Trump says reporters should be ‘ashamed’ in long, hostile press conference
One day after the midterm elections, U.S. President Donald Trump railed against reporters during a press conference.
Trump praised his victory, even though the Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives. Trump’s party did gain ground in the Senate.
In an attempt to minimize damage, Trump said Republicans “defied history” because midterm losses are typical for the party in the White House.
He also said the Republicans who lost did so because they didn’t campaign with him.
The press conference started to become unhinged as Trump answered questions from reporters over a multitude of issues. Here’s how it played out.
Trump spars with reporters, slamming ‘hostile media’
Trump repeatedly told reporters to sit down while they were trying to ask questions and called the media “hostile.”
During a question from CNN’s Jim Acosta, Trump interrupted to say, “Here we go again.”
Acosta’s question focused on the migrant caravan and accused Trump of “demonizing immigrants” during the campaign.
WATCH: Trump loses his patience with the ‘hostile media’
Trump told Acosta, “I think you should let me run the country, and you run CNN. And if you did it well, your ratings would be much better,” before abruptly moving on to another reporter.
Acosta tried to ask another question, but Trump repeatedly told him “that’s enough” before saying “CNN should be ashamed” for employing Acosta, calling him rude and a terrible person.
When another reported defended Acosta, Trump said, “I’m not a big fan of your, either.”
White House staffers tried to forcibly remove the microphone from Acosta.
In a statement, CNN said Trump has “gone too far.”
Trump says reporter’s question on white nationalists is racist
Yamiche Alcindor, a black reporter with PBS NewsHour, asked Trump about the consequences of calling himself a “nationalist” and if the Republican party supports white nationalists. The president accused her of asking a racist question.
“Some say the Republican party is seen as supporting white nationalists,” Alcindor said.
“I don’t believe it,” Trump responded.
“What do you make of it?” she asked.
“Why do I have my highest poll numbers ever with African-Americans? Why do I have among the highest poll numbers with African-Americans? Why do I have my highest poll numbers? That’s such a racist question. Honestly, I know you have it written down, that’s a racist question,” Trump said.
WATCH: ‘That’s such a racist question’ — Trump slams question about white nationalists
Trump says he can’t understand three international reporters
In three separate instances, Trump told reporters that he couldn’t understand them.
The first woman asked whether the fact that two Muslim women were elected could be a direct backlash of his policies.
He replied “I don’t understand the question” and proceeded to talk about unemployment among minorities in the U.S. and the economy.
When the microphone was passed to the next reporter, Trump said he would understand him because he was from Brooklyn.
Trump also responded in kind to a Japanese reporter and a Lebanese reporter.
He also told the Japanese reporter to “Say hello to Shinzo.” (Shinzo Abe is the President of Japan.)
WATCH: Trump says he can’t understand three international reporters
Trump says he can fire “everybody” working on Russia investigation
Trump was asked what he intended to do about Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The president has repeatedly criticized Mueller and his probe, calling it a politically motivated witch hunt and bad for the country. The investigation looks into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
Trump was asked whether he would remove Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein from their positions now that the midterms are over.
“I could fire everybody right now. But politically I don’t want to stop it [the investigation],” Trump said.
WATCH: ‘I could fire everybody right now’ — Trump on Russia investigation
Trump suggested that changes may be coming within his cabinet.
Although he said he’s happy with “most” of his staff, he said he is “looking at different people for different positions,” adding that “it is very common after the midterms.”
Asked specifically about the future of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump said, “I’d rather answer that at a little bit different time.”
(Shortly after Wednesday’s press conference, it was announced that Jeff Sessions was out as Trump’s attorney general.)
Asked about John Kelly, Trump said he hadn’t heard anything about that.
“People leave. People leave. … I haven’t heard about John Kelly, but people leave. … It’s a very exhausting job,” he said.
Trump names VP Mike Pence for 2020 running mate on the fly
When asked about with whom he will run on his ticket in the 2020 presidential election, Trump made Vice President Mike Pence stand up to answer.
Trump said he hadn’t asked Pence yet, but then turned to the vice-president and said: “Mike, will you be my running mate? Will you?”
Pence acknowledged that he would.
WATCH: ‘Mike will you be my running mate?’ — Trump taps Pence again
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