There is a lot of buzz about Donald Trump’s media conference – or more like a media condemnation.
US President Donald Trump has gone on the defensive over his presidency, accusing America’s news media of being “out of control” at a White House news conference, vowing to bypass the media and take his message “straight to the people.”
Nearly a month into his presidency, Trump said he had “inherited a mess” but his new administration had made “significant progress” and took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market. He pushed back against widespread reports of a chaotic start to his administration marked by a contentious executive order – now tied up in a legal fight – to place a ban on travellers from seven predominantly Muslim nations.
“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine,” Trump declared on Thursday (Friday NZT).
That’s not how it appears. It’s not just problems with the media, Trump has ongoing problems with the Courts and had a senior appointee resign.
During the news conference, Trump made a number of misstatements. He said for the third time in two days that he had won 306 Electoral College votes in his election. The correct number was 304. He called it “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan,” when in fact his predecessor, Barack Obama, won 334 electoral college votes in 2012 and 365 in 2008.
When pressed on the figures, Trump said that he meant he achieved a bigger Electoral College victory than any Republican since Reagan in 1980 and 1984 but a reporter pointed out that wasn’t true either as George Bush senior brought in 426 electoral votes in the 1988 election.
When further challenged on this claim, Trump said, “I was given that information. I don’t know. I was just given it. We had a very, very big margin.”
While this may seem like nit picking over numbers it is symptomatic of Trump’s ego problem and his looseness with basic facts. Perhaps those who supply him with information are tardy with facts – or perhaps this is a deliberate strategy to divert from things that really matter.
“The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people,” Trump said.
This is a standard Breitbart/Bannon tactic – accuse opponents of what you are guilty of, in this case deliberate dishonesty.
The president announced that he would announce a “new and very comprehensive order to protect our people.”
Perhaps this time they will consult with people with a knowledge of the law and experience with drafting legal orders.
Reaction from an undeterred ‘fake news’ organisation:
Another ‘dishonest media’ report: Trump blasts ‘out of control’ media, defends agenda, administration
President Trump’s feud with the media turned into an all-out war Thursday afternoon.
His early presidency beset by damaging leaks and a burst of staff turmoil, Trump used a hastily called press conference to blast the media’s coverage of his administration in his strongest terms yet. He claimed the press is “out of control,” reports on his team’s ties to Russia are “fake,” and news outlets are attacking him because they oppose his agenda.
“The media’s trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on the pledges that we made, and they’re not happy about it,” Trump declared at the White House.
The president spoke and took questions for over an hour, even joking with some reporters toward the end and saying he was having fun. In a bid to preempt negative coverage of his remarks, Trump insisted he was not “ranting and raving.” But he lamented that the “tone” of coverage of his administration is one of “such hatred.”
“The public doesn’t believe you people anymore,” he said.