President Donald Trump assailed the media and defended his administration as a “fine-tuned machine” Thursday in a combative and rambling news conference at the White House. For 77 minutes, Trump took questions, frequently interrupting reporters, dismissing CNN and other outlets as “fake news.” Trump angrily denied reports that his administration is in chaos following Monday’s firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
President Donald Trump: “I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos. Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my Cabinet approved.”
President Trump dismissed a New York Times report that members of his presidential campaign had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the lead-up to November’s election. Trump called the report a “joke” and falsely stated it has been discredited. He later vowed to put a stop to leaks in his administration, saying the leaks were real but the “news is fake.”
Jonathan Karl: “And on the leaks, is it fake news, or are these real leaks?”
President Donald 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.”
We’ll have more excerpts of President Trump’s White House news conference after headlines.