Donald Trump‘s early morning tweets continue. The president, 70, took to social media Friday, February 17, to thank his supporters for their kind words following his first press conference since he took office. His statement comes amid strong backlash about
his refusal to discuss the Russian hacks and false statements he made during his address about Hillary
Clinton, his administration and the election.
“Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday,” Trump wrote. “Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever.” (The conservative commentator, 66, called Trump’s presser “one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen.”)
The commander in chief, who condemned CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post during Thursday’s press conference, made sure to call any news outlet that disliked his 75-minute talk “fake media,” adding on Twitter that they are “not happy” with his success.
Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday. Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever. Fake media not happy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
He also called the press in general “out of control.”
“Unfortunately, much of the media in Washington, D.C., along with New York, Los Angeles in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system,” declared Trump. “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 about it. To find out what’s going on, because the press honestly is out of control. The level of dishonesty is out of control.”
He also had what former National Security Adviser Susan Rice called a “notably offensive” interaction with black journalist April Ryan, who asked Trump if he would include the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus) in a discussion about cleaning up inner cities. “Am I going to include who?” he responded, before asking the American Urban Radio Networks correspondent if she wanted to set up the meeting, as they might be “friends of yours.”
When Ryan explained that she was a reporter, he declared, “Let’s go. Set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it’s great.”
While Trump has praised Fox News’ coverage of him in the past, network personality Shepard Smith criticized the president’s performance at his first solo presser. “It’s absolutely crazy,” Smith, 53, said. “He keeps repeating ridiculous, throwaway lines that are not true at all and sort of avoiding this issue of Russia as if we’re some kind of fools for asking the question. Really? Your opposition was hacked and the Russians were responsible for it and your people were on the phone with Russia on the same day it was happening and we’re fools for asking the questions? No sir.”
He concluded, “You call us fake news and put us down like children for asking questions on behalf of the American people.”
Smith wasn’t the only journalist to blast Trump following Thursday’s appearance. CNN’s Jake Tapper called the presser “unhinged,” and chided the president for talking more about Clinton than his labor secretary nominee, Alexander Acosta.
“He spent the first part of his remarks talking about accomplishments he thought the media, the fake media, whatever he wants to call us, were not paying enough attention to. But then, instead of focusing on these accomplishments and offering an optimistic, positive view of what he’s doing for this country, it was an airing of grievances, it was festivus,” Tapper, 47, asserted on air. “It was complaints about the media. At one point he said the leaks were real, but the news was fake, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. He said things that were not true.”
Celebrities such as Scott Foley, Josh Gad, Kathy Griffin, J.K. Rowling and Jesse Williams also weighed in, jumping on Twitter during and after the press conference to express their concern and frustration. Actress Minnie Driver turned the tables on the businessman turned politician’s fake news claims, writing, “Fake news? You know what isn’t fake? The fact that he lies.”
Alec Baldwin, who Trump has criticized for the actor’s portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live, chimed in too. “This guy is so wired in front of the press,” Baldwin wrote on Twitter. “Imagine what he’s like behind closed doors …”