RUSH: In very measured tones, the president is firing howitzers at the media and the Washington establishment. I’ll characterize this later. Let’s just JIP it now to get in here while we can.
THE PRESIDENT: …doing what I pledge to do. That’s all I’m doing. I put it out before the American people, got 306 Electoral College votes. I wasn’t supposed to get 222. They said, “There’s no way to get 222; 230 is impossible,” 270, which you need? That was laughable. We got 306. Because people came out and voted like they’d never seen before, so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan. In other words, the media’s trying to attack our administration because they know we are following through on pledges that we made, and they’re not happy about it, for whatever reason.
RUSH: He’s really attacked them here before.
THE PRESIDENT: A lot of people aren’t happy with it. In fact, I’ll be in Melbourne, Florida, five o’clock on Saturday —
RUSH: He really launched into them.
THE PRESIDENT: — and I heard — just heard — that the crowds are massive that want to be there. I turned on the TV, opened the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos! Yet it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine —
THE PRESIDENT: — despite the fact that I can’t get my cabinet approved, and they’re outstanding people. Like Senator Dan Coats, who is there, one of the most respected men of the Senate. He can’t get approved. How do you not approve him? He’s been a colleague highly respected, brilliant guy, great guy. Everybody knows him. We’re waiting for approval. So we have a wonderful group of people that’s working very hard, that’s being very much misrepresented about, and we can’t let that happen.
So if the Democrats who have… All you have to do is look at where they are right now. The only thing they can do is delay, because they’ve screwed things up royally. Believe me. Let me list to you some of the things that we’ve done in just a short period of time. Just got here. I got here with no cabinet. Again, each of these actions is a promise I made to the American people. So we’ll go over just some of them — and we have a lot happening next week and weeks coming. We’ve withdrawn from the job killing disaster known as Trans-Pacific Partnership.
We’re gonna make trade deals, but we’re gonna have one-on-one deals, bilateral. We’re gonna have one-on-one deals. We directed the elimination of regulations that undermine manufacturing, and called for expedited approval of the permits needed for America and American infrastructure — and that means plants, equipment, roads, bridges, factories. People take 10, 15, 20 years to get disapproved for a factory. They go in for a permit; it’s many, many years. And then, at the end of the process, they spend tens of millions of dollars on nonsense.
And at the end of the process, they get rejected. Now, they may be rejected with me, but it’s gonna be a quick rejection. It is not gonna take years. But mostly it’s gonna be an acceptance. We want plants built and we want factories built and we want the jobs. We don’t want the jobs going to other countries. We’ve imposed a hiring freeze on nonessential federal workers. We’ve imposed a temporary moratorium on new federal regulations. We’ve issued a game-changing new rule that says, “For each one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.” Makes sense. Nobody’s ever seen regulations like we have.
You go to other countries and you look at industries they have and you say, “Let me see your regulations,” and they’re a fraction, just a tiny fraction of what we have. And I want regulations because I want safety; I want environmental — all environmental situations to be taken proper care of. It’s very important to me. But you don’t need four or five or six regulations to take care of the same thing. We’ve stood up for the men and women of law enforcement, directing federal agencies to ensure they are protected from crimes of violence.
We directed the creation of a task force for reducing violent crime in America, including the horrendous situation — take a look Chicago and others — taking place right now in our inner cities. Horrible. We’ve ordered the Department of Homeland Security and justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy criminal cartels coming into the United States with drugs. We’re becoming a drug-infested nation. Drugs becoming cheaper than candy bars, and we’re not gonna let it happen any longer.
We’ve undertaken the most substantial border security measures in a generation to keep our nation and our tax dollars safe, and are now in the process of beginning to build a promised wall on the southern border. Met with General, now Secretary, Kelly yesterday and we’re starting that process. And the wall is going to be a great wall, and it’s gonna be a wall negotiated by me. The price is gonna come down just like it has on everything else I’ve negotiated for the government.
RUSH: Yeah, and have a beautiful door.
THE PRESIDENT: And we’re gonna have a wall that works. Not gonna have a wall like they have now which is either nonexistent or a joke. We’ve ordered a crackdown on sanctuary cities that refuse to comply with federal law and that harbor criminal aliens, and we’ve ordered an end to the policy of catch-and-release on the border. No more release. “No matter who you are, release.” We’ve begun a nationwide effort to remove criminal aliens, gang members, drug dealers, and others who pose a threat to public safety.
We are saving American lives every single day. The court system has not made it easy for us. And we’ve even created a new office in Homeland Security dedicated to the forgotten American victims of illegal immigrant violence, of which there are many. We’ve taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of our country. Though parts of our necessary and constitutional actions were blocked by a judge’s — in my opinion — incorrect and unsafe ruling, our administration is working night and day to keep you safe, including reporters safe.
And is vigorously defending this lawful order. I will not back down from defending our country. I got elected on defense of our country. I keep my campaign promises, and our citizens will be very happy when they see the results. They already are; I can tell you that. Extreme vetting will be put in place, and it already is in place in many places. In fact, we had to go quicker than we thought because of the bad decision we received from a circuit that has been overturned at a record number. I’ve heard 80%. I find that hard to believe. That’s just a number I’ve heard, that they’re overturned 80% of the time.
RUSH: It’s pretty close.
THE PRESIDENT: I think that circuit is… That circuit is in chaos, and that circuit is, frankly, in turmoil. But we are appealing that, and we are going further. We’re issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country. So we’ll be going along the one path and hopefully winning that. At the same time, we will be issuing a new and very comprehensive order to protect our people, and that will be done sometime next week toward the beginning or middle, at the latest part.
