A jaw-dropping Trump spectacle, summarized
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Feb 17, 2017  |  Vote 0    6

A jaw-dropping Trump spectacle, summarized

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump held his first lengthy press conference as U.S. president and it was the stuff of political legend.

There were jaw-dropping moments. Nuggets of news. Flat-out falsehoods. Swings at the media. Feelings of personal grievance. Blasts at his former campaign rival. And one gasp-inducing reference to the political upside of war.

Thirteen key moments:

— How potentially starting a war would be great for approval ratings: "The greatest thing I could do is shoot that (Russian) ship that's 30 miles off shore right out of the water. Everyone in this country's going to say, 'Oh, it's so great.' That's not great. That's not great. I would love to be able to get along with Russia." Asked later what he actually will do with that ship: "I'm not going to tell you. But hopefully, I won't have to do anything."

— Makes up easily disproven facts: '(Mine) was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan." In fact, the winners of 1988, 1992, 1996, 2008, and 2012 won more electoral college votes than him. When asked later about the falsehood, Trump said: "I don't know, I was given that information." He also said the country was in a mess when he took over, with insecurity in the Middle East and jobs being lost at home. With respect to jobs, the country had notched a record 75 consecutive months of employment growth when he took office.

— New travel ban coming. Trump said he's about to roll out a new version of his controversial executive order on travel, after the first version was carved up in court: "We're going to put in a new executive order next week some time. But we had a bad (court) decision."

— Long-awaited replacement plan for Barack Obama health reform coming too: "We're doing Obamacare. We're in final stages. We should be submitting the initial plan in March, early March."

—Blasts the media. "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. But I'm not ranting and raving. I love this."

— The Justin Trudeau meeting. He says it went well. Trump also saluted the creation of a group to foster female business leaders and entrepreneurs, involving Canada and his daughter: "It's very important to me, very important to my daughter Ivanka."

— He's a good person and wants the media to say so: "I just see many, many untruthful things. And I'll tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word 'tone'? The tone is such hatred. I'm really not a bad person."

— He's great for TV ratings. Trump mentioned this several times. He even suggested a way TV could get better ratings — more positive stories about him: "I do get good ratings, you have to admit that," he told a CNN questioner. He added, "Your ratings aren't as good as some of the other people (here)." At another point, he said: "I know how good everybody's ratings are right now but I think that actually — I think that'd actually be better (if you were less critical)."

— He mentioned Hillary Clinton by name about 10 times, including when he ridiculed her failed effort to improve relations with Russia: "Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember? With the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks? 'Here, (she said to her Russian counterpart), take a look.' He looked at her like, 'What the hell is she doing with that cheap plastic button?'"

— A tale of two Acostas. Trump called the news conference ostensibly to announce his new pick for labour secretary, Alexander Acosta. He wound up spending more time sparring with CNN's Jim Acosta. Trump joked that he'd done a background check to make sure they were unrelated: "I said, 'Wait a minute, is there any relation there?'... I checked it — they said, 'No, sir.' I said, 'Do me a favour, go back and check the family tree.'"

—He's asked the Justice Department to investigate leaks from his administration, including the ones that ended Michael Flynn's brief cabinet stint: ''Those are criminal leaks.''

—Made an important statement about Russia. Amid reports that his campaign's dealings with Russian authorities were being investigated, Trump was asked whether he was aware of any contacts. He replied: "I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge no person that I deal with does.... Nobody that I know of."

—Says his administration is off to a great start: ''This is a fine-tuned machine.''

By Alexander Panetta, The Canadian Press

Trump's news conference

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(77) Comment

By Nic | FEBRUARY 18, 2017 09:43 PM
I have a serious question for informed and experienced persons; with the population growth of Canada in a crisis, therefore an increase in refugee and immigration need, and the cost of such being so high, would it not benefit to offer a lengthier period of maternity leave with a higher percentage of top up or EI? Would this not promote Canadians to create larger families from within and such funds could be drawn from immigration budgets or welfare budgets? The money is being spent regardless...The more frequent and lengthier maternity leaves would also open up contractual opportunities and experience opportunities for the newly graduated youth who are pressing to find work?
By Bruce | FEBRUARY 18, 2017 06:37 PM
...instead of your constant whining, give us some fact based solutions to discuss. If you are so smart...do that.
By Bruce | FEBRUARY 18, 2017 06:35 PM
Obviously Brian and Mike, you like to go thru life with blinders on and ignore the extent of damage that past policies did. For instance, Ontario deficit grew under Harris almost tripled while the party faithful exclaimed what good money managers they were. Harper all but destroyed Ontario industry while he spent his time (our money) promoting oil and gas adventures in Alberta. Remember the brown outs under Harris/Eves? Talk about mismanaged resource. US Steel workers lied to in Hamilton and downsized and pension money gone. Ok...who you whanna blame for that? Wynne offers LRT to Hamilton and neanderthals block it. They want buses. Complain...complain...complain...but no guts to make a difference.
By Brian | FEBRUARY 18, 2017 01:09 PM
Mike Harris. Seriously Bruce. Come on. Just what did/has McGuinty/Wynne to rectify those?? Stelco/US Steel. What has Trudeau done about that in 16 months?? Why does Trudeau continue to use Harper's deals/policies. Is Trudeau benefiting from gas and oil?? Ad scam ring a bell Bruce? Cutting transfer payments remeber that. Using the EI insurance fund to balance the budget strike a memory. How much has the Liberals across the country cost Canadian taxpayers?? How much has Trump cost Canadians?? Wake up Bruce. Have a snickers you're just not feeling yourself.
By Pat | FEBRUARY 18, 2017 12:27 PM
P, his father have him 3 million and bought 3 million in chips from his failing casinos. He has bilked people out of millions. He doesn't pay taxes. Everything is about him, he is a person lacking in character or empathy and is a compulsive liar, in those areas he is successful.
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