US President Donald Trump took to the stage on Thursday to deny reports of “chaos” at the White House, in one of America’s most memorable Presidential press conferences to date.
In his first solo press conference, Trump talked over reporters and on several occasions told them to “sit down”, adding that he “knew the rest of the question”. He said that he had inherited a “mess”, and that his administration was operating like a “fine-tuned machine”.
“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos,” Trump told reporters. “Yet it is the exact opposite… despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved.”
The bizarre press conference saw the US President move from topic to topic at breakneck speed, without fully stopping to answer questions from journalists. When pushed about his relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, he said:
“President Putin called me up nicely to congratulate me on the win of the election. He called me up extremely nicely to congratulate me on the inauguration, which was terrific, but so did almost all other leaders from almost all other countries.”
He added that he has barely spoken to anyone in Russia because he “doesn’t know anyone in Russia”, and that it would be difficult to get along with Russia because of the media pressure. He then said:
“Because if we could get along with Russia, and by the way, China and Japan and everyone, if we could get along, it would be a positive thing, not a negative thing.”
On the topic of nuclear weapons, he explained to reporters:
“You know what uranium is, right? This thing called nuclear weapons, like lots of things are done with uranium, including some bad things.”
At one point April Ryan, a black reporter with American Urban Radio Networks in Baltimore, asked Trump if he planned to meet and work with the Congressional Black Caucus. He responded by asking if she herself wanted to set up the meeting, adding the question: “Are they friends of yours?”
The press conference sparked controversy across the globe, with Trump’s combative approach to reporters failing to be dampened as his Presidency continues.