We’ve also taken steps to begin construction of the Keystone pipeline and Dakota Access pipelines — thousands and thousands of jobs — and put new buy America measures in place to require American steel for American pipelines. In other words, when they build a pipeline in this country, and we use the powers of government to make that pipeline happen, we want them to use American steel. And they’re willing to do that. But nobody ever asked before I came along. Even this order was drawn and they didn’t say that, and I’m reading the order. I’m saying, ‘Why aren’t we using American steel?” And they said, “That’s a good idea.” We put it in.
RUSH: (laughing) Jeez!
THE PRESIDENT: To drain the swamp of corruption in Washington, DC —
RUSH: (laughing) Jeez!
RUSH: Here we go.
THE PRESIDENT: — I’ve started by imposing a five-year lobbying ban on White House officials, and a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government. We’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare. Obamacare is a disaster, folks. It’s a disaster. Now, you can say, “Oh, Obamacare.” I mean, they fill up our easily with people that you wonder how they get there. But they’re not the Republican people that our representatives are representing. So we’ve begun preparing to repeal and replace Obamacare, and are deep in the midst of negotiations on a very historic tax reform to bring our jobs back, to bring our jobs back to this country big league.
It’s already happening, but big league. I’ve also worked to install a cabinet over the delays and obstruction of Senate Democrats. You’ve seen what they’ve done over the last long number of years. That will be one of the great cabinets ever assembled in American history. You look at Rex Tillerson. He’s out there negotiating right now. General Mattis, I mentioned before. General Kelly. We have great, great people. Mick is with us now. They’re great people.
RUSH: Best cabinet ever.
THE PRESIDENT: Among their responsibilities will be ending the bleeding of jobs from our country and negotiating fair-trade deals for our citizens. Now, look, fair trade. Not free, fair. If a country is taking advantage of us, not gonna let that happen anymore. Every country takes advantage of us, almost. I may be able to find a couple that don’t, but for the most part that would be a very tough job for me to do. Jobs have already started to surge.
Since my election, Ford announced it will abandon its plans to build a new factory in Mexico and will instead invest $700 million in Michigan, creating many, many jobs. Fiat-Chrysler announced it will invest $1 billion in Ohio and Michigan, creating 2,000 new American jobs. They were with me a week ago. You know, you were here. General Motors, likewise, committed to invest billions of dollars in its American manufacturing operation.
Keeping many jobs here that were going to leave. And if I didn’t get elected, believe me, they would have left, and these jobs and these things that I’m announcing would never have come here. Intel just announced that it will move ahead with a new plant in Arizona that probably was never going to move ahead with. And that will result —
RUSH: Fix their modems.
THE PRESIDENT: — in at least 10,000 American jobs. Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives. There will be many, many more, many more. These are few that we’re naming. Other countries have been taking advantage of us for decades, decades and decades and decades, folks. And we’re not gonna let that happen anymore, not gonna let it happen.
And one more thing. I have kept my promise to the American people by nominating a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Judge Neil Gorsuch, who is from my list of 20 and who will be a true defender of our laws and our Constitution. Highly respected. Should get the votes from the Democrats. You may not see that, but he’ll get there one way or the other. But he should get there the old-fashioned way. And he should get those votes.
This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country. Again, I say it, there has never been a presidency that’s done so much in such a short period of time. And we haven’t even started the big work yet that starts early next week. Some very big things are gonna be announced next week. So we’re just getting started. We will be giving a speech, as I said, in Melbourne, Florida, at five p.m. I hope to see you there. And with that I just say God bless America and let’s take some questions. Mara? Mara, go ahead. You were cut off pretty violently at our last news conference.
THE PRESIDENT: Mike Flynn is a fine person. And I asked for his resignation. He respectfully gave it. He is a man who there was a certain amount of information given to Vice President Pence, who’s with us today, and I was not happy with the way that information was given. He didn’t have to do that because what he did wasn’t wrong, what he did in terms of the information he saw. What was wrong was the way that other people, including yourselves in this room were given that information, ’cause that was classified information that was given illegally. That’s the real problem. And you know you can talk all you want about Russia, which is all a, you know, fake news fabricated deal to try and make up for the loss of the Democrats and the press plays right into it.
RUSH: Right on!
THE PRESIDENT: In fact, I saw a couple of the people that were supposedly involved with all of this, they know nothing about it, they weren’t in Russia, they never made a phone call to Russia, they never received a phone call. It’s all fake news. It’s all fake news. The nice thing is I see it’s starting to turn where people are now looking at the illegal, and I think it’s very important, the illegal giving out classified information. And let me just tell you, it was given out like so much. I’ll give you an example. I called, as you know, Mexico. It was a very, very confidential, classified call.
RUSH: Right. Listen.
THE PRESIDENT: But I called Mexico.
RUSH: This is very important here.
THE PRESIDENT: And in calling Mexico, I figured, oh, that’s nice, I spoke to the president of Mexico, I had a good call. All of a sudden it’s out there for the world to see. It’s supposed to be secret.
RUSH: They lied about it.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s supposed to be either confidential or classified in that case. Same thing with Australia.
RUSH: They lied about it, though.
THE PRESIDENT: All of a sudden people are finding out exactly what took place. The same thing that happened with respect to General Flynn. Everybody saw this. And I’m saying — the first thing I thought of when I heard about this, “How does the press get this information? That’s classified. How do they do it?” You know why? Because it’s an illegal process, and the press should be ashamed of themselves. But more importantly, the people that gave out the information to the press should be ashamed of themselves, really ashamed. Yes, go ahead.
