At a ceremony today in which Trump signed a memorandum addressing China’s intellectual property practices, the President attempted to leave when CNN’s Jim Acosta stopped him. He pressed Trump about his failure to condemn the abhorrent white supremacy rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina.
“They have been condemned. They have been condemned,” he said.
“And why are we not having a press conference today?” Acosta continued. “You said on Friday that we’d have a press conference.”
“We had a press conference. We just had a press conference,” Trump said about his memorandum signing ceremony.
“Can we ask you some more questions?”
“It doesn’t bother me at all but I like real news, not fake news,” he said, pointing at the CNN reporter. “You’re fake news.”
At that point, Trump turned and left the room without taking any questions, as expected. Acosta, for his part, retorted, “Haven’t you spread a lot of fake news yourself, sir?”
Trump, unsurprisingly, did not respond.
Despite Trump’s tenuous claim that “it doesn’t bother [him] at all,” the reality is that it has been 179 days since the President last held a press conference. This is especially hypocritical given Trump’s onslaught of attacks on his democratic challenger Hillary Clinton for “not having a press conference.” Ironically, Trump tweeted in May 2016 that Hillary should be “admonished for not having a press conference in 179 days.”
While Trump may be quick to feign transparency, his unwillingness to take any questions at all from reporters is a testament to his furtiveness. The only consistent value espoused by the Trump administration at this point is their inability to be accountable to the American people.
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