News organizations – including some labelled as “fake news” outlets by freshman president Donald J. Trump – are having a field day fact checking President Trump’s first “solo” press conference, and there’s a lot for them to gloat over. Some are even calling it the first “fact free” press conference.
The Washington Post – often a target for Mr. Trump’s invective – gleefully fact checked 15 statements made by the president, including:
- Claims that recent polls indicate soaring approval ratings for his first month in office. (Rasmussen, the poll cited by Trump, puts his job approval rating at 55 percent. Gallup puts them at 40 percent, and the highly regarded Pew organization puts them at 39 percent. The nays have it.)
- Even more questionable claims that his 304 electoral votes gave him the biggest electoral college vote of any president since Ronald Reagan. (Fact: Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton all posted better numbers than Donald Trump,)
- Hillary Clinton “gave away” 20 percent of the United States nuclear reserves to Russia. (Right now, it seems apparent that selling nuclear materials to Russia might not have been such a good idea, but nine different federal agencies signed off on that transaction and Clinton could not have decided to do this on her own initiative.)
Beyond these and other errors, there were two glaring moments of inappropriate behavior when Trump told Jake Turx, a reporter with Ami Magazine, to sit down because his was “not a fair question” after the reporter indicated that his would be a very simple question. The question concerned Trump’s plans to respond to an increasing number of anti-Semitic incidents across the United States and, no, it wasn’t simple. Trump’s reply included the rejoinder, “Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen in your entire life,” after abruptly telling Turx to sit down.
Then, Trump asked April Ryan, a black reporter from American Urban Radio Networks, if she wanted to set up a meeting for Trump with the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), saying, “Are they friends of yours? Set up a meeting”, after Ryan inquired about whether Trump would include the CBC in discussions about in urban communities across the United States.
For the complete rundown of the press conference, please read the complete Washington Post coverage beginning here.