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Just A Few Things Donald Trump Really, Actually Said During Today’s Terrifying Press Conference

Donald Trump held a press conference Thursday afternoon for the ostensible purpose of announcing his nominee for labor secretary (that would be Alexander Acosta, after Trump’s first pick, Andrew Puzder, withdrew from consideration), but the announcement turned into a long, stream-of-consciousness style rant about the dishonesty of the press, the “incredible progress” he’s made so far, and all the things (ratings, electoral college votes, words, knowing things) that no one’s ever done as well as him.

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Trump covered a lot of (mostly vague) policy plans in his prepared statements, but as soon as he moved on to taking questions from reporters, he turned combative, hyper-defensive, and ultra-rambly. He seemed aware of how he was coming off, too, at one point saying,

Tomorrow, they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.” I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But — but I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.

But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, “Donald Trump rants and raves.” I’m not ranting and raving.

Let’s not wait for tomorrow. Let’s do this today. Because Donald Trump did just rant and rave at the press. He ranted both to the press, as well as about the press, but that “fake news” line is only a part of what he hit on.

It can be extremely difficult to try to apply reasoning to a lot of the things Trump says, so let’s let his words speak for themselves. Thanks to transcriptions via the Washington Post (where you can read the whole text in full if you feel like drowning in sadness), here are some of the most important, egregious, and generally WTF quotes from Thursday’s press conference.

He said… something… about Obamacare and Republicans.

Let’s ease our way in with some general word salad.

We’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It is’s disaster. I know you can say, oh, Obamacare. I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people our that representatives are representing.

Unprovoked, he brought up the sexual assault (and/or harassment) allegations against him.

In answering a question about Russia, he rambled into this mess:

But I will say that, I never get phone calls from the media. How did they write a story like that in The Wall Street Journal without asking me or how did they write a story in The New York Times, put it on front page?

That was like the story they wrote about the women and me, front page, big massive story. And it was nasty and then they called, they said we never said that, we like Mr. Trump. They called up my office, we like Mr. Trump, we never said that.

He asked an African-American reporter if she’s friends with the Congressional Black Caucus, and if she could set up a meeting.

QUESTION: Well, when you say the inner cities, are you going — are you going to include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your — your urban agenda, your inner city agenda, as well as —

TRUMP: Am I going to include who?

QUESTION: Are you going to include the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional —

TRUMP: Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?

QUESTION: — Hispanic Caucus —

TRUMP: Do you want to set up the meeting?

QUESTION: No — no — no. I’m not —

TRUMP: Are they friends of yours?

QUESTION: I’m just a reporter.

TRUMP: Well, then(ph) set up the meeting.

QUESTION: I know some of them, but I’m sure they’re watching right now.

TRUMP: Let’s go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it’s great.


Answering the question, “on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?”

Somehow… both?

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.

‘News is fake because news is fake’ is a meaningless sentence because it’s a meaningless sentence.

Apparently he knows news is fake because sometimes he thinks something is “good” and the press make it out to be “OK” or even “bad.”

This is called perspective, Don, and opinion. It does not make news fake.

Here’s the thing. OK. I understand what you’re — and you’re right about that, except this. See, I know when I should get good and when I should get bad. And sometimes I’ll say, “Wow, that’s going to be a great story.” And I’ll get killed.

I know what’s good and bad. I’d be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you. But I know what’s good. I know what’s bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive — sometimes something that should be very positive, they’ll make OK. They’ll even make it negative.

So I understand it. So, because I’m there. I know what was said. I know who’s saying it. I’m there. So it’s very important to me.

Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. The press — the public doesn’t believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don’t know. But they don’t believe you.

He also changed his opinion of CNN from “fake news” to “very fake news.” Seriously.

He’s as petulant toward the BBC as he is toward CNN.

QUESTION: Could I just ask you — thank you very much, Mr. President. The trouble…

TRUMP: Where are you from?


TRUMP: Here’s another beauty.

QUESTION: That’s a good line. Impartial, free and fair.

TRUMP: Yeah. Sure.

QUESTION: Mr. President…

TRUMP: Just like CNN right?

He shouted down a reporter asking about rising anti-Semitism in the U.S., telling him to “sit down.”

Trump was upset because he asked the crowd for an “easy question” from a “friendly reporter.”

He said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it’s not, its not, not — not a simple question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question.

So here’s the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican — quiet, quiet, quiet.

See, he lied about — he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive.

I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard Ben Netanyahu (ph) yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I’ve known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said, forget it.

So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.

…See, it just shows you about the press, but that’s the way the press is.

A tip for Trump: if you have to say you’re “the least racist” and “least anti-Semitic person” that we’ve ever seen in our “entire life,” you most definitely are not.

If there was anyone who still thought there was anything to laugh about when it comes to Trump, that feeling looks to have disappeared after this unhinged, rambling, narcissistic hour.


(image via screengrab)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.

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