Donald Trump’s unhinged press conference

The scene was dangerously overcrowded and America’s President-elect was irritable, long on rant and short on revelation

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Evan Vucci/AP/CP)

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Evan Vucci/AP/CP)

The incipient president of the United States held an astonishing press conference at Trump Tower on Wednesday, dubbing himself “the greatest job creator that God ever created” and vowing that he will fire his own sons if they don’t turn a profit on his golf courses and six-star hostelries while he unselfishly revivifies an ailing nation.

Donald J. Trump declared that a bromance with Vladimir Putin would be “an asset, not a liability,” compared various “sick,” “sad and pathetic,” and “pile of garbage” purveyors of online and broadcast news—and even U.S. intelligence agencies themselves—to the propagandists of Nazi Germany, and explained that he would not, could not possibly, have commissioned a lurid video in a Moscow hotel room several years ago because he is “a pretty high-profile person, wouldn’t you say?” who was well aware that “there are cameras in the strangest places” and, besides, “I’m very much of a germophobe, by the way.”

Speaking—as he did to great effect to his government-hating “deplorables” on the campaign trail—in scream-of-consciousness sentences lengthy and tortured enough to make William Faulkner reach for an inhaler, Trump was in triumphantly irascible state at his first press conference in 28 weeks. The Manhattan tycoon will be sworn in at noon next Friday on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on what he predicted would be an “elegant day” with “massive crowds” and “incredible bands.”

He admitted, for the first time, that “I think it was Russia” that hacked into the email servers of the Democratic Party last year, but then hedged his bets by blaming China for stealing more than 20 million federal personnel files and suggested that they might have been behind the political espionage as well. The Russians would just have avidly tapped into Republican databases, Trump said, were it not for superior defences constructed by the cyberwall-builders of the Grand Old Party.

Those same guardians will be put to work immediately on a physical barrier with America’s southern neighbour, he promised, with the invoice to be mailed directly to the Zócalo for payment whenever the Mexicans get around to it.

Wednesday’s scene was a dangerously overcrowded, roped-off quadrant of the Trump Tower lobby on 5th Avenue, just south of Central Park. Inside the atrium, dark blue curtains masked the windows of the Gucci boutique, lest a glimmer of refinement escape to sully the trash-talking, and a stage was installed that was as flimsy and impermanent as the president-elect’s own convictions.

Had Trump yelled “Fire!” rather than “You’re fired!” hundreds of the continent’s paramount scribblers would have been trampled by their own peers. As it was, several were bushwhacked by the president-elect himself; he refused to take a question from a CNN correspondent, for example, snarling that “You are fake news.”

Props on display during the hour-long event included former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and a stack of legal papers meant to add verisimilitude to Trump’s promise to convert his multinational, umpteen-billion-dollar empire from eponymous to anonymous the instant he takes office.

An attorney was brought forth to explain that, come Inauguration Day, daily operations of the Trump organization will be placed in the hands of sons Eric and Donald Jr. while daughter Ivanka retires to the role of stay-at-multi-million-dollar-home mom. All erections with foreign entities will cease, an ethicist will be hired to ensure that the Trumpian behemoth conforms to the law, and should a domestic transaction take shape the disinterested President Trump “will only know of the deal when he reads it in the paper, or sees it on TV.”

The lawyer, Sherri A. Dillon, a tax litigation expert from the Washington firm of Morgan Lewis, dismissed calls for the president-elect’s entire empire to be placed into a blind trust or liquidated altogether, arguing that such a “fire sale” would cause an unfair and deleterious (to the Trumps) crash in the assets’ values.

“President-elect Trump should not be expected to destroy the company he built,” Dillon said.

“President Trump can’t un-know he owns Trump Tower,” she added. Removing visual clues to this and his other proprietorships by taking down all the signage would flood the world market for second-hand bullion.

Compared to Barack Obama’s uplifting and ever-hopeful farewell address in Chicago the previous evening—“Yes we can. Yes we did.”—Trump’s frontal assault on “fake news,” “phony stuff” and “crap” was long on rant and short on revelation. But the incoming commander-in-chief did find time to excoriate the entire pharmaceutical industry, reveal his choice to run the beleaguered Department of Veterans Affairs— “by the time [veterans] see a doctor, they’re terminal”—and announce that, after detailed consultations with “the generals and the admirals,” he soon would recalibrate the government’s contract for the budget-sucking F-35 combat aircraft.