THE PRESIDENT: Because when I looked at the information, I said, I don’t think he did anything wrong. If anything, he did something right. He was coming into office, he looked at the information, he said, “Huh, that’s fine.” That’s what they’re supposed to do. He didn’t just call Russia, he called and spoke to both —
RUSH: Okay, folks, we’re gonna have to take a bump out here for our commercial break and respecting that for our local affiliates as well. But we’ll come back and rejoin this, and I can’t wait to characterize this for you, what you might have missed in the first five or six minutes of it.
RUSH: While we were away, President Trump continued to call out the media, the failing New York Times, the fake Wall Street Journal, and really laid into the Obama administration holdovers as the problem with our national intelligence. Let’s rejoin it here.
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll tell you something. I’ll be honest. Because I sort of enjoy this back-and-forth and I guess I have all my life, but I’ve never seen more dishonest media than, frankly, the political media. I thought the financial media was much better, much more honest, but I will say that I never get phone calls from the media. How do they write a story like that in the Wall Street Journal without asking me, or how do they the write a story in the New York Times, put it on the front page.
That was like that story they wrote about the women and me, front page, big, massive story, and it was nasty, and then they called, they said, “We never said that. We like Mr. Trump.” They called up my office, “We like Mr. Trump, we never said that.” And they totally misrepresented those very wonderful women, I have to tell you, totally misrepresented. I said, “Give us a retraction.” They never gave us a retraction, and, frankly, I then went on to other things. Okay. Go ahead.
THE PRESIDENT: I was given that information. I don’t know. We had a very big margin.
THE PRESIDENT: I don’t know. I was given that information. Actually I’ve seen that information around. But it was a very substantial victory. Do you agree with that? Okay, thank you. That’s a good answer. Yes.
REPORTER: You tell us, in determining Lieutenant General Flynn, there was no wrongdoing in your mind, what evidence was weighed? Did you ask for transcripts —
RUSH: All right, folks, I’m sorry we have to bump out here again, but the president began all this by saying he’s decided he’s just gonna go straight to the American people because the media’s being so dishonest and misrepresenting. This is exactly what I was hoping he would do, by the way, but we’ll be back and join it in just a second.
RUSH: Now, don’t worry. I’m gonna fill you in on whatever you missed. We now rejoin the press conference. Jonathan Karl of ABC News is now yapping at the heels.
THE PRESIDENT: …and report them. The leaks are real. You know what they said. You saw it. And the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. So one thing that I felt it was very important to do — and I hope we can correct it. Because there’s nobody I have more respect for — well, maybe a little — than reporters, than good reporters. It’s very important to me, and especially in this position. It’s very important. I don’t mind bad stories. I can handle a bad story better than anybody, as long as it true. And, you know, over a course of time I’ll make mistakes and you’ll write badly, and I’m okay with that. But I’m not okay when it is fake. I mean, I watch CNN. It’s so much anger and hatred, and just the hatred… I don’t watch it anymore because it’s very good —
JIM ACOSTA: (interrupting)
THE PRESIDENT: He’s saying no.
RUSH: Right on.
JIM ACOSTA: (interrupting)
THE PRESIDENT: It’s okay, Jim.
RUSH: Right on.
THE PRESIDENT: It’s okay, Jim. You’ll have your chance. But I watch others, too. You’re not the only one, so don’t feel badly.
THE PRESIDENT: But I think it should be straight. I think it should be… I think it would be, frankly, more interesting. I know how good everybody’s ratings are right now, but I think they’d actually be… I think they’d actually be better. People… I mean, you have a lower approval rate than Congress. I think that’s right. I don’t know, Peter, is that one right? ‘Cause you know I think they have lower… I heard lower than Congress. But honestly, the public would appreciate it. I’d appreciate it. Again, I don’t mind bad stories when it’s true.
But we have an administration where the Democrats are making it very difficult. I think we’re setting a record or close to a record in the time of approval of a cabinet. I mean, the numbers are crazy. When I’m looking, some of them were approved immediately; I’m going forever, and I still have a lot of people that we’re waiting for. And that’s all they’re doing is delaying. And you look at Schumer and the mess that he’s got over there —
THE PRESIDENT: — and they have nothing going. The only thing they can do is delay. And you know, I think they’d be better served by, you know, approving and making sure that they’re happy and everybody’s good, and sometimes… I mean, I know President Obama lost three or four, and you lose them on the way, and that’s okay. That’s fine. But I think they would be much better served, John, if they just went through process quickly. This is pure delay tactics, and they say it, and everybody understands it.
JIM ACOSTA: (shouting)
RUSH: Yeah, go ahead, Jim.
JIM ACOSTA: (unintelligible)
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia. I told you. I have no deals there. I have no anything. Now, when WikiLeaks — which I had nothing to do with — comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving —
RUSH: They are not asking him a single thing about anything he spoke of in the first half hour.
THE PRESIDENT: — classified information. They’re giving stuff that was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates. Can you imagine…? Seriously, can you imagine if I received the questions? It would be the electric chair, okay? “He should be put in the electric chair!” You would even call for the reinstitution of the death penalty, okay? Maybe not you, John. Yes. We’ll do you next, Jim. Yes?
REPORTER: Can you clarify the core point, I think?
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. Sure.
REPORTER: Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss sanctions with the Russian ambassador —
THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t.
REPORTER: — prior to your inauguration?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn’t.
