Donald Trump blasted members of the press corps Tuesday, particularly television anchors who quizzed him about his donations to veterans.
Trump began the press conference reciting the number of donations he had raised for veterans groups and said they should be “ashamed of themselves” for questioning his generosity instead of praising him for raising so much money.
“You make me look very bad,” he said. “I have never received such bad publicity for doing such a good job.” The press, he said, were mostly “made up of people who are not good people” and were bringing stories that were close to libelous.
The press reacted negatively as Trump repeatedly scolded them, demanding the full details of his donations to veterans groups.
“Just a verification process that is natural … Isn’t it our obligation? Don’t you believe you should be accountable to the people?” CBS reporter Major Garrett asked during the press conference. Trump said he was accountable and didn’t want credit, but was being unfairly criticized.
“To follow up with that, you keep calling us the dishonest press, the disgusting press,” began CNN’s Jim Acosta.
“Well, generally speaking, that’s 100% true,” Trump shot back.
“I disagree with that, sir, and if I can ask you this question, it seems you’re resistant to scrutiny, the kind of scrutiny that comes with running for President of the United States,” Acosta replied.
“Excuse me, excuse me, I’ve watched you on television, you’re a real beauty,” Trump said back, interrupting the question.
Again Trump said he didn’t want credit for raising money for veterans but was being unfairly forced to account for his claimed donations.
“Why do you continue to attack the press, Mr. Trump?” Acosta asked before Trump moved on to the next reporter.
ABC News reporter Tom Llamas was even more aggressive, suggesting that Trump was a liar.
“You said you had raised $6 million, clearly you had not, your critics say you tend to exaggerate and have a problem with the truth. Is this a prime example?” he asked.
Trump repeated that the full amount of the donations to veterans groups was still coming through.
“Why exaggerate?” Llamas shot back before Trump moved on.
Fox News reporter Carl Cameron asked the next question, pointing out that the Democrats were the ones raising questions about Trump’s donations, and it was their responsibility to report those questions.
“It’s not just us throwing questions at you because it’s coming from some of them,” he said.
“I don’t mind it coming from the opposition though, Carl,” Trump replied, again pointing out that he was upset that the press was attacking him unfairly after raising so much money for veterans.
“It was just a question — Is a question an attack?” Cameron replied.
Trump again called the political press “among the most dishonest people I’ve ever met” but told Cameron that he was “excluded.”
“Just wait a few minutes,” Cameron replied.
To illustrate his point, Trump reacted to reports of his Rolling Thunder appearance suggesting he was “disappointed” at the crowd numbers on Sunday when he insisted he was “clearly joking” and again trashed the press for being unfair.
Then Trump pointed at Llamas, who had challenged him earlier.
“Like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC,” he said. “He’s a sleaze in my book.”
“Why am I a sleaze?” Llamas asked.
“You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well,” Trump said before turning the podium over to New Hampshire state representative Al Baldasaro who blasted the press for attacking Trump on his donations.
“You need to getchyer head out of your butt and focus on the real issues!” he bellowed as the non-reporters at the conference applauded.
Trump continued blasting the reporters there, accusing them of dishonesty, but he took several more questions including a few about his vice presidential pick, Bill Kristol, and even Harambe the Gorilla.
Trump then took a parting shot at the press as he exited.
“Look, I find the press to be extremely dishonest. I find the political press to be unbelievably dishonest. I will say that. Okay,” he said. “Thank you all very much.”