with creating the transcription as he/she tried to keep up with the digressions, zigzags, flights of fancy, lies, accusations, complaints, circular and non-linear word streams, and evasions].

Here’s what I heard — when I wasn’t yelling at the tv:

I’m doing this today because the dishonest press won’t report the truth. CNN is full of hatred. My administration is working like a well-tuned machine. I won because of the many press conferences I gave — just about every day, or whenever I gave a speech. I have no contacts, no deals, no debt in Russia. Hillary got debate questions in advance and no one reported on it. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban, but we had a bad court. The leaks are real–the news is fake. DACA is one of the toughest issues for me to deal with because I love kids–I have them–but some DACA kids are in gangs.

The inner cities are hell, worse than Afghanistan or anyplace where we are fighting. I want friendly questions. BBC — there’s another beauty. Fake news.  Tomorrow’s headlines will say “Trump ranted and raved.” I’m not ranting and raving. I’m not going to tell you what I will do about Russian ships near Connecticut or Russian airplanes buzzing our ships, and I’m not going to tell you what I’m going to do about Mosul.

Does anybody in this room really believe that HIllary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than me? I won the election by the largest Electoral margin ever. We should get along with Russia. I might make a deal with Russia, but maybe I won’t. Hillary Clinton gave Russia 20 percent of United States’ uranium. Do you know what uranium is? It’s nuclear weapons.

I am the least anti-Semitic person you’ll ever meet. If Mike Flynn hadn’t been speaking with the Russian ambassador, I would have told him to do that, because that’s his job. If he did it, I would have approved. I know of no one in my campaign who consulted with Russia during the campaign. Everybody already knew that Paul Manafort was a consultant — but not for Russia, for Ukraine or some people there.

Thank you for asking me a question about Melania. That’s a nice question. I like nice questions. She is fantastic.

We’re going to issue an executive order that follows the court ruling on the travel ban. Next week. I’m not going to tell you what today’s executive order is going to be about. We’re putting the finishing touches on Obamacare replacement plan. It’ll be ready in early March. Mid-March.

I appointed a new guy to be Secretary of Labor. He’s a genius. I’m having fun out here today.