About 250 reporters faced the president-elect in New York City today, and many major points were made.
So let's run them down.
The issue of fake news, fabricated reports about not only Donald Trump, but public figures in general, was front and center.
The issue began yesterday when BuzzFeed, an internet site, released a so-called report that attacked Donald Trump in a personal way and also implied that his campaign had secret dealings with Russia.
There was no evidence put forth in those assertions.
Most news organizations, including Fox, stayed away from the report.
Earlier CNN did pick it up, the general thread of the story, and that angered Mr. Trump.
He was also agitated that U.S. intelligence agencies in the past have leaked stuff:
TRUMP: “I think it’s a disgrace. And I say that, and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done, and did do. I think it’s a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public. As far as BuzzFeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing it I think they’re going to suffer the consequences. They already are. And as far as CNN going out of their way to build it up.”
A few minutes later a CNN reporter tried to ask Mr. Trump a question.
JIM ACOSTA, CNN REPORTER: “Mr. President-elect since you are attacking our news organization can you give us a chance?”
TRUMP: “Not you. Not you.”
ACOSTA: “You are attacking our news organization.”
TRUMP: “Your organization is terrible.”
ACOSTA: “Sir can you –“
TRUMP: “Quiet. She’s asking a question. Don’t be rude.”
ACOSTA: “Can you give us a question? You’re attacking us!”
TRUMP: “Don’t be rude. No I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
Now CNN has issued a statement saying quote:
"CNN's decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than BuzzFeed's decision to publish unsubstantiated memos."
The statement continues but you get the idea. The press and Donald Trump will be an ongoing soap opera no doubt.
As for policy, the national media - still very interested in the Russian hacking deal.
So Mr. Trump addressed it:
TRUMP: “The Democratic National Committee was totally open to be hacked. They did a very poor job. They could have had hacking defense, which we had. And I must give Reince Preibus credit because when Reince saw what was happening in the world and with this country, he went out and went to various firms and ordered a very strong hacking defense.”
Also ABC News asked Mr. Trump about Putin:
TRUMP: “If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability. Because we have a horrible relationship with Russia. ((EDIT)) Now, I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t. And if I don’t, do you honestly believe that Hillary would be tougher on Putin than me? Does anyone in this room really believe that?”
Then it was on to Obamacare which as we reported last night is toast.
TRUMP: “We’re going to do repeal and replace. Very complicated stuff. And we’re going to get a health bill passed. We’re going to get healthcare taken care of in this country. You have deductibles that are so high.”
What the Republicans propose in place of Obamacare will of course be a major story.
Much of the press conference dealt with Donald Trump's business dealings. He's putting a lot of stuff in trusts and handing operations of his company over to his two sons.
Lou Dobbs will have some thoughts on that coming up.
But then it got back to the Trump controversies. Front and center -- the wall on the southern border.
TRUMP: “Mexico, in some form and there are many different forms, will reimburse us for the cost of the wall. That will happen. Whether it’s a tax or whether it’s a payment—probably less likely that it’s a payment. But it will happen.”
Mr. Trump says he will begin building the wall shortly after he takes office on January 20th.
Mexico also got more bad news because the president-elect once again said he is going to institute a so-called border tax which would punish American companies operating in Mexico and other countries who try to ship their products back to the USA.
TRUMP: “There will be a major border tax on these companies that are leaving and getting away with murder. And if our politicians had what it takes, they would have done this years ago. And you’d have a million more workers right now.”
So all in all there was a lot of substance in the press conference.
Mr. Trump's demeanor was direct. I saw no difference in him today than when he was campaigning.
He stated his case with authority. He was blunt and he continues to say he'll do what he promised to do.
As for the press - they are still fixated on the election.
There's no question in my mind that the hunt for a Trump-Russia connection during the campaign remains intense.
Some in the national media wanting to de-legitimize the vote.
And at this point, that's the only way to do it.
Summing up, Donald Trump helped himself today, but he'd better watch his back.
Not since Richard Nixon has the national press corps been so determined to bring someone down.