It’s hard to get away from Donald Trump’s media confrontation. Vox: 9 things it’s hard to believe the president of the United States actually just said
On leaks and ‘fake news’:
Question: I just want to get you to clarify this very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?
Trump: Well, the leaks are real. You’re the one that wrote about them and reported them; I mean, the leaks are real. You know what they said, you saw it, and the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.
So one thing that I felt it was very important to do — and I hope we can correct it. Because there’s nobody I have more respect for — well, maybe a little bit but the reporters, good reporters.
That’s typically bizarre – the leaks are real but reporting them is fake.
Just rambling on about ‘fake news’:
Trump: I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody as long as it’s true and, you know, over a course of time, I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly, and I’m okay with that. But I’m not okay when it is fake …
I mean, you have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that’s right. I don’t know, Peter (ph), is that one right? Because you know I think they have lower — I heard lower than Congress. But honestly, the public would appreciate it, I’d appreciate it — again, I don’t mind bad stories when it’s true but we have an administration where the Democrats are making it very difficult.
Trump: I mean, I watch CNN, it’s so much anger and hatred, and just the hatred. I don’t watch it anymore because it’s not very good. … I think it should be straight. I think it should be — I think it would be frankly more interesting. I know how good everybody’s ratings are right now, but I think that actually — I think that’d actually be better.
I don’t watch it any more because it’s very good — he’s saying no. It’s OK, Jim. It’s OK, Jim, you’ll have your chance. But I watch others too. You’re not the only one so don’t feel badly. But I think it should be straight. I think it should be — I think it would be frankly more interesting.
Perhaps Trump could try talking about important, interesting issues rather than moan about negative press, that they then report on.
On not talking about military stuff:
Trump: I’m not going to tell you anything about what I’m going to do. I’m not going to talk about military stuff. I will not say, “We are going to attack Mosul in four months. We are going to attack in one month. Next week, we are going to attack Mosul.”
In the meantime, Mosul is very, very difficult — you know why? I don’t talk about military and certain other things. You were going to be surprised to hear that, by the way, my whole campaign I said that. I don’t have to tell you.
Back to ‘fake news’ and confidence in the media:
Reporter: When you call it “fake news,” you’re undermining confidence in our news media …
Trump: No, no. I do that. Here’s the thing. OK. I understand what you’re — and you’re right about that, except this. See, I know when I should get good and when I should get bad. And sometimes I’ll say, “Wow, that’s going to be a great story.” And I’ll get killed.
I know what’s good and bad. I’d be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you. But I know what’s good. I know what’s bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive — sometimes something that should be very positive, they’ll make OK. They’ll even make it negative.
So I understand it. So, because I’m there. I know what was said. I know who’s saying it. I’m there. So it’s very important to me.
Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. The press — the public doesn’t believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don’t know. But they don’t believe you. If you were straight and really told it like it is, as Howard Cosell used to say, right?
Ranting and raving about not ranting and raving:
TRUMP: I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people. That’s for sure. But I’m having a good time.
Tomorrow, they 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.
On Russia, Hillary Clinton and uranium:
Trump: By the way, it would be great if we could get along with Russia. Just so you understand that. Tomorrow, you will say “Donald Trump wants to get along with Russia; this is terrible.” It is not terrible.
It is good. We had Hillary Clinton try to do a reset. We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20% of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? It’s this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things.
But nobody talks about that. I did not do anything for Russia. I’ve done nothing for Russia. Hillary Clinton gave them 20% of our uranium. Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember with the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks?
A nuclear holocaust would be bad.
Trump: 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. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we.
If Russia and the United States actually got together and got along — and don’t forget, we’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. There’s no upside. We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. 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.
They’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Is Trump really this stupid? Or is he being deliberately stupid to play to the media? Or playing to a stupid audience?