Donald Trump held a 77-minute press conference with reporters today that may go down as the most unhinged public appearance ever by an American president.
Trump vacillated between rambling, boastful belligerence, and attempts to wheedle the press into being kinder to him. As news spread on social media, viewers flocked to the White House Youtube channel to watch the spectacle live—but the speech is sure to be viewed by many more in the days, weeks, and years to come.
You can watch the entire speech above, and read the entire transcript, but we’ve also highlighted some of the most extraordinary parts below.
As a growing number of stories emerge about Trump advisors communicating with the Kremlin before he took office, Trump has alternately decried the accounts as “fake news” and threatened to go after the people who are leaking the information, which would suggest intelligence is real. When asked to explain the discrepancy, he said “The leaks are absolutely real but the news is fake because so much of the news is fake.”
Asked about protests against Republicans trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump said: ”I mean, they fill up our alleys with people that you wonder how they get there, but they are not the Republican people that our representatives are representing.”
When April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, asked if he would include the Congressional Black Caucus in his consultations about solving inner city problems, Trump asked her if they were “friends of hers” and whether she wanted to “set up the meeting.”
“I would love to meet with the Congressional Black Caucus,” he added. “I think its great.” The CBC quickly tweeted a Jan. 19 letter it sent to president Trump requesting a meeting, which the Caucus said he had not responded to.
“We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country. You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons like lots of things are done with uranium including some bad things.”
A Russian ship has lurked off the eastern coast of the US in recent days. Trump suggested blowing it up would be good for his ratings, saying “The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that’s 30 miles off shore right out of the water.”
When asked by a Hasidic reporter about the “uptick in attacks” on Jewish centers around the country: “Sit down. So here’s the story. Number one I am the least anti-Semitic person you’ll ever see in your entire life.”
When the reporter raised his hand to follow up, Trump sharply barked “Quiet, quiet!,” and reminded the crowd that Benjamin Netanyahu had praised him in a press conference yesterday.
“You should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question,” he said.
“We’re very powerful nuclear country and so are they [Russia],” Trump said. “I’ve been briefed and 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.”
When a reporter called out Trump on his frequently repeated false claim that his electoral college victory was the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s, the president said: “I was given that information… I’ve seen that information around… I don’t know.”
“The public doesn’t believe you people anymore. Now, maybe I had something to do with that. I don’t know.”
Perhaps anticipating the reaction that his speech might bring, Trump said “Tomorrow they will say ‘Rants and raves at the press.”
“I’m not ranting and raving,” he said, “I’m just telling you you’re dishonest people.”