REPORTER: You fired him because he —
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me. No, I fired him because of what he said to Mike Pence. Very simple. Mike was doing his job. He was calling countries and his counterparts. So it certainly would have been okay with me if he did it. I would have directed him to do it if I thought he wasn’t doing it. I didn’t direct him, but I would have directed him because that’s his job. And it came out that way. And in all fairness, I watched Dr. Charles Krauthammer the other night say, “He was doing his job,” and I agreed with him. And since then I’ve watched many other people say that. No, I didn’t direct him, but I would have directed him if he didn’t do it, okay? Jim?
JIM ACOSTA: Thank you very much, and, just for the record, we don’t hate you. I don’t hate you.
THE PRESIDENT: Okay.
JIM ACOSTA: Uh, so, I’ll pass that along, but I — I — I —
THE PRESIDENT: Ask Jeff Zucker how he got his job, okay?
JIM ACOSTA: (unintelligible) If I — if I may follow up on the questions that have taken place so far here, sir, and —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, not too long, okay?
JIM ACOSTA: (unintelligible)
THE PRESIDENT: You do have other people. You do have other people. Your ratings aren’t as good as some of the other people that are waiting.
JIM ACOSTA: They’re pretty good now, actually, but, uhhh…
THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead, Jim.
JIM ACOSTA: I-if I may ask, sir, uh, you said earlier that, uhhh… Uh, WikiLeaks was revealing information about, uh, the Hillary Clinton campaign, uh, during the election cycle. You welcomed that the one point.
THE PRESIDENT: I was okay with it.
JIM ACOSTA: You said you loved WikiLeaks, and at another campaign press conference you — you called on the Russians to — to, uh, find a missing 30,000 emails. I’m wondering, sir, if you —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, she was actually missing 33 and then that got extended with a whole pile after that.
JIM ACOSTA: Maybe my number was off a little, too, but —
THE PRESIDENT: No, no. But I did say 30, but it was actually higher than that.
JIM ACOSTA: If I may ask you, sir, it — it sounds as though I do not have, uh, much credibility here when it comes to leaking, if that is something that you encouraged —
THE PRESIDENT: Okay. Fair question. Ready?
JIM ACOSTA: — during the campaign, and —
THE PRESIDENT: No, no.
JIM ACOSTA: If I may ask a follow-up —
THE PRESIDENT Let me do one at a time. Do you mind?
JIM ACOSTA: Yes, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: All right. So in one case you’re talking about highly classified information. In the other case you’re talking about John Podesta saying bad things about the boss. I will tell you this: If John Podesta said that about me I would have fired him so fast, his head would have spun. He said terrible things about her. But it wasn’t classified information. But in one case you’re talking about classified. Regardless, if you look at the RNC, we had a very strong — at my suggestion, and I give Reince great credit for this.
At my suggestion ’cause I know something about this world, I said, “I want a very strong defensive mechanism.” I don’t want to be hacked! And we did that, and you have seen that they tried to hack us, and they failed. The DNC did not do that, and if they did it, they could not have been hacked but they were hacked and terrible things came in And, you know, the only thing I do think is unfair, some of the things… When I heard some of those things, I picked up the papers the next morning, I said, “Oh, this is gonna be front page.” It wasn’t even in the papers. Again, if I had that happen to me, it would be the biggest story in the history of publishing or the head[lines] of newspapers.
RUSH: I’ve never seen this before; this is great. I’ve never seen this before.
THE PRESIDENT: I would have been the headline in every newspaper. I mean, think of it! They gave her the questions from a debate, and she — and she should have reported herself. Why didn’t Hillary Clinton announce, “I’m sorry, but I have been given the questions to a debate or a town hall, and I feel that it’s inappropriate and I want to turn in CNN for not doing a good job”?
JIM ACOSTA: If I may follow up on that, something that Jonathan Karl was asking you about, you said that the leaks are real but the news is fake. I guess I don’t understand. Uh, it seems that there’s a disconnect there. If the information coming from those leaks is real then how can the stories be fake?
THE PRESIDENT: No, the reporting is fake.
JIM ACOSTA: And if I may ask —
THE PRESIDENT: Jim, you know what it is?
JIM ACOSTA: Uh, uh, I just want to ask one more —
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s the thing. The public isn’t… You know, they read newspapers, they see television, they watch. They don’t know if it’s true or false because they’re not involved. I’m involved. I’ve been involved with this stuff all my life. But I’m involved. So I know when you’re telling the truth and when you’re not. I just see many, many untruthful things. And I’ll tell you what else I see: I see tone. You know the word “tone.” The tone is such hatred.
RUSH: (laughing) Yes!
THE PRESIDENT: I’m really not a bad person, by the way. No, but the tone is such… I do get good ratings, you have to admit that.
THE PRESIDENT: The tone is such hatred.
THE PRESIDENT: I watched this morning a couple of the net. And I have to say, Fox & Friends in the morning, they’re very honorable people. They’re very… Not because they’re good, ’cause they hit me also when I do something wrong. But they have the most honest morning show. It’s all I can say. It’s the most honest. But the tone, Jim. If you look, the hatred, the… I mean, sometimes… Sometimes somebody gets —
JIM ACOSTA: (unintelligible) you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you look at your show that goes on at ten o’clock in the evening. You just take a look at that show. That is a constant hit. The panel is almost always exclusive anti-Trump. The good news is he doesn’t have good ratings. But the panel is almost exclusive anti-Trump, and the hatred and venom coming from his mouth. The hatred coming from other people on your network. Now, I will say this. I watch it, I see it, I’m amazed by it, and I just think you’d be a lot better off. I honestly do. The public gets it, you know. Look, when I go to rallies, they turn around, they start screaming at CNN. They want to throw their placards at CNN. You know. I think you would do much better by being —
THE PRESIDENT: — different. But you just take a look. Take a look at some of your shows in the morning, in the evening. If a guest comes out and says something positive about me, it’s brutal. Now, they’ll take this news conference. I’m actually having a very good time, okay? But they’ll take this news conference… Don’t forget, that’s the way I won. Remember I used to give you a news conference every time a made a speech which was every day.
