President Donald Trump’s press conference on Thursday, February 16, was one for the books. The 70-year-old POTUS made several perplexing, headline-making remarks during the freewheeling 77-minute event. (Watch some of his most bizarre comments in the video above.) It was a sharp departure from the usual presidential news conference, as he repeated his attacks on what he called the “dishonest” media, gave false statistics and made chilling comments about a “nuclear holocaust.” The former TV personality faced intense backlash on social media and from the news community after his White House comments. (CNN’s Jake Tapper called it “wild” and “unhinged.”) Take a look at the nine most confounding things Trump said during the presser:
1. His remarks on the Congressional Black Caucus
April Ryan, a black journalist for American Urban Radio Networks, asked the businessman turned politician if he would be setting up a meeting with the CBC to talk about cleaning up the inner cities. “Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting?” Trump replied. “Are they friends of yours?” When Ryan explained that she’s just a reporter, he again told her, “Well, then set up the meeting.”
2. “The leaks are real,” but the “news is fake”
After the ex-Apprentice host slammed the leaks about his campaign’s alleged communications with Russia as “fake news,” a reporter asked him to clarify whether the leaks were true. “The leaks are real. You’re the one that wrote about them and reported them; I mean, the leaks are real … the leaks are absolutely real,” he said. “The news is fake because so much of the news is fake.” The comments left pretty much everyone confused.
3. The frightening remarks about a “nuclear holocaust”
Trump was asked whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was testing him by sending a spy ship near U.S. territory. “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,” he told reporters. “If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.”
4. His explanation of uranium
When talking about relations with Russia, Trump once again brought up his former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and her attempted reset with the country in 2009. “We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? It’s this thing called nuclear weapons. And other things. Like lots of things are done with uranium. Including some bad things,” he said, jabbing Clinton’s reset as “the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks.”
5. Trump reveals his alternate career path
He said that if he hadn’t pursued a career in business and politics, he surprisingly would have been a journalist. “I’d be a pretty good reporter,” he said. “Not as good as you.”
6. His false statement about the election
The former Trump Organization CEO claimed that he won the electoral college with 306 votes (it was actually 304) in the largest margin since former president Ronald Reagan. However, former presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush all garnered more electoral votes than Trump. When a reporter called out the falsehood, Trump said, “I don’t know. I was given that information. … Actually, I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory, do you agree with that?”
7. His line about “ranting and raving”
While repeatedly complaining about his problems with the media, POTUS claimed that he wasn’t “ranting and raving,” but predicted the press would say he was. “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,” he said. “I’m not ranting and raving. I love this. I’m having a good time doing it.”
8. Trump believes his administration is running smoothly.
“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos,” he said. “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.”
9. Trump thinks the travel ban was an example of his administration running smoothly.
Despite the federal court that paused his travel ban (which restricts people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.) and hundreds of protests, Trump thought that it went great. “Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision. We had a court that’s been overturned,” he said. “The only problem that we had is we had a bad court. We had a court that gave us what I consider to be, with great respect, a very bad decision. Very bad for the safety and security of our country. The rollout was perfect.”
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