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Trump Attacked Anyone Who Doesn't Agree With Him in a Bizarre Press Conference Today

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President Donald Trump turned a press conference announcing his new pick for Secretary of Labor into an hour plus rant against the media and its portrayal of his administration on Thursday. As The New York Times reports, only a small portion of the 76-minute press conference was dedicated to R. Alexander Acosta, a Florida law school dean and former assistant attorney general for civil rights, with Trump saying, “I think he’s going to be a tremendous secretary of labor.” If confirmed, Acosta will be the first Hispanic member of Trump’s cabinet. His nomination comes only a day after Andrew F. Puzder withdrew his name from consideration and the same week that the president asked for the resignation of Michael T. Flynn, his national security advisor. Acosta was not present for the announcement.

With formalities over, Trump quickly moved onto a rambling defense of his administration, saying, “To be honest, I inherited a mess, a mess, at home and abroad, a mess.” However, he promised that “We’re going to take care of it all,” and applauded himself for being incredibly active in the first month of his presidency. According to the Times, he then went on to discuss some of his initiatives, criticize Democrats and the judges who blocked his not-a-Muslim-ban, crow about companies adding jobs, and pat himself on the back for his election. On occasion, Trump could be seen using prepared remarks, but at other times, he seemed to improvise. His administration, he promised, “is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

His main target was, as usual, the media. “I'm making this presentation directly to the American people with the media present,” he said, “which is an honor to have you, this morning, because many of our nation's reporters and folks will not tell you the truth. And will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve.” He went on to complain that the "press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about it we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it. We have to find out what's going on because the press honestly is out of control.”

It has been a tumultuous few days for Trump, who has once again found himself up against allegations of ties to Russia. Similar accusations toppled his former national security advisor, Michael Flynn, though Trump made it apparent that he was less concerned about Flynn’s relationship with Russia than with the fact that he had done a poor job of keeping the administration in the loop about his conversations. Of course, the president was most offended by the media’s portrayal of the incident, calling it “fake news”: “You can talk all you want about Russia, which is all fake news,” he said. “In fact I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved in all of this. They didn’t know anything about it. They never were in Russia. Never received a call from Russia. It’s all fake news. All fake news.”

When a reporter asked, "And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?" Trump responded with this: "Well, the leaks are real. 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."

If he says it that many times, it must be true.

Though once a fan of leaks, Trump has become decidedly less enchanted by them as they impact his presidency and has called for an investigation to be opened by the Justice Department. He also wants everyone to know that his approval ratings are amazing and “We’re just getting started.” Um, yikes?


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