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President Trump holds feisty press conference

February 17, 2017 at 6:50 am 17 News
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(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Critics of President Donald Trump saw in his Thursday news conference a combative, thin-skinned chief executive who continues to blame the media for the controversies roiling his administration.

His supporters saw something else: A champion of Middle America who is taking on the establishment and making good on his campaign promises to put the country first.

The Associated Press contacted Trump supporters across the country to see how they viewed a news conference in which the president said his administration was running like “a fine-tuned machine” despite the resignation of his top national security adviser, a court setback on his immigration order, a defeat for his nominee as labor secretary and reports of internal divisions.

Press Conference Transcript

Here are views of some of those supporters:

Richelle Kirk of Logan, West Virginia, watched some of Trump’s news conference on Thursday and didn’t see any head-scratching comments from the president.

“I back him 100 percent,” said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom. “You either love it or get out, is my opinion.”

During Barack Obama’s presidency, her husband was laid off from his coal-mining job, a loss they blamed on Obama’s environmental policies. She said they lost a home and “everything we owned.”

After West Virginia voters resoundingly rejected Obama during his 2012 re-election, “we didn’t show our hind ends when Obama was re-elected,” Kirk said. So she believes people shouldn’t overreact to Trump, either.

She particularly agreed with the president when he took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market, saying Trump is beginning to fulfill his campaign promise to put people back to work.

Reporters, she said, “need to leave him alone. He’s just doing what he said he’s going to do.”

Regina Lenoir of Picayune, Mississippi, enjoyed watching Trump’s news conference and said the president “looked more relaxed.”

Lenoir, 69, said she was most interested in the president’s comments about the alleged leaks that led to the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

“We don’t know the conversation that happened between him and (Vice President Mike) Pence. Only they know. But the news media gets out there (and) says such and such with no corroboration,” she said. “I’m sick of them making up stories. You know, we’re intelligent people. We can make up our own mind on whether they’re telling the truth.”

She agreed with Trump’s take on how the media has covered his administration and campaign, saying those covering his administration are good reporters but biased.

She said if people gave Trump a chance, “he might just surprise everyone.

“He wasn’t my first choice, but he is my president,” Lenoir said. “I think he handled the news conference very well.”

Kevin Felty of Norfolk, Virginia, said it was the “most impressive presidential press conference” of his life.

“Largely because it was so unorthodox,” said Felty, 48, who works as a surgical assistant and sells life insurance. “It was hyper adversarial between the president and the press. And yet he was able to control the questioning and the tone and the mood in the room.”

Felty said the media needs to move on regarding Russia and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

“There was nothing illegal that General Flynn had done at that time,” Felty said. “What he did do is make a mistake in not being accurate with the vice president.”

He also said he believes Trump is trustworthy as president.

“He doesn’t need the media to chide him to make the right decisions,” Felty said. “It’s something he’s been doing well for decades.”

Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin, said he was glad to see the president push back against the media. He said reporters have no proof Trump or anyone around him did anything wrong.

“They’re trying to make up a story that Trump worked with the Russians to rig the election,” he said. “Now they’re trying to make a big deal out of (former national security adviser) Mike Flynn. He was doing what he was supposed to do. He was talking to his counterparts. He was talking to the Russians. He got fired because he lied to (Vice President Mike) Pence. There’s no story there. The left media is so excited. They think they took this guy down. No. He made a mistake. He just lied.”

Hiltgen said he remains squarely behind the billionaire president because he has done what he said he would do on the campaign trail.

“He’s accomplished more in, whatever, three weeks, regarding the stuff he talked about,” Hiltgen said. “That’s what people voted for. I can’t believe there’s actually a politician doing what he says he would do. That never happens.”

Associated Press writers Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; Chevel Johnson in New Orleans; and Todd Richmond in Madison, Wisconsin, contributed to this report.

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President Trump holds feisty press conference, 9.3 out of 10 based on 4 ratings

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17 Comments

  1. backpacker February 17, 2017 at 8:40 am

    God Bless you President Trump. We finally have a man in the White House who will go after the phony Communist Barack sympathizer news organizations. Trump has the fake news reporters on their heels. Trump has made the press largely irrelevant with Twitter. What a joy to watch!

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    • 4liberty February 17, 2017 at 9:34 am

      May God protect you too President Trump from the vermin in government, the media and especially the so called intelligence agencies.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 17, 2017 at 7:07 pm

      I agree. He is a massive breath of fresh air amongst the putrid swamp that is DC. BUT i will question his statement about how his government is running like a finely oiled machine.. COME AGAIN don? You got so man leaks going on if you were a ocean tanker it would have SUNK by now. You got rampant obstructionism going on and half your appointments are not yet confirmed…

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  2. tws500 February 17, 2017 at 9:41 am

    I’m so glad that President Trump told the leftist mainstream media and press that they’re a bunch of liars, prevaricators, and ‘fake news’ organizations..!!!!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 17, 2017 at 7:11 pm

      And i cheered so loudly when he said “You guys have a lower trust rating than even congress” that i got one of my neighbors coming over wondering what it was i was watching..

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  3. mikeslaney February 17, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Liberals are absolutely hilarious, a bunch of closed mined rats running in circles consuming and cannibalizing one another . Shear panic in fear of good. Close minded is not the word, the blind leading the blind, and are quite comfortable when they fall in a pit of refuse. Lemmings who feed on the persecution and rabid hate toward their ideological differences of good and take great delight in it. Sub human they are, fit for judgement. These are the real enemies of America.

