Trump Meets The Press. It Does Not Go Well.

Republican President-elect Donald Trump just wrapped up his first press conference in months, and it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that most of the slice of America who was tuned in has yet to pick our jaws up off the floor. NYT:

President-elect Trump conceded for the first time that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic institutions during the presidential election, saying at a news conference that, “I think it was Russia” — though a few minutes later he said perhaps it was another country…

President-elect Trump angrily accused CNN of being “fake news” as he repeatedly refused to take a question from Jim Acosta, the network’s reporter at his news conference.

In a testy exchange between the two men, Mr. Acosta repeatedly asked for a question in order to respond to the president-elect’s accusations against the network. Mr. Trump angrily said, “I am not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”

CNN’s Jim Acosta was asking about new reports, hotly disputed by Trump and his surrogates, that Trump’s campaign engaged with Russian sources of hacked information–and also an unverified report about Trump supposedly hiring Russian prostitutes to do something unmentionable to a bed President Barack Obama had slept in. Politico:

“I do have to say that, and I must say that I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies, who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies, which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that, a tremendous blot,” Trump said in his introductory remarks. “Because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never been had and it should certainly never have been released.”

News media, intelligence agencies, whatever. They all appear to be Trump’s enemies:

“I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake” to get out, Trump says. Just like Nazi Germany, he says.

“As far as Buzzfeed, which is a failing pile of garbage writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences, and they already are.”

Trump’s press conference today consisted of a restatement of his campaign promises to repeal Obamacare and build a wall on the Mexican border, bitter denial of the latest press reports with a special jab at the nation’s intelligence agencies, and wholesale evasion of the growing questions about his and his campaign’s interactions with the Russian government during the recent election. When asked about Sen. Lindsey Graham’s bill to tighten sanctions on Russia, Trump responded by dissing Graham and avoiding the question entirely.

We honestly don’t know who could have watched the press conference with the understanding that Trump will be President next week and not come away deeply dismayed about the nation’s immediate and long-term future. To say that Trump was not presidential is a gross understatement. It’s difficult to say which is worse: Trump’s ad hominem disrespect for anyone who crosses him, or what became painfully obvious as Trump’s willful avoidance of a very serious question about collusion with a hostile foreign power to win the presidency.

We can’t tell you what happens next, but we’re pretty confident nothing quite like this has happened before in American history. The lack of precedent makes this all very difficult to put into words that are accurate without being overly alarmist in tone.

It’s bad though. Very, very bad.

23 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

    Fake news just like CNN. America has rejected Democrats policies. Your candidate, Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate to run in an election in the history of the country. You lost, get over it keep up the resistance, please. America depends on Democrats showing your intolerance. Resist, resist, resist.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      Resist…what, exactly? Reality?

    • Republican 36 says:

      Your comment is a diversion not a response. This story has nothing to do with the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, the fact they lost the election or intolerance. Please note that U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) personally took the information to FBI Director Comey.

      Whether the allegations revealed by CNN are "fake news" is yet to be proven. Neither you or anyone else knows whether they will turn out to be true. We'll know soon enough after the investigation is complete. And certainly Mr. Trump's assertions that it is fake news or that Buzzfeed "is a failing pile of garbage" proves nothing one way or the other.

      By the way, based on your reaction, I'm sure you agree the FBI should never have announced they had reopened the investigation of Hillary Clinton twelve days before the election. Right?


      • Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

        If the CIA, NSA, or the FBI want to stop this dangerous maniac, get his tax returns. That is how they brought down everyone from Al Capone to Meyer Lansky.

        If our country is going to be run by a crime family, we should turn to the professionals and have the Gambino family take over. At least they aren't in bed with the Russians.

      • Powerful PearPowerful Pear says:

        Well of course John McCain took the information to the FBI. If your going to plant fake news who better than John McCain to give it to.

        You are right, the FBI should have held the announcement on reopening the investigation. It only gives Democrats an excuse for her loss. People don't like the woman, smartest woman ever, most qualified, most compassionate. It was all marketing. Expect John Podesta to turn up dead.

    • OrangeFreeOrangeFree says:

      Hillary Clinton was the worst candidate to run in an election in the history of the country

      Which tells me you don't actually know much about this country's history. But, you know, please proceed…

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      Yeah, she was so bad she got 3 million more votes than Trump did.

    • unnamed says:

      Totally agreed PP.  Dems are just mad because Trump won.  BIGLY!!!!!   And they're all snowflakes who can't stop criticizing our great thin-skinned leader.  Get over the fact that he has twitter meltdowns and is a pervert, or that even Moddy once referred to him as Hitler.  Who cares that his approvals are in the cellar.  He won.  BIGLY!!!!

    • taterheaptom says:

      Rejected her by giving her 3 M more votes than the most reviled President-elect ever. OK PeePee (A tribute to the big blob and his supposed proclivities. No judgment). 

  2. skeptical citizen says:

    "The national press is likely to be among the first institutional victims of Trumpism."

    From Autocracy: Rules for Survival  by Masha Gessen at

  3. ElliotFladenElliotFladen says:

    I thought I wouldn't be numb to this two months later.  I was wrong. 

  4. DavieDavie says:

    Whether it be Congress, the Supreme Court, or no later than in four years the American voter — eventually, we will be able to look Trump in the eye and say "You're Fired!" (and good riddance to bad rubbish)

  5. PseudonymousPseudonymous says:

    Fun note.  The lawyer who spoke at the press conference about Trump's efforts at ethics works at Morgan Lewis, named "Russia Law Firm of the Year" for 2016.

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