Donald Trump launched a surprise attack on the news media on Thursday at a press conference in which he mocked and harried the White House press corps for more than an hour.
Trump, ranting and raving about how he’s not ranting and raving. I can’t even. pic.twitter.com/MvI9Jqp1vy
— Dan Froomkin (@froomkin) February 16, 2017
Having carefully avoided questions from all but a handful of friendly reporters in recent days as evidence of his stumbling performance as president mounted, Trump devoted less than 60 seconds to introducing his new secretary of labor nominee Alexander Acosta. Then he launched into what amounted to a 20-minute campaign speech blaming reporters in the room for portraying an administration in chaos when it was, he said, “running like a fine-tuned machine.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 16, 2017
When he opened the floor to questions, Trump responded to them in a sarcastic, rambling, not entirely coherent manner, frequently adopting the tone of an insult comic, roasting reporters as if at the annual correspondents’ dinner. He raged at the profusion of leaks that have been coming out of his administration — and at what he called the “fake news” that was based on those leaks.
The performance, which prompted an outpouring of disbelief from viewers around the world, was the clearest example yet of Trump treating reporters who fail to flatter him as “the opposition party,” as his chief White House strategist, Steve Bannon, explained to The New York Times last month.
Russian friend texts me during the presser: “What an embarrassment.”
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) February 16, 2017
I think both houses of Congress should assemble and watch the video of this press conference w/o interruption, then talk about what to do.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) February 16, 2017
I was watching trump’s presser at the gym and I had to stop cycling and leave cause I was laughing too much
— tiny jihad (@mirahwood) February 16, 2017
@daveweigel . He thought that one of the privileges of “winning” was that he would be worshiped.
— digby (@digby56) February 16, 2017