What You Need to Know About Donald Trump's First Press Conference

January 11th 2017

Mike Rothschild

On Wednesday, President-elect Donald Trump held his first press conference since July 27. In doing so, he finally embraced a presidential tradition that goes back to former President Herbert Hoover - the post-election question-and-answer session with the press.


Most presidential election winners hold a press conference no more than a few days after their victory, while Trump, so far, only sat for one-on-one interviews and sent out hundreds of tweets. He had previously announced a press conference for Dec. 12, devoted to how he'd wind down his business conflicts of interests. But days before he was to appear, he canceled it and claimed he would prefer to prioritize his cabinet selections.

Trump's first pre-inauguration press conference comes at a time when the former reality TV host faces a brewing constitutional crisis over his continued failure to divest from the Trump Organization, as well as the aftermath of his briefing on Russia's role in hacking the Democratic National Committee. It also took place at the exact same time as his pick for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was having his first date of Senate hearings - and less than a day after BuzzFeed published an unverified 35-page dossier alleging deep ties between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.

Here are the major points Trump touched on during his press conference:

  • He blamed the intelligence community for the leaked dossier and insinuated they might have released it themselves.
  • He lambasted the BuzzFeed-released dossier as "fake news" and that the allegations of deviant sexual behavior can't be true because he's a "germophobe."
  • Again, he talked about the cost-overruns regarding the F-35, which sent Lockheed's stock tumbling.
  • He went on to describe how beautiful his inauguration will be, and all of the bands playing at it.
  • He revealed the name of his VA secretary, the first one who had never served in the military.
  • He admitted that he "thinks" it was Russia who hacked the DNC, but said that we also get hacked by other people, including China.
  • He denied that Russia hacked RNC, in direct contradiction to the intelligence report he just said he agreed with.
  • He also claimed that Russia can help America fight ISIS, and that Vladimir Putin liking him is "an asset."
  • When asked about his tax returns, he stated that only reporters want to see his tax returns.
  • He stated that he would repeal Obamacare, and that the replacement plan would go into effect within that day, but he never mentioned any details on the plan.
  • And a corporate lawyer outlined a long, complex plan for Trump to continue to own his properties, while removing himself from daily decisions and donating proceeds from foreign hotel stays to the U.S. Treasury.
  • He argued with a CNN reporter, calling his organization "terrible" and refusing to take a question from him.
  • He then went on to call Buzzfeed a "flaming pile of garbage" and outright declared the news site would "suffer the consequences" of publishing the dossier.
  • He said that Putin "shouldn't be doing" hacking, and blamed the DNC for not being well-defended.
  • He was asked if his administration had contact with Russia and he refused to answer and stopped taking questions.


In conclusion and in true Trump fashion, he ended the press conference by saying his "Celebrity Apprentice" catchphrase in regards to if his sons run his Trump organization poorly: "You're fired."