WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump asserted that his administration is “running like a fine-tuned machine” and there is “no chaos” inside the White House as being reported by, what he called, the “dishonest” media.
“The media is 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,” he told reporters at a White House news conference.
Trump, who has used Twitter and Facebook to convey his views and react to news stories, said that a lot of people are happy with his administration. But his political opponents and the media is not that happy, he said at his fourth news conference in a week. The other three were with the visiting world leaders from Japan, Canada and Israel.
“I turn on the TV, open the newspapers, and I see stories of chaos. Chaos! Yet, it is the exact opposite,” Trump asserted during the news conference wherein he continued to bash the media calling them “dishonest and very fake.”
“This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine, despite the fact that I can’t get my Cabinet approved,” Trump asserted as his top aides were sitting in the front row including Vice President Mike Pence, top strategist Steve Bannon and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.
“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,” Trump said in an apparent explanation of him holding a news conference that went on for 80 minutes.
In his lengthy opening statement, Trump listed out his achievements on multiple fronts including domestic, foreign, economy and defence.
“We have made incredible progress. I don’t think there’s ever been a President elected who, in this short period of time, has done what we’ve done,” he said.
“I ran for President to represent the citizens of our country. I am here to change the broken system so it serves their families and their communities well. I am talking, and really talking, on this very entrenched power structure, and what we’re doing is we’re talking about the power structure, we’re talking about its entrenchment,” he said.
“As a result, the media is going through what they have to go through to oftentimes distort — not all the time – and some of the media is fantastic. I have to say; they’re honest and fantastic. But much of it is not — the distortion,” the President said.
At several points, he was challenged by reporters on his allegations that the media is fake.
“I just see many, many untruthful things. I tell you what else I see. I see tone. You know the word ‘tone.’ The tone is such hatred. 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 tone is such hatred,” he told CNN’s White House correspondent.
“You look at your show that goes on at 10 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 President said in response to a question from the CNN.
“Tomorrow they (media) will say, Donald Trump rants and raves at the press. I’m not ranting and raving. I’m just telling you, you’re dishonest people,” he said.
Amidst laughter, Trump said that he is changing CNN from fake news to “fake news now.”
The CNN Correspondent pushed back and said “Real news, Mr President. Real News.”
“Aren’t you concerned, that you are undermining the people’s faith in the First Amendment 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?” he was asked.
In response, Trump said that he wants to see an honest press.
“I started off today by saying that it’s so important to the public to get an honest press. 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,” he said.
“If you were straight, I would be your biggest booster. I would be your biggest fan in the world, including bad stories about me,” he added.
“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,” Trump said.
Responding to a question on tension in the country on ethnic lines, Trump said that America is a divided nation and he would try his best to fix it.
“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. I will do everything within my power to fix that,” Trump told reporters.
“We are going to work on education. We’re going to try and stop the crime. We have great law enforcement officials. We’re going to try and stop crime,” he said.
Responding to another query, he alleged that some of the tension on ethnic lines is being created by people who are anti-Trump.
“Can I be honest with you? And this has to do with racism and horrible things that are put up. Some of it written by our opponents. You do know that,” he asked the reporters.
“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,” he said.
Trump said that he would love to have a meeting with the Black Caucus.
“Let’s go set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the Black Caucus. 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,” Donald Trump added.