JIM ACOSTA: (unintelligible)
THE PRESIDENT: No, that’s how I won!
THE PRESIDENT: I won with news conference and probably speeches. I certainly didn’t win by people listening to you people. That’s for sure. But I’m having a good time.
THE PRESIDENT: Tomorrow they will say, “Donald Trump rants and raves at the press!” I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you, y’know, you’re dishonest people.
RUSH: They’ve unleashed a tiger here is what they’ve done.
THE PRESIDENT: But I’m not ranting and raving. I love and I’m having a good time doing it, but tomorrow the headlines are going to be: “Donald Trump rants and raves.” I’m not ranting and raving. Go ahead.
JIM ACOSTA: One more follow-up —
THE PRESIDENT: Should I let him have a little bit more? What do you think, Peter, Peter? Should I let him have a little bit more. Sit down. We’ll get it.
JIM ACOSTA: Just because of the attack of fake news and attacking our network, I just want to ask you, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m changing it from fake news, though.
JIM ACOSTA: Doesn’t that —
THE PRESIDENT: Very fake news. (laughter)
JIM ACOSTA: I know, but aren’t you — (laughter)
THE PRESIDENT: Go ahead.
JIM ACOSTA: Real news, Mr. President, real news.
THE PRESIDENT: And you’re not related to our new —
JIM ACOSTA: I am not related, sir, no. I do like the sound of Secretary Acosta, I must say.
THE PRESIDENT: You know, I looked at that name, I said, “Wait a minute, is there any relation there?”
JIM ACOSTA: I’m sure you checked that out, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I checked it. They said, “No, sir.” I said, “Do me a favor and go back and check the family tree.” (laughter)
JIM ACOSTA: Aren’t you concerned, sir, that you are undermining the people’s faith in the First Amendment, the freedom of the press, the press in this country when you call stories you don’t like fake news. Why not just say it’s a story I don’t like?
THE PRESIDENT: I do that. No, I do that.
JIM ACOSTA: When you call it fake news you’re undermining confidence in our news media. Isn’t that important?
THE PRESIDENT: Here’s the thing. I understand.
RUSH: You’re doing that yourself, Acosta. He’s not.
THE PRESIDENT: See, I know when I should get good and I should get bad. Sometimes I’ll say, “Wow, that’s gonna be a great story,” and I’ll get killed. I know what’s good and bad. I’d be a pretty good reporter, not as good as you, but I know what’s good, I know what’s bad. And when they change it and make it really bad, something that should be positive, sometimes something that should be very positive they’ll make okay. They’ll even make it negative. So I understand it. Because I’m there I know what was said, I know who’s saying it. I’m there. So it’s very important to me.
Look, I want to see an honest press. When I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest the press. The public doesn’t believe you people anymore. Now maybe I had something to do with that, I don’t know. But they don’t believe you. If you were straight and really told it like it is, as Howard Cosell used to say, right? Of course he had some questions also. But if you were straight, I would be your biggest booster. I would be your biggest fan in the world, including bad stories about me.
But if you go, as an example you’re CNN, I mean, it’s story after story after story is bad. I won. I won. And the other thing, chaos. There’s zero chaos. We are running — this is a fine-tuned machine. And Reince happens to be doing a good job, but half of his job is putting out lies by the press. You know, I said to him yesterday, you know, this whole Russia scam that you guys are building so that you don’t talk about the real subject which is illegal leaks, but I watched him yesterday working so hard to try and get that story proper, and I’m saying here’s my chief of staff, a really good guy, did a phenomenal job at RNC — won the election, right? Won the presidency. We got some senators, we got some — all over the country, you take a look, he’s done a great job. But I said to myself, you know, and I said to somebody that was in there, I said you take a look Reince, he’s working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they’re fake. They’re not true.
RUSH: Fake fires. Okay, folks, we have reached a point where there’s another time-out here that we have to take, but fear not. Whatever you’ve missed — and you’ve caught the main thrust of all this, but we’ll be reviewing this and taking your phone calls about it when it’s over. We’ll be right back.
RUSH: While we were gone, Donald Trump just excoriated Hillary Clinton for giving away 20% of the uranium supply and telling the press they never reported it. And he excoriated them for that stupid plastic red button to reset relations with Russia. We’ll now we rejoin the presser as he’s continuing to take these people to school.
THE PRESIDENT: So we’ll be submitting health care sometime in early March, mid-March, and after that we’re gonna come up, and we’re doing very well on tax reform. Yes.
REPORTER: Mr. President, you mentioned Russia. Let’s talk about some serious issues that have come up in the last week that you’ve had to deal with as president of the United States.
THE PRESIDENT: Okay.
REPORTER: You mentioned the vessel, the spy vessel off the coast of the United States.
THE PRESIDENT: Not good.
REPORTER: There was a ballistic missile test that many interpreted as a violation of the agreement between the two countries and a Russian plane buzzed a U.S. destroyer.
THE PRESIDENT: Not good.
REPORTER: I listened to you during the campaign —
THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, when did it happen? It happened when, if you were Putin, right now, you would say, “Hey, we’re back to the old games with the United States. There’s no way Trump can ever do a deal with us because the public –” you have to understand, if I was just brutal on Russia right now, just brutal, people would say, you would say, “Oh, isn’t that wonderful.” But I know you well enough. Then you would say, “He was too tough, he shouldn’t have done that.”