Pressed for the reason why he has not mellowed into the mould of his no-drama predecessor in the Oval Office, Trump offered a pungent answer:

“I won.”


Donald Trump’s unhinged press conference

  1. ‘Muricans.

  2. Trumplethinskin will leave office very much richer….$200 billion
    His straw hat and pitchfork crowd will be disappointed…
    Lock her up…NOT
    Build the wall…NOT
    Replace Obamacare with something TERRIFIC…NOT
    Drain the swamp…NOT

  3. I just watched the press conference . Two important items you “forgot”to mention. He committed to taking on Big Pharma by introducing competitive bidding for the obscenely priced drugs used by medicare , and bringing production of the ingredients back from China . An historic statement that could save untold $Billions. Secondly his plan to get major private hospitals into the loop so that veterans will have quicker access to care when they come back from overseas . I will judge Mr.Trump by his actions in the future , not on the gossip rags we call the media.

    Is our media so fixated on the on the “scandals” that they cannot recognize a real news story ?

    • Did Macleans amend the story or did you not read it?

      • “excoriate the pharmaceutical industry ” somehow does not do it justice . But even that is more than most medias did on this major statement.

  4. The writer of this article must have worked for CNN. His viewpoint is complete horse manure. Trump was reacting to outright unsubstantiated falsehoods purported by a liberal website-Buzzfeed and the republishing of these falsehoods by CNN. Furthermore these unsubstantiated allegations were “passed on” by someone in the intelligence community and politicos on both the right and left who were doing opposition research on Trump. The NY Times wisely decided not to publish these claims because they could not be substantiated. Trump wisely excoriated the culprits of this fake news at the press conference despite an arrogant reporter yelling at him during the press event. This scurrilous rumor was a last attempt by anti Trump forces to derail Trump. This snackdown of the arrogant press who is more anxious to take a partisan view than actually report news, is long overdue. In fact the “well timed” allegations about Russia and the elections are clearly partisan in nature, and are an attempt by the worse President in recent memory to excuse the poor showing of the Democrats in the last election and to discredit the incoming President. As for the wonderful “optimism” that the author claims was on display in Chicago at the Obama Farewell Tour, he has also missed the mark. Obama has failed in almost every area of his Presidency and instead of drawing races together, has caused further racial strife in order to further his own agenda. The message would have been optimistic if any of what he said was actually true. In fact,it was not. And at least half of America cannot wait for January 20th when we are finally rid of this arrogant community organizer

    • Gawd! The Americans must have invaded our pages. I saw much of his press conference until I almost threw up. How anyone can say anything favourable about this oaf is beyond me!

      • In Nevada Trump said ‘I love the poorly educated’.

        You can see him on youtube.

        That’s how he gets support

      • Exactly my view. The
        press conference” was just another self congratulatory slew of nonsense by the narcssistic oaf. As fare as the release of an unsubstantiated report- it was common knowledge around Washington. In fact, the Republicans had a hand in getting the dossier together. The importance is the fact that Russians were involved in Trump’s dealings- and obviously they have leverage over his actions. Painting the media as “Lugenpresse” is an attempt to discredit them when other affairs are made public. As Obama stated- we need a free press.
        His refusal to release tax returns and insistence on hiring cronies will damage the US- unfortunately the very people who actually believe in him will be the most hurt.
        (Note how he is taking credit for many on the policies put in place before he won the election).

    • so, you don’t like the publishing of ‘fake’ news if it can’t be substantiated …. yet you somehow know that this ‘fake’ news was a plot by Obama …. how exactly did you substantiate that ‘news’?

    • “And at least half of America cannot wait for January 20th when we are finally rid of this arrogant community organizer”.

      Nope. Only 26 percent of eligible voters voted for Trump.

  5. I am not a fan of Trump, far from it, but this kind of snarky, sarcastic reporting is mostly showing off the writer’s “words” (in Trump-speak) and not really helpful to readers.

  6. From today’s NYT:
    WASHINGTON —” Seven months ago, a respected former British spy named Christopher Steele won a contract to build a file on Donald J. Trump’s ties to Russia. Last week, the explosive details — unsubstantiated accounts of frolics with prostitutes, real estate deals that were intended as bribes and coordination with Russian intelligence of the hacking of Democrats — were summarized for Mr. Trump in an appendix to a top-secret intelligence report.”

    Trump’s attempts to blame all of this on “fake news” by CNN & Buzzfeed is not going to help- Things are going to get hotter in the presidential chair. How long will Donald last?