If president-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference is any indication, it’s going to be a long and unsettling four years. Part three-ring circus, part absurdist comedy, Trump’s press conference on Wednesday morning was everything we’ve come to expect from the Republican blowhard. Trump was fiery, dismissive, arrogant, unprepared, conspiratorial and as intellectually scattered and unintelligible as a grade school kid who hadn’t done his homework assignment.
Trump held the news conference because of swirling allegations that he was compromised by Russian operatives. Indeed, the whole conference, complete with props, shouting matches and a warm-up routine, was like a reality TV retelling of a bad John le Carre novel. The plot went something like this. Buzzfeed released a 35-page document that contained unverified accounts of Donald Trump’s involvement with the Russian government. The damning dossier, supposedly compiled by a highly respected British intelligence officer, contained compromising personal and financial information about Trump, including information on some unusual sexual practices.
During the news conference, Donald Trump sought to discredit Buzzfeed and CNN, claiming the salacious memo was “flat-out false information.” Trump called Buzzfeed “a failing pile of garbage,” and when a CNN reporter tried to ask him a question, Trump said “no” and called CNN a fake news organization.
Of course, many Americans feel that Donald Trump won the 2016 election because he and his supporters relentlessly spread fake news stories about Hilary Clinton. In other words, Trump calling CNN a fake news outlet is sort of like “the pot calling the kettle black.” It’s ironic. Trump and his political team can dish it out but they can’t take it. What the next four years will bring is anyone’s guess.