President Donald Trump praised himself on Friday for his Thursday battle with reporters — a more-than-hour-long meandering spectacle that one headline dubbed a “news conference for the ages.”
Trump used his favorite social media platform to thank supporters who he said made “nice statements” about the speech and to take more aim at the press.
“Thank you for all of the nice statements on the Press Conference yesterday,” Trump tweeted. “Rush Limbaugh said one of greatest ever. Fake media not happy!”
Limbaugh, the conservative talk radio host, described the press conference as “one of the most effective press conferences I have ever seen.”
Other observers, including reporters, commentators and Capitol Hill political types, reacted to the impromptu event with something of a collective jaw drop. CNN’s Jake Tapper described it as “unhinged” and an airing of grievances à la Festivus.
Trump hosted the last-minute presser in the White House with the theoretical purpose of announcing his new pick for labor secretary, Alexander Acosta, but it quickly morphed into a long-winded speech complaining about news coverage and Democrats. Then he spent about an hour taking questions from reporters, frequently ducking questions about scrutiny into his campaign’s relationship with Russia, going on tangents and dismissing the news media’s aggressive reporting on his administration as “fake news.”
At times, Trump made his audience laugh audibly, and some commentators in the Twittersphere were quick to point out that his performance probably played well with his most fervent supporters.
That sentiment is in line with Limbaugh’s reaction.
“The press is going to hate him even more after this. Don’t misunderstand,” he said. “When I say effective, I’m talking about rallying people who voted for him to stay with him.”