(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump implodes in unhinged 77-minute press conference

The president held a presser to introduce the new labor secretary pick but mostly used his time to attack the press


Taylor Link
February 17, 2017 2:42AM (UTC)

In a 77-minute press conference Thursday, President Donald Trump named his new nominee for labor secretary, claimed to be the "least anti-Semitic person" and asked an African-American journalist to set up a meeting for him with the Congressional Black Caucus.

More of an airing of grievances than a formal introduction for labor secretary nominee Alexander Acosta, Trump answered numerous questions from the mainstream media Thursday. He led off the presser by reliving his Electoral College win, declaring, once again, that it was the largest margin of victory for a president since President Ronald Reagan, conveniently ignoring President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush and President Bill Clinton — all three of whom secured more than the 306 electoral votes Trump won in November.

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The press conference was an opportunity for President Trump to be his unfiltered self. The following are just three examples of preposterousness that manifested during the 77-minute presser.

Trump batted down a Jewish reporter asking about rise in anti-Semitism

One of the truly offensive moments from the press conference came when Jake Turx, a journalist of Jewish publication Ami Magazine, asked Trump how he planned to address the "the uptick in anti-Semitism" in America. The reporter even prefaced the question by noting that nobody in his community was accusing Trump himself or anyone on his staff of anti-Semitism.

Trump responded by berating the reporter, calling his question "insulting" and demanded that he sit down.

"It's not a simple question, not a fair question. Okay, sit down. I understand the rest of your question," the president said. "So here's the story, folks. No. 1, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. No. 2, racism. The least racist person."

The president asked an African-American reporter to arrange a meeting with Congressional Black Caucus

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April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for the American Urban Radio Networks, asked Trump a question about his vague promise to rebuild the inner cities. She wondered if he would include the CBC in his conversations about his urban agenda. Trump responded to the question as if he did not know what the CBC was.

"Well I would, tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?" Trump asked.

"I'm just a reporter. I know some of them," Ryan replied.

After the press conference, the CBC wrote on Twitter that they have already reached out to Trump, but had not yet heard a response.

The leaks about Gen. Mike Flynn's conversation with the Russian ambassador was real, but Trump claimed the reporting on it was fake news

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"Well the leaks are real," Trump confirmed. "You're the one that wrote about them and reported them, I mean the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake."


Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Anti-semitism Congressional Black Caucus Donald Trump Fake News Mike Flynn Press Conference Russia

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