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  4. gimmesometruth February 17, 2017 at 10:04 am

    President Trump pee’d all over the ‘Yellow Journalists’.

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    • columba February 17, 2017 at 1:07 pm

      I normally don’t care for vulgarity, but your comment is (if you’ll pardon the pun) “spot on.”

      I will now return to prissy mode. But meanwhile, thanks for the laugh.

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  5. cgraving February 17, 2017 at 10:49 am

    This is exactly why I voted for him. The demoncrats are pulling out all the stops to destroy his presidency. They bring out the special bus crowd, Nancy Pelosi, and Maxine Waters to convince people he’s hurting all mentalities. But “The Donald” reminds me of Sherekahn, when Balou grabs his tail. President Trump being Sherekahn. I watched it twice yesterday. In fact, I’m going to put it on for breakfast. I love youtube!

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  6. TBurr4Duluth February 17, 2017 at 10:58 am

    I chuckle every time I read about Mr Trump’s thin skin. This press corp has the thinnest skin of all. Why they think they should be treated with respect when they show none to this President or the Whitehouse reps is beyond me.

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    • oleteabag February 17, 2017 at 2:55 pm

      You’ve certainly got that right, TBurr! It’s hilarious watching them weep and wail about how UNFAIR Trump is for calling them out for disseminating FAKE NEWS, and their wailing about “WAH! He won’t CALL on me!” is equally pathetic.

      When they were worshiping at Obama’s altar, he gave these VERMIN preferential treatment, ALWAYS–so that they could ask the pre-arranged questions Obama’s press office GAVE them to ask, so Obama could PUSH his agenda by answering their RIGGED questions. And they just sat there and SMILED AND NODDED while Obama LIED his sorry behind off! NEVER challenged a SINGLE LIE he told–not EVEN “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.” They TOTALLY FAILED to be the adversarial press that would have held Obama accountable for his LIES, and yet they gleefully POUNCE in everything Trump says and continually claim he is LYING. Gee, can’t IMAGINE why Trump would make them take a back seat in the press room, can you?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm

      [Why they think they should be treated with respect when they show none to this President or the Whitehouse reps is beyond me.]

      And as we were often told in the military, you may not like, heck you may despise someone wearing an officers uniforms, but you damn well better show the proper respect he or she has earned…

      The same thing applies here. THESE schmucks may hate trump, but where exactly is their RESPECT for the office of the Presidency?

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  7. baitfish February 17, 2017 at 11:20 am

    Mincing no words, Trump calls out the new york times, washngton post, LA times, and CNN, by name, and indirectly indicts the rest of the MSM, with the richly earned “fake news” label. He even went so far as to say, in the case of CNN, that he was changing their name to “very fake news”. He called them on their “hatred and venomous tone”, and correctly stated that the American people no longer believe them, citing examples of their outright false stories about him, and their lack of reporting/investigating obama and clinton. He called them dishonest and disgraceful, and told them they should be ashamed of themselves.
    He also enumerated his accomplishments in his first month in office, and excoriated the damocraps in the senate for their obstructionism, followed up by the promise that his nominee for the supreme court will be approved “one way or another”.
    It was the most consequential, true, and exhilarating “news conference” of the last 6 decades.
    There is no doubt, things are going to change for the better in washington dc.

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  8. maloneconservative February 17, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    We know the media just continuously goes after Trump because they are liberal leftists and he is not. Here is another area I am very afraid may happen and again the media will blame President Trump. We all remember not too long ago when we feared our economy would collapse, and everyone breathed a collective sigh of relief when disaster didn’t strike-well we can’t float forever, and if you read this you all should be praying even more for blessings for President Trump…

    Please read:

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/economy/economics/item/25385-looming-economic-crisis-to-be-blamed-on-trump-experts-warn

    God Bless President Trump and God Bless the USA.

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  9. columba February 17, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    This man is amazing. He said he was having a good time sparring with his attackers, and I believe him — and I take courage from the fact that he’s going to keep fighting back against the destroyers. It wasn’t just campaign talk when he promised to be our champion.

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  10. SunshineKid0 February 17, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I watched the whole thing, and what I saw were arrogant people trying to be better than the President. When they said a “simple question”, most of them would go on for a minute or more prefacing their question to the point of being ridiculous. I don’t fault the President for shutting such people down. In fact, it is about time these “journalists” took some training in common courtesy.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser February 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

      I’ve long wisheed someone had the BALLS to get up on that podium and tell these leeches and cockroaches “Look here is how its gonna run.
      A) You will be assigned seating from left to right in order of when you sign in. FROM HERE ON OUT that will be your seat. No changing it unless I approve it and that will come after a WRITTEN REQUEST to me comes in.
      B) When we get to questions, we will start with seat one, then count upward. WHEN WE end the day, we will record what # we stopped at, and start the next session from there.
      C) EVERYONE GETS ONE DAMN question. No ‘can i ask a two parter, ‘ or “i have a linked question” after you asked your one.. ONCE YOU ASK A question, you are done till we get through everyone else.
      D) If you speak out of turn, you will be politely asked to shut up and sit down. IF we have to ask a 2nd time you will be removed. PERIOD. If you get two removals in a 1 month period, you are barred for a 4 month period.

      IF YOU can’t or won’t abide by these ground rules. THERE IS THE DOOR, hand in your press credentials on the way out.

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