A reporter from a Jewish publication made a point to state that people in his community didn’t think that Trump was anti-semitic before asking his question. He was very adamant with his statement, but when he asked the question about the rise in anti-semitism in the United States, Trump cut him off saying that he knew what he was asking.
When Trump began answering his question stating that he wasn’t anti-semitic or racist, the expression on the reporters face was priceless. He quickly realized that either the president hadn’t listened to him at all or just didn’t want to answer a rather simple question about hate crimes in America.
This was one of the many disturbing things about this press conference as it shows just how little Donald Trump actually listens to people. He’s in a job where he really needs to listen closely and coming in as the gunslinger can truly get people killed. He’s surrounded with experts (well some, at least) who are trying to give him intelligence briefings, but sadly, the one thing Trump can’t be bothered with is intelligence.
Read on below:
Reporter: Mr. President, you mentioned Russia. Let’s talk about some serious issues that have come up in the last week that you had to deal with as president of the United States.
Reporter: You mentioned the spy vessel off the coast of the United States.
Trump: Not good.
Reporter: There was a ballistic missile test that many interpreted as…
Trump: Not good.
Reporter: …a violation of an agreement between the two countries and a Russian plane buzzed a U.S. Destroyer.
Trump: Not good.
Reporter: I listen to you.
Trump: Excuse me, when did it happen? It happened when, if you were Putin, right now, you would say, hey, we’re back to the old games with the United States. There’s no way Trump can ever do a deal with us because the public — you have to understand, if I was just brutal on Russia right now, just brutal, people would say — you would say — oh that’s wonderful, but I know you well enough, then you would say, oh, he was too tough, he shouldn’t have done that. Look.
Reporter: I’m just trying to find out your orientation to those.
Trump: Excuse me.
Reporter: I’m just trying to find out what you’ll do about it, Mr. President.
Trump: All the things you mentioned are recent because probably Putin assumed he cannot make a deal with me because it’s politically not popular for me to make a deal, so Hillary Clinton tries to reset. It failed. They all tried.
But I’m different than those people, go ahead.
Reporter: How are you interpret those moves and what do you intend to do about them? Have you asked Rex Tillerson for any advice or counsel how to deal?
Trump: I have. I have and I’m so beautifully represented, I’m so honored that the senate approved him. He’s gonna be fantastic.
Reporter: Is Putin testing you, do you believe, sir?
Trump: No I don’t think so. I think Putin probably assumes that he can’t make a deal with me anymore because politically it’s unpopular for a politician to make a deal.
I can’t believe I’m saying I’m a politician, but I guess that’s what I am now. Look, it’d be much easier for me to be tough on Russia but then we’re not going to make a deal. Now, I don’t know that we’re going to make a deal. I don’t know. We might. We might not.
But it would be much easier for me to be so tough, the tougher I am on Russia, the better, but you know what? I want to do the right thing for the American people, and to be honest, secondarily, I want to do the right thing for the world. If Russia and the United States actually got together and got along, and don’t forget, we’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are they.
There’s no upside. We’re a very powerful nuclear country and so are they. I’ve been briefed. I can tell you one thing about a briefing, that we’re allowed to say because anybody that ever read the most basic book can say it, nuclear holocaust would be like no other. They’re a very powerful nuclear country, and so are we. If we have a good relationship with Russia — believe me — that’s a good thing, not a bad thing.
Reporter: So when you say they are not good, do you mean…
Trump: Who did I say is not good?
Reporter: No when I read off the three things that have recently happened each one of them you said are not good…
Trump: No, it’s not good but they happen…
Reporter: Do they damage the relationship, undermine this country’s ability to work with
Trump: They all happened recently, I understand what they are doing because they are doing the same thing.
Now, again, maybe I’m not going to be able to do a deal with Russia, but, at least, I will have tried, and if I don’t, does anybody really think that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Russia than Donald Trump? Does anybody in this room really believe that?
Okay. But I’ll tell you one thing, she tried to make a deal. She had the reset. She gave all that valuable uranium away. She did other things. You know, they say I’m close to Russia. Hillary Clinton gave away 20% of the uranium in the United States. She’s close to Russia. You know what I gave to Russia? You know what I gave? Nothing.
Reporter: Can we conclude there will be no response to these particular provocations?
Trump: I’m not going to tell you anything about what response I do. I don’t talk about military response.
I don’t say I’m going in Mosul in four months. “We are going to attack Mosul in four months.” Then three months later, “we are going to attack Mosul in one month.” “Next week, we are going to attack Mosul.” In the meantime, Mosul is very very difficult.
You know why? Because I don’t talk about military, and I don’t talk about certain other things. You’re going to be surprised to hear that. And, by the way, my whole campaign, I’d say that, so I don’t have to tell you.
