President Donald Trump was only expected to announce a new Labor Secretary nomination at the White House today, but it turned into a marathon press conference that lasted over an hour. Trump was his old self, yelling at reporters and calling reports “fake news,” even as he admitted in the same breath that some of the leaks the press is reporting on are real.
Trump did briefly introduce R. Andrew Acosta as his new Labor Secretary, but then he quickly changed directions.
“Unfortunately, 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 in a prepared statement to start the press conference. “The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk to find out what’s going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”
That was just the beginning. Here’s a look at 10 must-see moments from the press conference.
1. ‘I Am the Least Anti-Semitic Person’
Just as it looked like Trump was about to end his press conference, he told the journalists that he would take one more question from a “friendly reporter.” He chose Ami Magazine’s Jake Turx, who asked what Trump’s response was to the increase in anti-Semitism after the election. Rather than answer that question, Trump told him to sit down and insisted that he’s the “least anti-Semitic” and “least racist” person.
2. ‘Are They Friends of Yours?’
When Amy Ryan asked if Trump would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus, Trump asked the African-American journalist, “Are they friends of yours?” He also thought that she could set up the meeting herself. The exchange ended with Trump claiming that Rep. Elijah Cummings cancelled a scheduled meeting for political reasons, but Cummings said this wasn’t the case.
3. ‘The Leaks Are Real. The News Is Fake’
Trump’s back-and-forth with CNN’s Jim Acosta was filled with bizarre moments. Here, Trump admits that the leaks within reports are real, but the news itself is fake. Throughout the press conference, Trump tried to drive home his view that the real story wasn’t his administration’s possible connections to Russia, but the fact that confidential information was being leaked to the press.
Before the exchanges with Acosta, there was a key moment with NBC News’ Peter Alexander, who corrected the president’s statements about the size of his electoral college win.
4. ‘Lots of Things Are Done With Uranium’
A BBC News reporter asked Trump about nuclear weapons. “Lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things,” the president replied. “Nobody talks about that.”
5. ‘Very Fake News’
While Acosta was trying to explain to Trump that calling the news media “fake news,” he is fostering distrust of the media. “I’m changing it from fake news, though. Very fake news,” Trump said while some in the audience laughed.
6. ‘I Inherited a Mess’
At the beginning of the conference, Trump read from a prepared speech. He claimed that he “inherited a mess” from President Barack Obama.
“Jobs are pouring out of the country; you see what’s going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places, low pay, low wages, mass instability overseas, no matter where you look,” Trump said. The Middle East is a disaster. North Korea – we’ll take care of it folks; we’re going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.”
7. ‘False Reporting Makes it Much Harder to Make a Deal With Russia’
Trump repeatedly called reports of his campaign’s alleged communication with Russia a “ruse” or “fake reporting.” In the above clip, he suggested that the reporting was making it harder for him to make a deal with Russia. “I would love to be able to get along with Russia,” he said.
Trump said that the entire Russia connection is “fake news” and then suggested that the leaks have been caused by Obama Administration holdovers.
“This is fake news put out by the media,” he said. “The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.”
8. ‘That Circuit Is in Chaos’
Even as he announced a new executive order on immigration, Trump blasted the 9th Circuit Court judges who ruled in favor of a hold on his immigration executive order. “That circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil,” Trump said.
Also on the topic of immigration, Trump said he would “show great heart” when it came to DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).
9. ‘Drugs Are Becoming Cheaper Than Candy Bars’
Trump said that the Department of Homeland Security is working on a plan to “destroy criminal cartels.” The president said that the country is becoming infested with drugs and they are “becoming cheaper than candy bars.”
10. ‘What [Flynn] Did Wasn’t Wrong’
Trump suggested that what former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn did before the inauguration “wasn’t wrong.” Rather, what was wrong was how the press found out that Flynn really did discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador before Trump became president. Trump said that Flynn lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the call was the real wrong step Flynn took.