President Donald Trump gave a rare press conference on Wednesday, and it was … bonkers?
After a day filled with meetings at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump talked to reporters for over an hour, facing questions on everything from trade policy to his embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. His answers were rambling and at times incoherent, and even for those accustom to his unusual rhetorical style, this was a wild ride.
Here are the five standout moments:
1. Taking aim at George Washington
Trump didn’t offer much in the way of concrete answers in response to several questions about the multiple sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh, except to claim it was a “big fat con job” by the Democrats. But he did somehow manage to bring George Washington into the conversation, saying, “Look, if we brought George Washington here, and we said, ‘We have George Washington.’ The Democrats would vote against him, just so you understand. And he may have had a bad past, who knows? He may have had some — I think accusations made? Didn’t he have a couple of things in his past? George Washington would be voted against 100 percent by [Chuck] Schumer and the con artists.”
Did not see that coming.
2. Lying about the allegations against him
In the course of addressing one of the questions about the sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh, President Trump was asked about his “personal experiences being accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct.” He snipped back, “I’ve been accused, and I was accused by I believe it was four women.” He then claimed they were “false accusations.” He finished by saying that the allegations against him that appeared in the New York Times were “fake news.”
For the record, he’s been accused by at least 16 women.
3. Responding to the UN laughter incident
It’s been well established that the audience laughed at him when he boasted about his administration’s accomplishments during a speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday. Trump, however, disputed that assessment again during today’s press conference. He explained his recollection of the incident, “They weren’t laughing at me. They were laughing with me. We had fun.” He added, “They didn’t laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together.”
Who knew our president had such great comedic timing?
4. Asking the New York Times to thank him
After a New York Times reporter said the paper was thriving — in contrast to Trump’s constant assertion that they’re “failing” — the president replied with, “You’re doing very well. Say ‘Thank you, Mr. Trump.'” It was an off-putting command, especially given his fraught relationship with the press. The reporter, to his credit, quipped back immediately, “I think I’ll stop short of that.”
5. “Quoting” Elton John
As he wrapped up the press conference, Trump decided to take one last question, and said, “I always like to finish with a good one. Elton John said ‘When you hit that last tune and it’s good, don’t go back.'” He then offered a bizarre example of how a bad encore can ruin a show. There is no public record of Elton John ever saying that, and, in fact, Elton John does believe in encores. Sorry, sir.
Now let’s all take a deep breath and wait for our heads to stop spinning.