Reporter: Right, so there will be a response?
Trump: I don’t have to tell you. I don’t want to be one of those guys that says, “yes, here’s what we’re going to do.” I don’t have to do that. I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea…
Reporter: In other words, there will be a response.
Trump: Wait a minute, I don’t have to tell you what I’m going to do in North Korea. And I don’t have to tell what I’m going to do with Iran. You know why? Because they shouldn’t know.
And eventually, you guys are going to get tired of asking that question. So when you asked me, what am I going to do with the ship, the Russian ship as an example, I’m not going to tell you. But hopefully I won’t have to do anything, but I’m not going to tell you. Okay.
Next Reporter: Let me just ask you…
Trump: Where are you from?
Trump: Huh, there’s another beauty.
Reporter: It’s a good line. Impartial free and fair. Uh, Mr. President…
Trump: Just like CNN.
Reporter: …on the travel ban, we can banter back and forth, but on the travel ban, would you accept that was a good example of the smooth running of government?
Trump: Yeah, I do. I do. Let me tell you about…
Reporter: Were there any mistakes in that?
Trump: Wait, wait, wait, I know who you are, just wait. Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban.
But we had a bad court. We had a bad decision. We had a court overturned, again, maybe wrong, but I think it’s 80 percent of the time, a lot. We had a bad decision. We’re going to keep going with the decision, we’re going to put in a new executive order next week sometime. But we had a bad decision.
That’s the only thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports. You had some people that were put out there, brought by very nice busses and they were put out at various locations, despite that, the only problem that we had is we had a bad court. We had a court that gave us what I consider to be, with great respect, a very bad decision. Very bad for the safety and security of our country.
The rollout was perfect. Now, what I wanted to do was do the exact same executive order that said one thing, and I said this to my people. Give them a one-month period of time. But General Kelly, now Secretary Kelly, said, if you do that, all these people will come in, the bad ones. You do agree there are bad people out there, right? Not everybody that’s like you. You have some bad people out there.
So Kelly said, you can’t do that, and he was right. as soon as he said it, I said wow, never thought it of it. I said well how about one week, he said no good. You gotta do it immediately. Because if you do it immediately, they don’t have time to come in. Now, nobody ever reports that. But that’s why we did it quickly.
Now if I would’ve done it in a month, everything would have been perfect. The problem is we would have wasted a lot of time, and maybe a lot of lives because a lot of bad people would have come into our country. Now, in the meantime, we’re vet ing very, very strongly. Very, very strongly. But we need help, and we need help by getting that executive order passed. Uh–
Reporter: Just a brief follow-up, but if it’s so urgent, why not introduce–
Reporter: A yes or no answer one one of these questions involving Russia, can you say whether you are aware anyone who advised your campaign had contact with Russia during the course of the election.
Trump: Well I told you, General Flynn obviously was dealing, so that’s one person, but he was dealing, as he should have been —
Reporter: During the election?
Trump: No, nobody that I know of.
Reporter: So you’re not aware of any contacts in the course of the election?
Trump: Look, look, look. How many times do I have to answer this question?
Reporter: Just say yes or no.
Trump: Russia is a ruse. Yeah, I know you have to get up and ask a question, so important. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Haven’t made a phone call to Russia in years, don’t speak to people in Russia, not that I wouldn’t, but I just have nobody to speak to.
I Spoke to Putin twice, called me on the election. I told you this. He called me on the inauguration a few days ago. We had a very good talk. Especially the second one, lasted for a pretty long period of time. I’m sure you probably get it because it was classified, so I’m sure everybody in this room perhaps has it, but we had a very, very good talk. I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with, does.
Now Manafort has totally denied it, Denied it, now, people knew that he was a consultant over in that part of the world for a while, but not for Russia, I think he represented Ukraine or people having to do with Ukraine or people that, whoever. But people knew that, everybody knew that.
Report: But in his capacity as your campaign manager, was he in touch with Russian officials during the election?
Trump: I have—you know what, he said no. I can only tell you what he—now. He was replaced long before the election. You know that, right? He was replaced long before the election. When all of this stuff started coming out, it came out during the election, but Paul Manafort, who is a good man, also, by the way, Paul Manafort was replaced long before the election took place. He was only there for a short period of time.
Trump: How much longer should we stay here, folks? Five more minutes, is that okay? Five? Wait, who is, I want to find a friendly reporter. Are you a friendly reporter?
Reporter: I’m friendly.
Trump: Watch how friendly, he is. Go ahead.