REPORTER: I’m just trying to find out your orientation —
THE PRESIDENT: Wait a minute. Excuse me just one second. All of those things you mentioned are very recent, because probably Putin assumes that he’s not gonna be able to make a deal with me because it’s politically not popular for me to make a deal. So Hillary Clinton tries to reset, it failed. They all tried. But I’m different than those people. Go ahead.
REPORTER: How are you interpreting those moves and what do you intend to do about them? (crosstalk) Rex Tillerson any advice or council on how to deal?
THE PRESIDENT: I have. I have and I’m so beautifully represented, I’m so honored that the Senate approved him, he’s gonna be fantastic. Yes, I think that —
REPORTER: Is Putin testing you, do you believe, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I don’t think so. I think Putin probably assumes that he can’t make a deal with me anymore because politically it would be unpopular for a politician to make a deal. I can’t believe I’m saying I’m a politician, but I guess that’s what I am now. Because look, it would be much easier for me to be tough on Russia, but then we’re not gonna make a deal. I don’t know that we’re gonna make a deal. I don’t know. We might; we might not. But it would be much easier for me to be so tough, the tougher I am on Russia, the better.
But you know what? I want to do the right thing for the American people. And to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world. If Russia and the United States actually got together and got along — and don’t forget, we’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are they. There’s no upside. We’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are they. I’ve been briefed, and I can tell you one thing about the briefing that we’re allowed to say it because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia, believe me, that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
REPORTER: So when you say they’re not good, do you mean —
THE PRESIDENT: Who did I say is not good?
REPORTER: No, when I read off the three things that have recently happened and each one you said they’re not good.
THE PRESIDENT: No, it’s not good that they happened.
REPORTER: But do they damage the relationship, do they undermine —
THE PRESIDENT: No, they all happened recently.
REPORTER: — this country’s ability to work with Russia?
THE PRESIDENT: They all happened recently and I understand what they’re doing because they’re doing the same thing. Now, again, maybe I’m not gonna be able to do a deal with Russia, but at least I will have tried, but if I don’t, does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than Donald Trump? Does anybody in this room really believe that? Okay? But I tell you one thing, she tried to make a deal. She had the reset. She gave all that valuable uranium away. She did other things. You know, they say I’m close to Russia. Hillary Clinton gave away 20% of the uranium of the United States. She’s close to Russia. You know what I gave to Russia? You know what I gave?
RUSH: I can’t wait to characterize this for you, folks.
RUSH: Just what the doctor ordered. This is Donald Trump going over the head of the media right to the American people, advancing his domestic agenda and being totally transparent with these people. They don’t know how to get on the same stage that he’s on. The American people are gonna eat this up when they see it.
RUSH: That’s right. Welcome back to the EIB Network, Rush Limbaugh here, and we continue now with the Trump press conference, over an hour, and Trump’s still standing, still triumphing over these little spitballs that are being thrown his way. Let’s go back. It’s gotta be winding down sometime soon.
THE PRESIDENT: They’re doing this because they feel it, both of them. And Melania goes back and forth, and after Baron finishes school, ’cause it’s hard to take a child out of school with a few months left, she and Baron will be moving over to the White House. Thank you. That’s a very nice question. Go ahead. Yes. Hi. It’s gonna be a bad question, but that’s okay.
REPORTER: No, it’s not gonna be a bad question.
THE PRESIDENT: Good. ‘Cause I enjoy watching you on television. Go ahead.
REPORTER: Well, thank you so much. Mr. President, I need to find out from you, you said something as it relates to inner cities. That was one of your platforms during the campaign —
THE PRESIDENT: Fix the inner cities.
REPORTER: Fixing the inner cities. What will be that fix and your urban agenda as well as your HBCU executive order that’s coming out this afternoon. See, it wasn’t bad, was it?
THE PRESIDENT: That was very professional and very good.
REPORTER: Very professional.
THE PRESIDENT: We will be announcing the order in a little awhile and I’d rather let the order speak for itself, but it will be something that I think will be very good for everybody concerned. But we’ll talk about that after we do the announcement.
RUSH: He tells the reporters when they ask good questions and when they’re bad. Very respectful. (laughing)
THE PRESIDENT: As far as the inner cities, as you know, I was very strong on the inner cities during the campaign. I think it’s probably what got me a much higher percentage of the African-American vote than a lot of people thought I was gonna get. We did, you know, much higher than people thought I was gonna get, and I was honored by that, including the Hispanic vote which was also much higher. And, by the way, if I might add, including the women’s vote, which was —
THE PRESIDENT: — much higher than people thought I was gonna get. So we are going to be working very hard on the inner cities having to do with education, having to do with crime. We’re going to try and fix as quickly as possible — you know, it takes a long time, it’s taken a hundred years and more for some of these places to evolve and they evolved, many of them, very badly. But we’re gonna be working very hard on health and health care, very, very hard on education, and also we’re gonna be working in a stringent way, in a very good way, on crime.
You go to some of these inner city places and it’s so sad when you look at the crime. You have people, and I’ve seen this and I’ve sort of witnessed this, in fact in two cases I actually have witnessed it, they lock themselves into apartments petrified to even leave in the middle of the day. They’re living in hell. We can’t let that happen, so we’re gonna be very, very strong. It’s a great question.
It’s a very difficult situation ’cause it’s been many, many years, it’s been festering for many, many years, but we have places in this country that we have to fix. We have to help African-American people that, for the most part, are stuck there, Hispanic-American people. We have Hispanic-American people that are in the inner cities, and they’re living in hell.
