Well, we all knew that Trump‘s first press conference in six months was going to be a wild one, and it was.
Fronting the media in New York hours after Obama‘s final speech in Chicago, Trump opened up by clarifying why he hadn’t given a press conference since he won the Republican nomination last year. He said it’s because of “inaccurate news”.
Obviously, the press conference was always going to be about what went down with BuzzFeed
‘s release of an unverified ‘intelligence report’, which alleged Trump has deep ties to Russian
state intelligence and – among other things – that he paid sex workers to urinate on a hotel bed
he knew Obama had slept in. Normal stuff.
(For the record, 4chan are claiming that they fabricated this report and forwarded it to known conservative Trump-hater Rick Wilson, who then forwarded it to the CIA. No strong evidence of this claim has been provided other than ‘screenshots’. Given that this report has been floating around the higher echelons of American government since before the election, I’m disinclined to to believe the 4chan angle, but that doesn’t mean the report is accurate.)
Trump denied the report and called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage” for distributing the report without obtaining any verification.
He also gave a far more novel reason for why the report couldn’t be true – he said he’s a bit of a germaphobe, so – he implies – he definitely wouldn’t have paid for a golden shower.
Piss is sterile, Mr. President. We need something more concrete.
He did address the Russia connection regardless, conceding that it was “probably Russia” who hacked the Democratic National Convention. He condemned the hacking itself, but pointed to the information which came out of the leaked emails as an overall positive development.
As combative as he got with BuzzFeed, it didn’t rival his approach to his favourite subjects of Twitter hate, CNN. When CNN reporter Jim Acosta tried to ask a question, Trump shut him down, refused to address him and called the entire organisation “fake news.” So that’s a lovely precedent.
His final point of order was about the relationship between himself, his children and the family business. It has been a concern for some time as to how Trump can possibly extricate himself from a corporation which has his name and likeness stamped all over it, but he reckons he can do it. His plan is pretty succinctly summed up here:
And, because this wouldn’t be a Trump media conference without a little bit of reality TV flourish, he said that if he comes back after eight years and finds that his children haven’t done a good job of running his companies, he’ll tell them “you’re fired”.
Of course, the idea that Trump will have absolutely no idea of what is going on at any level of the company he owns for at least four years purely by handing it over to his kids is fairly absurd. But hey! Of all the things incoming into a Trump presidency, it’s probably one of the least problematic.
Only a few days left, folks!
Photo: Getty Images / Spencer Platt.