Reporter: So, first of all, my name is Jake [ inaudible ] magazine and, I, despite what so many colleagues might be reporting, I haven’t seen anybody in my community accuse either yourself or anyone on your staff of being anti-semitic. However, what we are concerned about and what we haven’t really heard you address is an uptick in anti-semitism and how in this climate you’re going to take care of it. There have been reports out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks. There are people who are committing anti-semitic acts or threatening to —
Trump: You know he’s said that he’s going to ask a very simple, easy question. And it’s not. It’s not a fair question. Sit down. I understand the rest of your question. So here’s the story, folks.
Number one, I’m the least anti-semitic person you’ve seen in your entire life. Number two, racism, the least racist person. In fact, we can very well relative to other people running as a Republican — [ inaudible ]
Quiet, quiet, he lied about getting up asking a straight, simple question, so, you know, welcome to the world of the media.
Let me just tell you something, that I hate the charge. I find it repulsive. I hate even the question because people that know me, and you heard the Prime Minister. You heard Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday. Did you hear him? Bebe, he said, “I’ve known Donald Trump for a long time. Then he said, forget it.” So you should take that instead of having to get up and ask a very insulting question.
Reporter: thank you, I’m Lisa —
Trump: shows you about the press, but that’s the way the press is.
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President. Lisa from the PBS NewsHour.
Reporter: On national security and immigration, can you give us details on the executive order you’ve planned for next week, even broad outlines? Focused on specific countries, and in addition, on the program for immigration, what is your plan? Do you plan to continue that program or to end it?
Trump: We’re going to show great heart. DACA a very difficult subject for me. To me, it’s one of the most difficult subjects. You have incredible kids, in many cases, not all cases. In some of the cases, they are gang members and drug dealers, too. But you have some absolutely incredible kids. I would say mostly.
They were brought here in such a way — it’s a very, very tough subject. We are going to deal with DACA with heart. I have to deal with a lot of politicians, don’t forget, and I have to convince them what I’m saying is right. I appreciate your understanding on that, but the DACA situation is a very, very — it’s a very difficult thing for me because, you know, I love these kids. I love kids. I have kids. And grandkids.
I find it very, very hard doing what the law says exactly to do, and the laws rough. I’m not even talking about new laws, I’m talking about the existing law and the existing law is rough. It’s very, very rough. As far as the new order, the new order is going to be very much tailored to the, what I consider to be a very bad decision, but we can tailor the order to that decision and get just about everything, in some ways more, but we’re tailoring it now to the decision.
We have some of the best lawyers in the country working on it, and the new executive order is being tailored to the decision we get down from the court. Okay?
Reporter: Reopening of the white house visitors office.
Reporter: She does a lot of great work for the country as well. Can you tell us about what personally Melania Trump does for the country and unique levels in the administration, so by opening the white house visitors office [inaudible]
Trump: Now, that’s what I call a nice question. That is very nice. Who are you with?
Reporter: [ inaudible ]
Trump: Good, I’m going to start watching. Thank you very much. Melania is terrific. She was here last night. We had dinner with Senator Rubio and his wife, who is, by the way, is lovely, and we had discussions on Cuba. We have similar views on Cuba. Cuba was good to me in the Florida election as you know, the Cuban-Americans.
And I think Melania will be outstanding. And that’s right, she just opened up the visiting center, touring of the White House. She, like others that she’s working with, feel very, very strongly about women’s issues. Women’s difficulties, very, very strongly. She’s a very, very strong advocate. I think she’s a great representative for this country.
And funny thing happens. She gets so unfairly — the things they say, I’ve known her for a long time. She was a very successful person, she was a very successful model. She did really well. She would go home at night and didn’t even want to go out with people. She was a very private person. She was always the highest quality that you’ll ever find, and the things they say — and I’ve known her for a long time — the things they say are so unfair.
And actually, she’s been apologized to, as you know, by various media, because they said things that were lies. But I’ll just tell you this. I think she is going to be a fantastic first lady. She’s going to be a tremendous representative of women and of the people and helping her and working her will be Ivanka, who is a fabulous person and a fabulous, fabulous woman.And they are not doing this for money, they are not doing this for pay.
They are doing this because they feel it, both of them; and Melania goes back and forth and after Baron finishes school, because it’s hard to take a child out of school with a few months left, she and Baron will be moving over to the White House. Thank you that’s a very nice question. Go ahead.
Reporter: Mr. President
Trump: Yes, I know this is going to be a bad question, but that’s okay.
Reporter: No it’s not going to be a bad question.
Trump: Okay, good, because I enjoy watching you on television.
Reporter: Well, thank you so much. Mr. President, I need to find out from you, you said something, as it relates to inner cities, that was one of your platforms during your campaign.
Trump: Fix the inner cities.
Reporter: Fixing the inner cities, what will be that fix and urban agenda, as well as your HBCU executive order coming out this afternoon? See, it wasn’t bad, was it?
