The press conference staged by Donald Trump this morning in Washington, D.C., wasn’t supposed to happen. We were supposed to be treated to yet another conference led by the White House’s Chief Mispronouncer, Sean Spicer. But according to sources, Trump walked into the Oval Office this morning and spat out, “Let’s have a press conference today.” It was his first solo press conference as (#notmy)president.
The event was intended to announce Trump’s new labor secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta, following Andy Puzder’s (Trump’s previous pick) stepping down after it became clear that he’d never get confirmed in the Senate. Naturally, though—or should we say expectedly?—things took a dramatic shift. The press conference actually had little to do with Acosta, instead seeing Trump name-check Obama, Netanyahu and Hillary Clinton and incoherently babble on about Russia, fake news, inner city crime and nuclear holocaust.
To be fair, the Trump press conference, which lasted an hour and 15 minutes, was one long string of ‘WTF?!’ moments, but we’ve gone through and identified 10 particularly ludicrous statements.
1. Trump claimed everything is running like clockwork!
“I turn on TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos—chaos!—yet it is the exact opposite,” Trump said at one point. “This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”
Later, when speaking directly to his immigrant ban, Trump claimed “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. We had a bad court.”
Nothing to see here, people!
2. Trump called Russia fake news.
“Russia is fake news.”
That’s a direct quote.
“Russia—this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place right now.”
He continued: “How many times do I have to answer this question? Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years.”
3. Trump compared drugs to Snickers.
“We’ve ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs,” Trump said. “We’re becoming a drug-infested nation. Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars.”
He didn’t elaborate on which substances are currently running for cheaper than $1.50, but we’re curious.
4. A reporter brought up one of Trump’s oft-repeated lies, then Trump casually dismissed it.
It was NBC reporter Peter Alexander who looked Trump right in his face and confronted one of his favorite lies: “You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan—304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365 in 2008.”
To which Trump responded, “Well, I’m talking about Republicans.”
Of course, that still doesn’t make the statement true. Far from it, in fact, as Alexander continued: “President Obama 333, George H.W. Bush 426 when he won.”
Not one to step back a previously made statement, even when called out on it real-time, Trump’s response should make everyone incredulous: “I was given that information, I was just given it.”
Even better, though, was Alexander’s actual question: “I guess the question is: Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake, when you’re providing information that is not accurate?”
Taking a page out of the Kellyanne Conway book of pivoting, Trump stayed with his talking point: “Well, I was given that information. I was, actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that?”
Upon realizing he was getting nowhere, Alexander, our favorite new reporter, responded, “You’re the president.”
5. Trump tried to teach us all about Uranium.
Just because he didn’t know what it was until a few days ago doesn’t mean the rest of us are equally ignorant. Here’s how Trump describes it: “You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, and other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that.”
6. Trump also has big thoughts on a “nuclear holocaust.”
“We’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are they [Russia, who, remember, are fake news]. I have been briefed. And I can tell you, one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say, because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it: nuclear holocaust would be like no other.”
I mean, he’s not wrong, but seriously? Who elected this man?!
7. Trump continued to only speak in superlatives.
Case in point, when responding to one reporter’s question about the country’s recent upswing in anti-Semitism: “OK, sit down. 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.”
We’re wondering which superlatives he got in his yearbook senior year. We’re guessing it probably included the words “fascist, loofa-faced shit-gibbon.”
8. Trump assured us he wasn’t “ranting and raving.”
“I’m just telling you you’re dishonest people,” he said, referring to—who else?—the media.
9. Trump grew disappointed by all the “tough questions.”
“I want to find a friendly reporter,” Trump muttered more than once from the lectern. He even chastised a reporter who swore he had “an easy question” after the question was asked, remarking, “See? You lied. You said it was going to be an easy question, and it’s not.”
Someone should probably alert Trump that he’d best start prepping for more than easy questions.
In all fairness, he did consider one reporter’s question to be a “nice” one. It was about Melania’s role as first lady, to which Trump responded, “She—like others, like others that she’s working with—feel very, very strongly about women’s issues, women’s difficulties.” That statement of course follows claims that Melania is “miserable” in the role.
10. Trump assumed April Ryan, a black reporter, was friends with all the black members of Congress.
After Ryan asked whether Trump would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus before crafting policy dealing with America’s inner cities, Trump immediately got excited. (What a great idea!) “I would. You want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?”
Note to Trump: It’s not the job of reporters to set up the president’s policy-making sessions.