"Peace through strength," Donald Trump said to reporters today in a rambling, aggressive, monologue news conference that lasted 77 minutes. Trump rattled on in circular patterns about plans to "build and rebuild" the "great" military and law enforcement. He dodged questions on Flynn, Obamacare, leaked reports of turmoil within the administration, and expressed outrage at being questioned repeatedly about "this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don't talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks."
"Russia is a ruse," Trump said, several times.
I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven't made a phone call to Russia in years. Don't speak to people from Russia. Not that I wouldn't. I just have nobody to speak to. I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.
It's real bad, guys. And it can absolutely get worse.
Senior admin official tells me Trump walked into the Oval Office this morning and told his top aides: "Let's do a press conference today."
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) February 16, 2017
Here is the full transcript of Donald J. Trump's remarks to the press earlier today, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. He is currently the President of the United States of America. I read the whole thing and watched all hour and 53 minutes of the video, so you wouldn't have to, and I highlighted the most terrifying stuff and have pasted it here with my deep thoughts. Hold me. I'm legit terrified.
There were some doozies. Here were the sections of the rambling monologue, which went on for about the duration of a feature motion picture, but was far more terrifying than anything I've ever seen at the movies.
The press has become so dishonest that if we don't talk about, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people. Tremendous disservice. We have to talk to find out what's going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.
And then, good cop.
[T]he media is going through what they have to go through too often times distort – not all the time – and some of the media is fantastic, I have to say – they're honest and fantastic.
But much of it is not a – the distortion — and we'll talk about it, you'll be able to ask me questions about it. But we're not going to let it happen, because I'm here again, to take my message straight to the people. As you know, our administration inherited many problems across government and across the economy. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad, a mess. Jobs are pouring out of the country; you see what's going on with all of the companies leaving our country, going to Mexico and other places, low pay, low wages, mass instability overseas, no matter where you look. The middle east is a disaster. North Korea – we'll take care of it folks; we're going to take care of it all. I just want to let you know, I inherited a mess.
Now, on to a rarely-heard sotto voce dogwhistle to white supremacists. This part's all about The Blacks and The Mexicans, aka The Illegals, who are responsible for everything bad.
We've ordered the Department of Homeland Security and Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs. We're becoming a drug infested nation. Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars. We are not going to let it happen any longer.
The next part is what I like to call, "I had all of their albums before you even heard of them":
We have had great conversations with the United Kingdom, and meetings. Israel, Mexico, Japan, China and Canada, really, really productive conversations. I would say far more productive than you would understand.
They've spread like cancer. ISIS has spread like cancer – another mess I inherited. And we have imposed new sanctions on the nation of Iran, whose totally taken advantage of our previous administration, and they're the world's top sponsor of terrorism, and we're not going to stop until that problem is properly solved. And it's not properly solved now, it's one of the worst agreements I've ever seen drawn by anybody. I've ordered plan to begin building for the massive rebuilding of the United States military. Had great support from the Senate, I've had great from Congress, generally.
We've pursued this rebuilding in the hopes that we will never have to use this military, and I will tell you that is my – I would be so happy if we never had to use it. But our country will never have had a military like the military we're about to build and rebuild. We have the greatest people on earth in our military, but they don't have the right equipment and their equipment is old. I used it; I talked about it at every stop. Depleted, it's depleted – it won't be depleted for long. And I think one of the reason I'm standing here instead of other people is that frankly, I talked about we have to have a strong military.
We have to have a strong law enforcement also. So we do not go abroad in the search of war, we really are searching for peace, but its peace through strength.
Next, again with the boasting about vote counts:
I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn't supposed to get 222. They said there's no way to get 222, 230's impossible.
270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media's trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made and they're not happy about it for whatever reason.
And – but a lot of people are happy about it. In fact, I'll be in Melbourne, Florida five o'clock on Saturday and I heard – just heard that the crowds are massive that want to be there. I turn on the T.V., 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.
A fine-tuned machine.
Next, yep, that's right, "Trump's Fucking Wall," as former Mexican President Vicente Fox calls it:
And the wall is going to be a great wall and it's going to be a wall negotiated by me. The price is going to come down just like it has on everything else I've negotiated for the government. And we are going to have a wall that works, not gonna have a wall like they have now which is either non-existent or a joke.
Now for an attack on the Judicial branch of the Federal Government.
The court system has not made it easy for us. And are even creating a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, which there are many. We have taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country. No parts are necessary and constitutional actions were blocked by judges, in my opinion, incorrect, and unsafe ruling. Our administration is working night and day to keep you safe, including reporters safe. And is vigorously defending this lawful order.
Next, a resentful mishmosh and something I don't fully understand about 'extreme vetting.' Also, basically: fuck you indigenous people and libtards, that fucking pipeline is happening.
Extreme vetting will be put in place and it already is in place in many places.
In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I have heard 80 percent, I find that hard to believe, that is just a number I heard, that they are overturned 80 percent of the time. I think that circuit is — that circuit is in chaos and that circuit is frankly in turmoil. But we are appealing that, and we are going further.
We're issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country. So we'll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that, at the same time we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people. That will be done sometime next week, toward the beginning or middle at the latest part. We have also taken steps to begin construction of the Keystone Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipelines. Thousands and thousands of jobs, and put new buy American measures in place to require American steel for American pipelines. In other words, they build a pipeline in this country, and we use the powers of government to make that pipeline happen, we want them to use American steel. And they are willing to do that, but nobody ever asked before I came along. Even this order was drawn and they didn't say that.