Trump: That was very professional and very good.
Reporter: I’m very professional, yes.
Trump: We’ll be announcing the order in a little while and I would rather let the order speak for itself, but it will be something that I think will be very good for everybody concerned, but we’ll talk to you about that after we do the announcement. As far as the inner cities, as you know, I was very strong on the inner cities during the campaign. I think it’s probably what got me a much higher percentage of the African-American vote that a lot of people thought I was gonna get. We did much higher than people thought I was gonna get, and I was honored by that, including the Hispanic vote, which was also much higher, and, by the way, if I might add, including the women’s vote, which was much higher than people thought I was gonna get.
So we are going to be working very hard on the inner cities, having to do with education, having to do with crime. We’re going to try and fix as quickly as possible — but you know it takes a long time, it’s taken a hundred years or more for some of the places to — evolve, and they evolved, many of them, very badly, but we are going to be working very hard on health, on health care, very, very hard on education, and, also, we’re going to work in a stringent way in a very good way on crime.
You go to some of these inner city places, and it’s so sad when you look at the crime.
You have people — and I’ve seen this, and I’ve could of witnessed it, and, in fact, in two cases, I have actually witnessed it — they lock themselves into apartments, petrified to even leave in the middle of the day. They are living in hell. We can’t let that happen. So we are going to be very very strong. It’s a great question. It’s a very — it’s a very difficult situation, because it’s been many, many years. It’s been festering for many, many years. But we have places in this country that we have to fix.
We have to help African-American people that for the most part stuck there. Hispanic-American people, we have Hispanic-American people that are in the inner cities and they’re living in hell.
I mean, you look at the numbers in Chicago. There are two Chicagos, as you know. There’s one Chicago that’s incredible, luxurious and all. And safe. There’s another chicago that’s worse than almost any of the places in the middle east that we talk about and that you talk about every night on the newscasts. So we’re going to do a lot of work in the inner cities. I have great people lined up to help with the inner cities.
Reporter: When you say inner cities, are you gonna include the CBC, mr. President, in the conversations with your urban agenda, your inner city agenda, as well as—
Trump: Am I gonna—am I gonna include who?
Reporter: Are you gonna include the Congressional Black Caucus and —
Trump: Well, I would. I tell you what, you want to set up the meeting? Do you want to set up the meeting?
Reporter: No, no, no I’m just a reporter.
Trump: Are they friends of yours?
Reporter: I know some of them —
Trump: No, go ahead, set up the meeting. Let’s go. Set up a meeting, I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it’s great, the Congressional Black Caucus, I think it’s great. 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. I was all set to have that meeting. You know we called him and called him. And he was all set. I spoke to him on the phone, a nice guy.
Reporter: I hear he wanted that meeting with you as well.
Trump: He wanted it. But we called called called called. I can’t make a meeting with him. Every day, I walk in, I said, I would like to meet with him, because I do want to solve the problem. But he probably was told by Schumer or somebody like that, some other lightweight.
He was probably told — he was probably told, don’t meet with Trump. It’s bad politics. That’s part of the problem in this country. Okay. One more.
Reporter: Yes, two questions
Trump: No no, one question, two we can’t handle, this room can’t handle two. Go ahead, give me the better of your two.
Reporter: I’d just like to follow-up on my colleague’s question about anti-semitism. It’s not about your personality or your beliefs, we’re talking about a rising anti-semitism around the country, some of it by supporters in your name. What—
Trump: And some of it — and 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? Do you understand that? You don’t think that 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. You have some of those signs and anger that is caused by the other side. They’ll do signs and they’ll do drawings that are inappropriate. It won’t be my people. It will be the people on the other side to anger people like you.
Okay. Go ahead.
Reporter: You’re the president now, what are you going to do about this?
Trump: Who is that? Where is that? Oh—stand up, you can—
Reporter: What are you going to do about the tensions that have been —
Trump: Oh, I’m working on it. You know I’m working on it very—no, no. Look. Hey. Just so you understand, we had a totally divided country for eight years, and long before that, in all fairness to President Obama, long before President Obama. We have had a very divided — I didn’t come along and divide this country. This country was seriously divided before I got here. Were going to work on it very hard. One of the questions that was asked, I thought it was a very good question, was about the inner cities, I mean that’s part of it. But we’re going to work on education. We’re going to work on — stop — try to stop the crime. We have great law enforcement officials. We’re going to try and stop crime. We’re not going to try to stop it, we’re going to stop crime. But it’s very important to me, but this is not 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, and I’m going to try — I will do everything within my power to fix that.
I want to thank everybody very much. It was a great honor to be with you, thank you, thank you very much. Thanks.