RUSH: That’s right. Gotta get them out of there.
THE PRESIDENT: You look at the numbers in Chicago, there are two Chicagos, as you know. There’s one Chicago that’s incredible, luxurious and all, it’s safe. There’s another Chicago that’s worse than almost any of the places in the Middle East that we talk about and that you talk about every night on the newscasts.
THE PRESIDENT: So we’re gonna do a lot of work on the inner cities. I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities.
REPORTER: When you say the inner cities, are you gonna include the CBC, Mr. President, in your conversations with your urban agenda, your —
RUSH: Congressional Black Caucasians.
THE PRESIDENT: Include who?
REPORTER: Are you gonna included the Congressional Black Caucus and —
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting? Are they friends of yours?
REPORTER: No, I’m just a reporter.
THE PRESIDENT: Let’s set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus. I think it’s great. I actually thought I had a meeting with Congressman Cummings, and he was all excited, and then he said, “Oh, I can’t move, it might be bad for me politically, I can’t have that meeting.” I was all set to have that meeting. You know, we called him and called him, and he was all set, I spoke to him on the phone. Very nice guy.
REPORTER: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.
THE PRESIDENT: He wanted it, but we called, called, called, called, they can’t make a meeting with him. Every day I walk in I said, “I would like to meet with him,” because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight, he was probably told —
RUSH: That’s some New York stuff going on there, that —
THE PRESIDENT: — don’t meet with Trump, it’s bad politics, and that’s part of the problem in this country. Okay, one more. Go ahead.
RUSH: Lightweight Schumer.
THE PRESIDENT: No, no, one question. Two we can’t handle, this room can’t handle two. Go ahead, give me the better of your two.
THE PRESIDENT: And some of it, and can I be honest with you, this has to do with racism and horrible things that are put up, some of it written by our opponents. You do know that. Do you understand that? You don’t think anybody would do a thing like that. Some of the signs you’ll see are not put up by the people that love or like Donald Trump; they’re put up by the other side. And you think it’s like playing it straight? No. But you have some of those signs and some of that anger is caused by the other side. They’ll do signs and they’ll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won’t be my people. It will be the people the other side.
RUSH: That’s right.
THE PRESIDENT: To anger people like you. Okay.
RUSH: “Anger people like you.”
REPORTER: What are you going to do about it?
THE PRESIDENT: Who is that? Where is that?
RUSH: Folks, he’s enjoying this like I’ve never seen a president enjoy a press conference. He’s toying with these people.
THE PRESIDENT: We had a totally divided country for eight years and long before that, in all fairness to President Obama, long before President Obama. We have had a very divided — I didn’t come along and divide this country. This country was seriously divided before I got here. We’re gonna work on it very hard. One of the questions that was asked, I thought it was a very good question, is about the inner cities. I mean, that’s part of it. But we’re gonna work on education. We’re gonna try and stop the crime.
We have great law enforcement officials. We’re gonna try and stop crime. We’re not gonna try and stop. We’re gonna stop crime. It’s very important to me, but this isn’t Donald Trump that divided a nation. We went eight years with President Obama, and we went many years before President Obama. We lived in a divided nation. And I’m gonna try, I will do everything within my power to fix that. I want to thank everybody very much. It’s a great honor to be with you. Thank you. Thank you very much.
RUSH: See, that’s what he does. Okay. That’s President Trump wrapping up the presser. That’s what he does at the end of every one of his rallies, he thanks everybody, he lets ’em know that he respects them and appreciates them being there. And that’s what I’ve always said is the humility of Donald Trump that nobody sees, and nobody recognizes because they’re not looking for it because they have a bias and a prejudice against the guy.
Okay. Welcome, folks, to the EIB Network. Our telephone number is 800-282-2882. We’ll be getting to phone calls in a minute.
I just want to characterize this press conference. It started off with the acknowledgment of the new labor secretary, whose name is Acosta. And then the president literally spelled out what he was doing. Let’s grab audio sound bite number 24. Here is his opening and explaining what he’s doing, what the purpose of the press conference was.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m making this presentation directly to the American people with the media present, which is an honor to have you this morning because many of our nation’s reporters and folks will not tell you the truth and will not treat the wonderful people of our country with the respect that they deserve.
Unfortunately, much of the media in Washington, DC, along with New York, Los Angeles, in particular, speaks not for the people, but for the special interests and for those profiting off a very, very obviously broken system. The press has become so dishonest that if we don’t talk about it, we are doing a tremendous disservice to the American people, tremendous disservice. We have to talk about it to find out what’s going on because the press honestly is out of control.
RUSH: And he continued on that theme, and people that were watching this were no doubt cheering because it’s absolutely true. And he gave an example. And it turned out to be the example that I opened the program with. I’m at home last night, and I get this news alert from the Wall Street Journal. And it says that intelligence officials have considered Donald Trump to be so out of touch and so dangerous, they’re gonna stop sharing intelligence with him! And I looked, I said, “Well, this is a coup! This is a silent coup if this is true.” And I believed this. It’s the Wall Street Journal, for crying out loud.
I’m a student of the Drive-Bys, and I thought, “Man, this is… This is…” I started… You know, a couple of people that I respect, I fired off notes. “Did you see this? What do you think about this?” I had some discussions. And I get in here this morning and I find out that the whole thing was bogus, that there are intelligence people throughout the history of our country who do not share intel with the president because it’s bad, because it’s not worth anything! The Wall Street Journal took something that happens all the time and shaped it and made it look like it’s brand-new, unprecedented, because Trump is so dangerous and unhinged and bad that they can’t afford to share the intel with him.
