Trump unleashes on media in ‘unhinged’ press conference

Published: 17 February 2017 Image credit: Reuters

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President Trump promised America if he was elected, the nation wasn’t getting another politician… and boy has he delivered.

Where the usual politician will court, flatter, and fawn over journalists, President Trump has tried his own brash approach, launching a scathing attack on the media, calling them “dishonest” and “out of control” in a 76-minute press conference journalists described as “wild” and “unhinged.”

Mr Trump blasted the media’s coverage of his administration’s communications with Russia, and his fired national security advisor Michael Flynn, saying “Russia is a rouse” and the stories are “fake news.”

He said not addressing the media’s dishonesty would do a “great disservice” to the American people.

Mr Trump complained that the media’s portrayal of his early days in office as “chaotic” was untrue.

“The press is out of control,” he complained. “The level of dishonesty is out of control.

“I turn on the TV and open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos. And yet, it is the exact opposite.”

He called his administration a “fine-tuned machine,” and applauded the achievements made during his first weeks in office, including his controversial ‘Muslim travel ban,’ currently tied up in the court system, as well as a robust stock market.

He said plans to repeal the Obama administration’s health care act, dubbed ‘Obamacare,’ were going ahead in early March, and he was currently in discussions to build his long-promised US-Mexico border wall.

Mr Trump said he inherited a “mess” from the Obama administration, and he couldn’t be more proud of his team of “wonderful people” who are “working very hard.”

At times combative, he openly accused reporters of lying, told one to sit down, and asked another if they were “friendly.”

“Tomorrow, they will say: ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press,’” he said.  “I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you. You know, you’re dishonest people. But I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.”

Mr Trump also pledged he would crack down on the widespread leaks emerging from the White House.

His first weeks in office have been plagued by controversies and protests after the issue of a series of executive orders, a scandal surrounding national security advisor Michael Flynn, alleged inappropriate communications with Russia by his campaign team in the run-up to the election, and the delay or rejection of his Cabinet appointees.

Latest polls suggest Mr Trump’s disapproval level is currently hovering around 47 percent.