Press Conference

'Uranium, jerks and a nuclear holocaust' - the most bizarre moments from Trump's press conference

Trump was called out by a reporter over his claims about the size of his victory. / YouTube

DONALD TRUMP TOOK to the White House press podium for an hour and 15 minutes yesterday, ripping the press and denouncing “leakers”.

Trump’s first solo news conference as president was a lot of things including memorable. For all the trappings of the White House and traditions of the forum, his performance was one of a swaggering, blustery campaigner, armed with grievances and primed to unload on his favourite targets.

Here are some of the main talking points:

The news is fake

Trump appeared to confirm the veracity of leaks that led to the resignation of his national security adviser Michael Flynn, but still took aim at those who did the leaking.

The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.
Russia is fake news. Russia – this is fake news put out by the media. The real news is the fact that people, probably from the Obama administration because they’re there, because we have our new people going in place, right now.

Trump, however, would not go as far as saying that Flynn lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian diplomats before Trump’s inauguration.

The travel ban rollout was smooth

Donald Trump President Donald Trump points to a member of the media. AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP Photo / Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The Trump administration last night dropped its appeal against a court ruling that suspended his travel ban. However, despite the ban being defeated in three courts, Trump said the rollout of the ban went well.

We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban; we had a bad court.

He said he’s not a bad person

Trump, who continually used the pulpit to criticise the media, said there was a negative tone about what he does.

I see tone. You know the word ‘tone’? The tone is such hatred. I’m really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such – I do get good ratings, you have to admit that – the tone is such hatred.

A nuclear holocaust like no other

Trump warned that a nuclear war between the US and Russia would bring about an unprecedented nuclear holocaust. He then explained the many uses of uranium.

We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I have been briefed. And I can tell you, one thing about a briefing that we’re allowed to say, because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we.
We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, and other things. Like, lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things. Nobody talks about that.

Hillary made Americans “look like jerks”

Trump’s assessment of Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State was not positive.

Hillary Clinton did the reset, remember? With the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks. Here, take a look. He looked at her like, ‘What the hell is she doing?’ With that cheap plastic button. Hillary Clinton. That was a reset. Remember it said ‘Reset’? Now if I do that oh, I’m the bad guy.

A problem of maths

Trump had earlier claimed to have the largest electoral margin of victory since Reagan, a provable falsehood. NBC reporter Peter Alexander took him to task.

Alexander: You said today that you had the biggest electoral margin since Ronald Reagan – 304, 306 electoral votes. In fact, President Obama got 365 in 2008.

Trump: Well, I’m talking about Republicans.

Alexander: President Obama 333, George H.W. Bush 426 when he won. So why should Americans trust…

Trump: I was given that information, I was just given it. We had a very big margin.

Alexander: I guess the question is: Why should Americans trust you when you accuse the information they receive as being fake, when you’re providing information that is not accurate?

Trump: Well, I was given that information. I was, actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that?

Alexander: You’re the president.

Trump also asked a black reporter to set up a meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, asking if she was “friends with them” and said his administration is “running like a fine-tuned machine”.

Read: Trump gives up on travel ban as he withdraws court appeal

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