NOTE: This liveblogging of Donald Trump’s press conference would have worked a lot better if I’d actually published it instead of keeping it as a draft for the entire time. Sigh. Can I plead sickness? Anyway, here’s what I wrote in real time.
12:16 pm – It would be nice if more reporters would ask specific questions about what Trump plans to do in office. But it’s too late. The press conference is over.
12:15 pm – With Trump in office, Russia will no longer do any hacking. That’s because Putin respects Trump.
12:14 pm – Trump is once again moaning and groaning about leaks.
12:13 pm – Once again, Trump says the Republican National Committee wasn’t hacked. That does not appear to be true. Russia did hack Republicans, but didn’t release anything they got.
12:09 pm – The press is terrible blah blah blah. We need more honest reporters.
12:07 pm – BuzzFeed is a “failing pile of garbage.” CNN sucks too.
12:04 pm – Mexico is great. They’ve been so nice. But no more taking advantage of the US. He will announce a replacement for Scalia in a couple of weeks after the “signings.” On Monday and Tuesday he will be doing a bunch of very nice “signings.”
12:02 pm – Now we’re back to the border tax. If you move your factory to Mexico, you will pay the price. No more of the Obama-esque shilly-shallying. Move to Mexico and you’re not selling anything to America. Capiche?
11:59 am – I guess that’s it for health care.
11:57 am – Obamacare is a complete and total disaster. It’s imploding. 2017 will be catastrophic. But Trump won’t allow that. Soon he will introduce repeal and replace, very complicated stuff, all at the same time. Within the same day, or the same week, or even the same hour. We are doing the Democrats a great service. It will be far less expensive and far better.
11:54 am – Back to Trump: “We have one of the great cabinets that’s ever been put together.”
11:52 am – Dillon is now saying that paying for a hotel room is not an “emolument.” But because this is the kind of guy he is, Trump plans to donate all his hotel profits to charity if they come from a foreign government. Or something. I didn’t entirely follow that.
11:45 am – Trump lost “millions of dollars” by canceling all ongoing deals. Poor guy. There will be no new foreign deals. New domestic deals will be allowed, but only under the tightest possible ethical standards. All Trump Organization social media accounts will be banned from mentioning the presidency.
11:43 am – Dillon: Trump businesses will all be put in a trust. Management of trust will be in the hands of Don Jr. and Eric Trump. An ethics advisor will be appointed to the management team. Everyone is committed to making sure Trump businesses are “beyond approach.”
11:41 am – Trump attorney Sheri Dillon is now going on and on about how conflict-of-interest laws don’t apply to the president.
11:35 am – Trump says he has no relationship with Russia, period. No deals, no loans, no nothing. He turned down a $2 billion deal in Dubai just this weekend! He could have taken it, he says, since presidents can’t have conflicts of interest. Plus, he could be president and run his company if he wanted to. He’s the only person who could do such a thing. But, you know, that looks bad, doesn’t it? In any case, no, he’s not going to release his tax returns.
11:29 am – For the first time, Trump says the hacking of the DNC was “probably Russia.”
11:22 am – Now Trump is rambling about multiple subjects: Fiat Chrysler, the high cost of drugs, the F-35, Jack Ma. The inauguration will have “tremendous talent.” It will be a very elegant day. Massive crowds. A movement like the world has never seen. Oh, and speaking of veterans, he’s appointed a new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, David Shulkin. Shulkin is currently Under Secretary for Health in the VA. Sounds like a guy who’s really going to shake things up.
11:20 am – Trump says he stopped giving news conferences because there had been so much inaccurate news. But now he’s back—and he’s thanking the news media for not writing about the horrible, terrible, despicable raw intelligence report that CNN reported on. This is obviously an attempt to shame reporters into not asking about it. Will it work? We’ll see.
11:18 am – Pence follows up Sean Spicer’s blast against BuzzFeed with a stern warning that the news media needs to stop being mean to Trump.
11:16 am – Mike Pence? We don’t want Mike Pence. We want Trump.