Donald Trump Rants and Raves At Press

…while proving that he’s not half-bad at writing headlines.

Andrew Harnik/AP

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President Donald Trump intensified his attack on the media in a wild press conference Thursday, once again characterizing the press as “dishonest” in response to recent reports that have depicted an administration increasingly in turmoil. He also defended Michael Flynn, who resigned Monday as national security adviser, amid mounting evidence that he misled administration officials about his phone calls to the Russian ambassador.

“If anything, he did something right,” Trump said of Flynn. While he denied ordering Flynn to discuss easing American sanctions against Russia, he said that doing so would have been acceptable.

“Mike was doing his job, he was calling countries and his counterparts,” he said. “So it certainly would have been okay with me if he did it. I didn’t direct him, but I would have directed him because that’s his job.”

Asked repeatedly if his campaign aides were in contact with Russian officials during the 2016 election campaign, Trump dodged the questions, saying only, “I had nothing to do with it.”

Trump began the press conference by announcing his second pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, following Andrew Puzder’s decision to withdraw his nomination yesterday. Trump dedicated only a brief moment to discussing Acosta before he turned to his main message for the afternoon: his grievances with the press. “Many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth,” Trump said in his attacks against the media and the ongoing leaks. “We have to find out what’s going on because the press is honestly out of control.”

Trump complained of the “mess” he inherited from the past administration and disputed reports that the White House is in disarray. “It is the exact opposite,” he said. “This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”

Asked how he could simultaneously complain about leaks by government officials and claim that the news reports based on them were false, Trump said, “The leaks are real. The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”

Trump went on to complain about how he has been covered by the media, predicating that:

[the media] 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. Go ahead.

Watch the whole press conference below:

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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