President Donald Trump began his press conference Thurs. by stating, “I am taking this message directly to the American people.” He spent the next 77 minutes taking shots at the news media.
Trump began the conference by laying out policy objectives and the accomplishments of his Administration during the first month. He noted that more could have been accomplished if the Senate Democrats hadn’t used delay tactics preventing his cabinet nominees from getting confirmed. He then answered questions from more than 30 media reporters.
A major media narrative has been that the resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is evidence that the Trump Administration is in chaos. Trump characterized his Administration as a “finely tuned machine.” He stated that Flynn was doing his job by calling his foreign counterparts but was asked to resign because he didn’t accurately disclose his conversations in a discussion with Vice President Mike Pence.
Trump also disputed the notion that he has ties to Russia. He said, “I don’t know anyone in Russia. I have no business dealing with Russia. I have taken no loans from Russia and don’t own any property in Russia.” All of his holdings and business associations are listed in his Federal Election Commission disclosure report filed in June 2015. He noted that the media didn’t report of the Clinton Foundations contributions from Russia or the transfer of ownership of America uranium mines to the Russian government. Read the New York Times report on this: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html?_r=0.
On the issue of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta’s e-mail accounts being hacked (by still undisclosed sources), Trump said foreign entities tried to hack the Republican National Committee (RNC) e-mail accounts but were unsuccessful due to cyber-security upgrades the RNC installed at his recommendation. He also noted that most media outlets failed to publish the hacked DNC e-mails.
Some members of the media have suggested that President Trump has violated the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by criticizing the media. The 1st Amendment (ratified in 1791), states that “Congress shall make no laws abridging the freedom of the press,” among other things. The press is free to criticize the President, and the President is free to criticize the press.
Talk radio host Rush Limbaugh remarked, “We’re now at the point where the press needs a watchdog, and (President) Trump is that watchdog!” We now have a President who is not afraid to go on the offensive again a hostile and often dishonest media.