9 Jaw-Dropping Moments From Trump's First Press Conference As President-Elect
Donald Trump held a press conference, and I have no idea what the hell just happened.
To quote Trump, the conference was a "failing pile of garbage."
The last time Trump held a press conference was in July 2016. Then, he asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's email account.
Today's press conference, believe it or not, got exponentially more bizarre than the last.
It started with Trump taking a few questions from press at his Manhattan hotel. He abruptly stopped the questions and had a tax lawyer speak for about 10 minutes.
Then he came back out and took more questions, while berating the press and shooting down reporters.
The tl;dr of the conference: Trump will not divest from his business or release his tax returns. He admitted Russia hacked, but refused to answer if members of his campaign interacted with Russian officials. He called out CNN and BuzzFeed's reporting, and seemingly does not know the definition of fake news.
Let's get into the details:
1. Trump denied he hired sex workers to perform a golden shower in Russia because he's a "germaphobe."
Trump denied the contents of a memo made public on January 10 alleging Russia was blackmailing him with a video of sex workers he hired performing a golden shower at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Moscow.
For the record, urine is sterile.
2. Trump said he won't release his tax returns because he "won."
In case you didn't remember, Trump has not released his tax returns, like every other modern president and presidential candidate has done.
Tax returns would show us about Trump's actual business dealings and if he actually pays taxes. The only information we have now are returns from the '90s obtained by the New York Times.
Trump was asked if he would release his tax returns. He said he will not because the American people apparently don't care about his tax returns and, anyway, "I won."
During the press conference, Trump said he does not have deals or debts with Russia.
We could confirm that if, you know, we had his tax returns.
3. Trump called BuzzFeed a "failing pile of garbage" and refused to answer a question from a CNN reporter.
CNN was the one who reported Trump had been presented with an intelligence memo. BuzzFeed was the one who published the golden showers memo.
To be clear, these are both plain examples of valid reporting.
CNN reported that the president-elect was briefed on a memo. BuzzFeed published a memo, saying the contents of the memo were unconfirmed, pointing out errors within it.
Neither publication reported Trump hired prostitutes to perform a golden shower, which would have constituted bad journalism. Both publications reported confirmed information: The president-elect was brief on a memo; this is an unconfirmed memo.
Trump, however, apparently believes that news that he does not like is "fake news."
He repeatedly called BuzzFeed and CNN "fake news." At one point, he violently refused to answer a question from CNN reporter Jim Acosta.
America does have a problem with fake news.
A publication called LifeZette, for example, claimed the Clintons were behind the deaths of John F. Kennedy Jr. and Vince Foster, among others. That is fake news.
Trump cited LifeZette in a tweet on January 10, which he used as a basis to call BuzzFeed "fake news."
'BuzzFeed Runs Unverifiable Trump-Russia Claims' #FakeNews https://t.co/d6daCFZHNh — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2017
4. Trump refused to answer if members of his campaign dealt with Russia.
A reporter asked point-blank if Trump could confirm that members of his team did not meet with Russia in the lead-up to the election.
The reporter made it a two-part question, asking about another aspect of the Russia memo incident, which Trump responded to with gibberish about fake news and Russia.
However, he did not answer the part of the question asking if anyone on his team met with Russia.
5. Trump had no answer for his plans on replacing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
Trump was asked what his specific plans are to repeal and replace Obamacare.
He responded that his specific plans are to repeal and replace Obamacare.
That's it. That's all we got.
6. Trump will not be divesting from his business.
The tax attorney trotted out to give Trump a break from answering press questions explained that it doesn't make any sense for him to do so.
She said foreign profits from Trump hotels will be given to the US Treasury.
This is problematic.
Given the many potential conflicts of interest Trump has as president and business leader, a refusal to divest is suspicious.
7. Trump corrected a reporter calling who called his Mexico border "wall" a "fence."
Trump is still moving forward with his plan to build a wall on the Mexican border.
A reporter asked how it was going to be paid for, given that one of his campaign promises was that Mexico would pay, but Mexico is refusing to do so.
Trump started his answer by telling the reporter it's a "wall" not a "fence."
This contradicts earlier reports that the wall would, indeed, be at least partially a fence.
Trump said that Mexico will reimburse America for the fence, in some way.
He also went on a long rant saying Mexico was going to pay for the wall because the supporters at his rallies kept telling him Mexico was going to pay for the wall.
8. Trump ended his press conference with his "Apprentice" motto, "You're fired."
Holy shit we elected a reality TV host as president.
9. Trump actually got one thing right.
2017 is going to be the bad year, it's going to be catastrophic.
Doesn't seem like a bad prediction from here.
Citations: Trump urges Russia to hack Clinton's email (POLITICO), Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him (CNN), Laura Ingraham's 'LifeZette' website promotes conspiracy theory Clintons have been involved in murders (Business Insider), In Texas, Trump's 'Big, Beautiful Wall' Is Morphing Into a Series of Fences (New York Magazine), Mexico again says there is 'no way' it will pay for Trump wall (Reuters)