Donald Trump grabbed the world’s attention Thursday, holding a historic 90-minute press conference at the White House where he launched a blistering attack on the media while defending his promise to “fix a broken system” and clean up the mess he had “inherited.”
It was the U.S. president’s first press conference flying solo, and it was mesmerizing to watch the gunners in the national press corps trying to shoot him down, and then fail miserably.
It was not as if the media didn’t have enough ammunition, of course. It had, in fact, a motherlode cache of ordnance.
There were leaks in the intelligence community to deal with, “criminal leaks,” as the president called them. A “dishonest” media out to get him, which pissed off the fourth estate to no end. There were contradictions by Trump himself as to why national security advisor Michael Flynn got the boot. Dodgy communications with the Russians. Another executive-order travel ban in the offing to impede the influx of immigrants from certain Muslim-dominated countries.
It was a potpourri of potential landmines but, at the end of the press conference, most of them came up duds because Trump either stepped around them, or refused to step on them.
Chaos. “What chaos?” asked Trump. “This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine.”
What Trump did in his press conference, at least for those able to ignore the din and their anti-Trump biases, was effectively talk past the media he was so savagely pillorying, and instead talk directly into the living rooms of the American people who elected him.
Trump was very loud and clear about being loud and clear.