And the underlying theme was, “We can’t let Trump see the intel because this guy is working with Russia, and he and Russia worked together to undermine our election.” They continue to have that narrative as what’s driving all of their approach to Trump. Everything they’re doing is rooted in that. Trump’s illegitimacy is rooted in a fake narrative that does not exist and did not happen, that the Russians affected the outcome of the election with the assistance of Donald Trump. And that’s the rubric under which that news alert happened last night so Trump addressed it today and mentions how it’s just totally wrong and fake news and a disservice to the American people who read it.
And he gave a couple of other examples, citing the New York Times. He did all of this, however, with good cheer. He wasn’t nearly as animated and quasi-angry as I am about it. He was, in fact, soft-spoken and measured. He came across as nonpartisan as you can in a political sense. But it was classic, and he just called them out. He called CNN out throughout this press conference as hate-filled and strangers to the truth, unable to report the truth, focused on not just disagreeing with him but hating him, and how this is a disservice to the American people.
One of the reporters from CNN, a guy named Jim Acosta — this was classic — stood up.The whole thing was classic ’cause Trump’s on one stage and they’re in another. And they’re in that room… Folks, you have to understand: They’re in that room to destroy him today. He announced a press conference. They’re in that room to destroy him, whether they want to admit it or not. And there were three or four questions today that I heard that left no doubt that’s what the purpose was.
Despite everything he had said today, they asked these insolent questions, “Did you ever talk to Russia during the campaign?” Trump said (paraphrased), “How many times do I have to tell you? I don’t know anybody in Russia! I didn’t talk to anybody in Russia! We didn’t talk about…” He was just going on and on, but they kept asking the questions, because that’s all they’ve got. And they’ve got nothing there. The stories I have in the Stack today clearly state that there is no evidence.
These intel people trying to undermine Trump have had to admit that there is no evidence that, A, the Russians had anything to do with the outcome of our election or, B, Trump was working with them on it to undermine Hillary Clinton. And yet that continues to be the narrative that is fueling the press in their pursuit of Donald Trump. So the CNN guy stands up and effectively asks — I’m paraphrasing Jim Acosta — “Don’t you think…? Don’t you think that these routine attacks of yours on the press and on the media undermining the First Amendment by calling what we’re doing ‘fake news’?
“Aren’t you doing a terrible disservice to the Constitution and to the American people by criticizing the media?” And there it was. Sure as I’m sitting here watching, there it was. They can sit here all day and not just criticize. They can try to destroy people. They can — using whatever power they think they have been granted by the First Amendment — go out and literally destroy people. Let Trump criticize the way they do their jobs, and all of a sudden it’s a constitutional crisis. Well, how about Obama trashing me all the time?
How about Obama trashing Fox News all the time? Was that not a threat to the First Amendment? No, they applauded that. They still do applaud that. They join in the attacks on Fox News — and, more often than not, they join in attacks on me, too. But they want you to believe that they are this watchdog and that they’re holding truth to power, that they’re holding powerful people accountable. They’re not doing anything of the sort. The press has gotten to the point where they need a watchdog, and it turns out that Trump is the watchdog!
Trump is the guy holding them accountable.
Trump is the guy calling them out. I’ve never seen anything like this today. I have never seen it. We have wanted Republican presidents all of my life to deal with these people this way, and the only thing we ever got was Spiro Agnew. We’ve not seen anything like this, and Trump did it with an air of confidence and self-assuredness. He was not nervous at all. He was having fun with them. He was toying with them. It’s like if you got a cat. You know how you get these little laser pointers and you have a little kitten or a cat and the cat goes nuts chasing the light? It will run into a wall.
That’s what I was watching here today. It was just… It was fantastic, and the American people are gonna eat this up. Now, I said yesterday on this program that what I thought Trump could do to recapture and regain control of the narrative here, if you will — of the agenda — is simply focus on the domestic agenda. Just get in gear and very publicly start talking about repealing Obamacare, tax reform, building the wall, immigration reform. All of it. Just go full speed at it, and in the process keep people who voted for him on his side and they won’t care about whatever these efforts are that the press is engaging in with the intel community to undermining him.
And make no mistake. And he called this out. He accused Obama of running the shadow government. He accused Hillary Clinton and George Soros of being the people paying for people to show up and protest things. He held nothing back! He ridiculed Hillary Clinton for being in part of a deal that gave up 20% of our uranium supply and for having that cheap little red reset button when she became secretary of state. And each time he mentions Obama. He mentions… He didn’t say “shadow government” but he said, “Our opponents are doing what they can.”
He called all of this fake news. He was on spot with all this. You know, it’s hard to say. You get caught up in the moment. But this was one of the most effective press conferences I’ve ever seen. The press is gonna hate him even more after this, don’t misunderstand. When I say “effective,” I’m talking about rallying people who voted for him to stay with him. He made a point (paraphrased), “What chaos? You people are reporting chaos here. We’re not in chaos! We’re a well-oiled machine. We got one of the smoothest running machines in the history of machines.
We got one of the best administrations in the history of administrations,” and he rattled off the achievements they’ve had here that the media’s not reporting ’cause they’re so focused on whether or not Trump worked with Russia to screw Hillary out of the presidency. He’s reassuring his people he’s on top ever and nothing’s changed, and everything that he campaigned on he is doing. All he’s doing is fulfilling campaign promises. And of course the Democrats don’t like it, and of course the media doesn’t like it, but it isn’t gonna stop him.
And I have to stop myself here.