Last week, United States President Donald Trump hastily organized a press conference to address the media and strongly defend himself against the staunchest critics of his term so far. However, the East Room – the largest room in the White House and the location of this press conference – soon degenerated into a battlefield with the President on one side and media on the other. By the end of it all, President Trump seemed increasingly frustrated with the manner in which his presidency was being portrayed in media outlets, and decided to take matters into his own hands. The 75-minute long event ultimately became a public relations disaster for the administration, with many who witnessed it expressing sheer incredulity at what had transpired. What follows are some excerpts from one of the most extraordinary political spectacles in recent memory.
1. “Russia is fake news. Russia. This is fake news put out by the media.” Indeed, these were the exact words uttered by the newly-elected President, labeling an entire country as “fake news”. He also added that Russian President Vladimir Putin had called him to congratulate him on his victory.
2. “Well, I don’t know, I was given that information. I was given – I actually, I’ve seen that information around.” The issue here was the margin of his victory in the Electoral College, which Trump had gloated about using the words “the biggest electoral win since Ronald Reagan”. Peter Alexander, a reporter from NBC News, then corrected both statements, noting that both Bush and Obama had better victory margins. Alexander later asked the million-dollar question which must have been on the minds of people all over the world: “Why should Americans trust you, when you accuse the information they’ve received of being fake, when you’re providing information that’s not accurate?”
3. “This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.” Despite widespread chaos and unease in the Trump camp with his close aide and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigning and reports of extreme infighting emerging just a few weeks into his term, Trump stood by his administration and pompously bragged that: “There has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time.” In this era of alternative facts, Trump proudly showed that running away from the unabashed truth and basing his entire policy on a distorted sense of reality is the way forward for him. His outright denial of any and every story which could produce even the smallest of dents on his stature is alarming to say the least, and does not bode well for the future.