This part makes me wonder if Paul Manafort is out of a job?
To drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, D.C., I've started by imposing a five-year lobbying ban on White House officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government.
Next, The Affordable Care Act. The only people who use "Obamacare" are lazy no-good non-white drug rape monsters.
Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It is's disaster. I know you can say, oh, Obamacare. I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people our that representatives are representing.
So we've begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare, and are deep in the midst of negotiations on a very historic tax reform to bring our jobs back, to bring our jobs back to this country. Big league. It's already happening. But big league.
Next, is this a threat that Trump SCOTUS nominee Gorsuch will become a Supreme Court judge, "or else"? Nice Judiciary system you got there, shame if something were to happen to it.
And one more thing, I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is from my list of 20, and who will be a true defender of our laws and our Constitution, highly respected, should get the votes from the Democrats. You may not see that. But he'll get there one way or the other. But he should get there the old-fashioned way, and he should get those votes.
The Q&A that followed was bonkers. Trump attacked the press throughout the Q&A. This is — what is there to even say about this insanity? He's on a new offensive.
QUESTION: I just want to get you to clarify this very important point. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign? And on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks?
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. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do — and I hope we can correct it. Because there's nobody I have more respect for — well, maybe a little bit but the reporters, good reporters.
I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you, I have no deals there, I have no anything. Now, when WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they're not giving classified information. They're giving stuff — what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates.
Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates. Can you imagine — seriously — can you imagine if I received the questions? It would be the electric chair. OK, he should be put in the electric — you would even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty, OK?
Next, an off-the-cuff remark by Trump about Jeff Zucker, the head of CNN, whom one could say made Trump newly famous with the television show, "The Apprentice."
QUESTION: Thank you very much, and just for the record, we don't hate you. I don't hate you.
QUESTION: So, pass that along —
TRUMP: Ask — ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job. OK?
I don't want to be hacked. And we did that. And you have seen that they tried to hack us and they failed. The DNC did not do that. And if they did it, they could not have been hacked. But they were hacked and terrible things came in. And, you know, the only thing that I do think is unfair is some of the things were so — they were — when I heard some of those things I picked up the papers the next morning and said, oh, this is going to be front page, it wasn't even in the papers.
Again, if I had that happen to me, it would be the biggest story in the history of publishing or the head of newspapers. I would have been headline in every newspaper. I mean, think of it. They gave her the questions to a debate and she — and she should have reported herself.
Also during the question and answer period, a reporter asks Trump about his failure to address even one of the dozens of anti-Jewish hate attacks that have taken place since Trump took power.
TRUMP:…he said he was gonna ask a very simple, easy question. And it's not, its not, not — not a simple question, not a fair question. OK sit down, I understand the rest of your question.
So here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti- Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we did very well relative to other people running as a Republican — quiet, quiet, quiet.
See, he lied about — he was gonna get up and ask a very straight, simple question, so you know, welcome to the world of the media. But let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge, I find it repulsive.
I hate even the question because people that know me and you heard the prime minister, you heard Ben Netanyahu (ph) yesterday, did you hear him, Bibi? He said, I've known Donald Trump for a long time and then he said, forget it.
So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question like that.
Next, Trump engages in tone policing, and goes completely off the rails.
You know what it is? Here's the thing. The public isn't — you know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don't know if it's true or false because they're not involved. I'm involved. I've been involved with this stuff all my life. But I'm involved. So I know when you're telling the truth or when you're not. I just see many, many untruthful things.
And I'll tell you what else I see. 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.
I watched this morning a couple of the networks. And I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning, they're very honorable people. They're very — not because they're good, because they hit me also when I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. That's all I can say. It's the most honest.
But the tone, Jim. If you look — the hatred. The, I mean, sometimes — sometimes… (…) And the hatred and venom coming from his mouth; the hatred coming from other people on your network.
Now, I will say this. I watch it. I see it. I'm amazed by it. And I just think you'd be a lot better off, I honestly do. The public gets it, you know. Look, when I go to rallies, they turn around, they start screaming at CNN. They want to throw their placards at CNN. You know.
I — I think you would do much better by being different. But you just take a look. Take a look at some of your shows in the morning and the evening. If a guest comes out and says something positive about me, it's — it's brutal.
Now, they'll take this news conference — I'm actually having a very good time, OK? But they'll take this news conference — don't forget, that's the way I won. Remember, I used to give you a news conference every time I made a speech, which was like every day. OK?
No, that's how I won. I won with news conferences and probably speeches. I certainly didn't win by people listening to you people. That's for sure. But I'm having a good time.
Tomorrow, they will say, "Donald Trump rants and raves at the press." I'm not ranting and raving. I'm just telling you. You know, you're dishonest people. But — but I'm not ranting and raving. I love this. I'm having a good time doing it.
But tomorrow, the headlines are going to be, "Donald Trump rants and raves." I'm not ranting and raving.
[HT: @nycjim. PHOTO: Reuters.]
— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) February 17, 2017
Man, Trump's whole answer on whether anyone from his campaign team had contact with the Russian government: pic.twitter.com/ELie5x2MZW
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 16, 2017
But short for a campaign speech, which is what it was https://t.co/diWdnfHCLv
— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) February 17, 2017