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:

  1. 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."
  2. 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.
  3. 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."
  4. 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."
  5. 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."
  6. 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."
  7. 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."
  8. 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)."
  9. 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?'"
  10. 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.'"
  11. 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.''
  12. 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."
  13. Says his administration is off to a great start: ''This is a fine-tuned machine.''

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Oh, dear. Hour after hour of US and Trump news on CBC television and radio and all other
Canadian media outlets. If I want to know about US politics I can watch MSNBC or CNN or even if I were to be desperate Fox News. Give me a break!!!

Sara-Anne I agree! The National Observer's fixation with Trump is frustrating.

Part of the fixation seems to be the "Russian Hacking" issue, which is far from proven and not relevant to Canadians. It would be great to see a Canadian publication update this story from 2010, in which CSIS claimed: "At least two provincial cabinet ministers and a number of other government officials and employees are under the control of foreign countries as part of espionage schemes."
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/government-infiltrated-by-s...

Agreed! Just like Rob Ford before him, Trainwreck Trump is a great opportunity for all kinds of shady characters to get up to no good while we look the other way. We need you to keep tracking down our own Oily Gov't Clown Troupe. They haven't stopped selling us out to Corporations (e.g. while the fiasco fighting to oust Nestle continues to fail, apparently our council is now 'struggling' to keep Guelph Hydro public) and now with Trudeau fumbling Electoral Reform and flat out dropping Prop Rep the idiot Liberals are paving the way to another PC nightmare with Kelly Leach and Kevin Leering from the wings. Excellent link and idea from Chris here to do a little me spying on SpyWorld — as we learned in "Citizenfour" and "Nowhere To Hide" the implications of Trump having full access to the NSA data pushed through under Obama is even scarier for those of us here in Canada, and everywhere else OUTSIDE the USA. Would love to read more NationalObserver stories about CSIS and other ways these CYBER attacks are impacting us directly

I am a lukewarm ok with American news BUT this is a Canadian Press story that showed up in so many other places and not original National Observer content. No need for it here!!

I get a daily list of topics from the National Observer, as you probably do. All you have to do is skip over the ones you don't want to see. We do seem to have a significant lack of Canadian oriented news. Perhaps it is because we are so law-abiding and don't have a leader who continuously does not throw tantrums, although we do need to continue to follow the modifications of his statements once in a while :))
cheers

I watched all 78 minutes of the press conference on YouTube and congratulate Panetta for this summary -- it is a fair representation of what transpired, unlike the few snippets one can read in the mainstream media. (A link / fact checking on that 20% uranium offer by Clinton would have been welcome.)

Unlike on the campaign trail, Pres. Trump showed a calm, even good-humoured self here, while not abandoning his near-dismissal of the mainstream media.

You'd have to be a fool not to try to understand him. He may well do extremely regressive and dangerous things. Demonizing him clouds watching where he's going. Extreme vigilance is advised.

But if you think otherwise, hey, as Jackal says, just skip the item.

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