Key takeaways from the Trump show

Mr Trump and his children (from left) Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr at the press conference on Wednesday.
Mr Trump and his children (from left) Eric, Ivanka and Donald Jr at the press conference on Wednesday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

WASHINGTON • Mr Donald Trump made a fair amount of news in his press conference on Wednesday, but the theatre of that press conference, his first in nearly six months and just days before his Jan 20 inauguration, became a story in itself.

A BBC News report looks at some key takeaways:

PRESS BASHING

Mr Trump berated BuzzFeed News, which posted the Trump Russia dossier, as a "failing pile of garbage" that is going to "suffer the consequences". He called CNN "terrible", said it trafficks in "fake news" and refused to take its reporter's questions.

He also took a swipe at BBC News. "That is another beauty," he said when its correspondent introduced himself.

He had nice words for news organisations that he said treated him fairly, such as the New York Times, praising it for being "so incredibly professional, that I have just gone up a notch as to what I think of you".

TIME FOR FRIENDLY VOICES

The President-elect took a few questions from oft-overlooked conservative outlets, such as One America News Network and Breitbart, the alternative right media empire until recently headed by Mr Steve Bannon, who is now senior Trump adviser.

Mr Trump was asked what sort of reforms he might recommend for the media industry, given the problems with "fake news". The question presented him with another opportunity to bash some reporters who are "very, very dishonest people".

 
 
 

THE PEANUT GALLERY

During the press conference, Mr Trump would deliver a sharp rebuke and be greeted with applause.

A joke would be followed by laughter. A rhetorical question would elicit a chorus of responses.

The animated reactions came not from the normally reserved media, but from Trump supporters, political staff and business employees crammed into the Trump Tower lobby along with the journalists.

While stacking a press conference with a friendly audience may not be a bad idea since Mr Trump seems to draw energy from a welcoming crowd, it will be peculiar if the practice is continued in the White House briefing room.

TRUMP THE 'GERMAPHOBE'

He called himself "very much a germaphobe" in dismissing rumours of dalliances with prostitutes when he visited Moscow in 2013.

He said that when travelling abroad, he warns everyone with him to be on guard and to watch for hidden cameras in hotels.

"In those rooms, you have cameras in the strangest places," he said. "Cameras that are so small with modern technology... You better be careful, or you will be watching yourself on nightly television."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2017, with the headline 'Key takeaways from the Trump show'. Print Edition | Subscribe