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Trump Assails Journalists in First Press Conference Since July

HeadlineJan 12, 2017

Donald Trump lashed out at reporters during a press conference on Wednesday, slamming CNN as “fake news” and calling BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage.” The diatribe came as Trump denounced unverified reports that Russia’s government has compromising information that it could use to blackmail the president-elect. On Tuesday, CNN reported that top intelligence officials had briefed Trump, President Obama and top lawmakers over the claims, which also allege Trump representatives met repeatedly with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign and discussed the hacking of the DNC and the email of Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta. BuzzFeed later published a dossier, prepared by British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, outlining unverified allegations of a political and sexual nature. The reports prompted Trump to respond on Twitter, “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to leak into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?” On Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said he was dismayed over the leaked dossier, and denied that anyone from the U.S. intelligence community was responsible. At Wednesday’s press conference, Trump refused to answer questions from CNN’s Jim Acosta.

President-elect Donald Trump: “Go ahead. Go ahead.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President-elect, Mr. President-elect, since you are attacking our news organization—”

President-elect Donald Trump: “No, not you. Not you.”

Jim Acosta: “Can you give us a chance?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Your organization is terrible.”

Jim Acosta: “You are attacking our news organization.”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Your organization is terrible. Let’s go—”

Jim Acosta: “Can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Go ahead.”

Jim Acosta: “Sir, can you—”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Quiet. Quiet.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President-elect, can you say categorically—”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Go ahead. She’s asking a question. Don’t be rude.”

Jim Acosta: “Mr. President-elect, can you give us a question?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Don’t be rude.”

Jim Acosta: “You’re attacking us. Can you give us a question?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Don’t be—”

Jim Acosta: “Can you give us a question?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “No, I’m not going to give you a—I am not going to give you a question.”

Jim Acosta: “Can you state categorically—”

President-elect Donald Trump: “You are fake news. Go ahead.”

Trump gave the next question to a reporter with Breitbart News, a website that champions the white nationalist movement and was headed until last August by Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. CNN’s Jim Acosta later said that Trump’s spokesperson, Sean Spicer, threatened to have him expelled if he tried to ask another question. The press conference was Trump’s first since July, when he called on Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s email servers. On Wednesday, Trump said it was “probably Russia” that broke into the DNC’s servers and hacked John Podesta’s emails, but insisted he had no loans and no business dealings with Russia. This is NBC reporter Hallie Jackson questioning Trump.

Hallie Jackson: “Will you release your tax returns to prove what you’re saying about no deals in Russia?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Well, I’m not releasing tax returns, because, as you know, they’re under audit.”

Hallie Jackson: “But every president since the ’70s—”

President-elect Donald Trump: “Oh, gee, I’ve never heard that. Oh, gee, I’ve never heard that. I’ve never heard that. You know, the only one that cares about my tax returns are the reporters. OK? They’re the only ones.”

Hallie Jackson: “You don’t think the American public is concerned about that?”

President-elect Donald Trump: “But, no, I don’t think so. I won. I mean, I became president. No, I don’t think they care at all. I don’t think they care at all. I think you care. I think you care.”

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