President-elect Donald Trump’s first press conference in six months, held this morning, was sure to be one for the ages. The man is known for many things (and now even for having an unsubstantiated sexual fetish], but backing down from controversy is not one of them. In true hyperbolic fashion, Trump addressed each reporter’s question by appearing smugly confident behind the podium. The press conference turned the internet into a total madhouse, erupting on Twitter with more than 11,000 tweets per minute.
In case you missed it, we’ve edited the conference’s most compelling moments into smaller pieces of digestible information for your reading pleasure.
ON THOSE FAKE REPORTS
One of the bigger concerns the public shared pre-conference was Trump’s response to recent documents—reportedly compiled by a British former intelligence agent—that accused Trump of many damning, yet unfounded, treasons.
Not wanting to disappoint on satiating the media’s hunger, the topic was addressed before Trump even took the podium, courtesy of spokesperson Sean Spicer.
“Before we start, I want to bring your attention to a few points on the report that was published by BuzzFeed last night,” Spicer began. “It’s frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile with President-elect’s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the internet just days before he takes the Oval Office.”
He continued, “According to BuzzFeed’s own editor, there are some serious reasons to doubt the allegations in the report. The executive editor of the New York Times also dismissed the report by saying it was ‘totally unsubstantiated’ echoing the concerns that many other reporters expressed on the internet.”
Spicer then blamed this incident on the media’s relentless pursuit of viral content. “The fact that BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with the unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks. The report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple.”
Spicer then introduced VP-elect Mike Pence, who said more of the same regarding those reports, adding, “I have long been a supporter of a free and independent press, and I always will be,” Pence said. “But with freedom comes responsibility. The irresponsible decision of a few news organizations to run with a false and unsubstantiated report when most news organizations resisted the temptation to propagate this fake news can only be attributed to media bias, an attempt to demean the President-elect and our incoming administration, and the American people are sick and tired of it.”
“I will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created, and I mean that,” Trump announced without irony in today’s conference, taking credit for creating an inviting and employable environment through negotiations with global business leaders who will do “tremendous” things for the country. In Trump’s own words, he argues that if he hadn’t been elected and met with business leaders, “they would be building and doing things in other countries.”
For the first time ever, Trump said he believes Russia was behind the notorious hacking ahead of the election. “I think it was Russia,” Trump said flatly, mentioning that the group of opponents who released this material were “sick people” and that such information should “never have entered paper.”
ON RELEASING HIS TAX RETURNS
Following a reporter’s question on the subject, Trump said, “I’m not releasing the tax returns because as you know, they’re under audit,” insisting that the only people who care about his tax returns are reporters. When pressed about whether he believed the American public cares about his financial affairs, Trump answered, “I don’t think so. I won. No. I don’t think they care at all.”
As for Russia, Trump believes a relationship is a good thing. “If Putin likes Trump, that’s considered an asset,” he told reporters today. After noting the importance of pursuing stronger relations with Moscow—“Russia will respect our country more,” he insists—Trump adds that if anything does go amiss with the Russians, he will be much tougher on Putin than Hillary Clinton ever would have been.
ON HIS BUSINESS
Trump informed reporters that he will be handing his business holdings over to his sons, Don Jr. and Eric, mentioning that he will not sell his stake or discuss business matters with his boys. He will, however, receive reports on the overall profit of the organization. Sheri Dillon, a lawyer for Trump, stepped in to add that both his business and financial assets will be placed into the trust before he is inaugurated.
ON THAT WALL
“We’re going to build a wall,” Trump matter of factly told reporters today. “I don’t want to wait.” Trump then addressed one reporter’s question on the perception that U.S. residents will be paying for the wall. “Mexico will reimburse us; whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment,” he promised. The President-elect then shifted gears entirely and complimented the country, insisting the Mexican government is “so nice” and he doesn’t blame its civilians for “taking advantage” of the United States all these years.
ON BUZZFEED AND CNN
Because of the release and subsequent reporting of the aforementioned documents released yesterday, it wasn’t a shock that Trump was not going to entertain any questions by the media outlets who reported on it—namely, BuzzFeed and CNN. He made his disdain rather public when he called BuzzFeed “a failing pile of garbage” and told a CNN reporter that his “organization is terrible,” insisting they publish fake news.