Trump Battles With ‘Killer Networks’ and ‘Fake News’ at Press Conference

Before taking a question from ABC journalist Jon Karl on Friday, Donald Trump made sure to lambaste the “killer networks” and their “fake news.” He also demanded a “fair” question from the journalist. Appearing with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Trump mused, “Who would like to ask? Should I take one of the killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news?” 

Talking to Karl, he baited, “Should I do that? Go ahead, Jon. Be fair, Jon.” The journalist replied, “Always fair, Mr. President.” On Twitter, CNN journalist Brian Stelter objected to Trump’s usage of the phrase “killer networks.” 

The two then went back and forth on James Comey: 

JON KARL: Always fair. Mr. President, I want to get back to James Comey's testimony. You suggested he didn't tell the truth in everything he said. He did say under oath that you told him to let the Flynn -- you said you hoped the Flynn investigation -- he could let go— 

TRUMP: I didn’t say that.

KARL: So he lied about that?

TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that. 

The two continued: 

KARL: So he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath and give your version of —  
 
TRUMP: 100 percent. I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance. What would do that. Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath. Think of that. I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. I didn't say that and I didn't say the other. 
 

Trump has previously battled with journalists in press conferences, complaining about their “level of dishonesty” that’s “out of control.”

A transcript of the exchange: 

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Press conference
6/9/17
3:13

DONALD TRUMP: Who would like to ask? Should I take one of the killer networks that treat me so badly as fake news? Should I do that? Go ahead, Jon. Be fair, Jon. 

JON KARL: Absolutely. 

TRUMP: Remember how fair you used to be before I ran? Such a nice man. 

JON KARL: Always fair. Mr. President, I want to get back to James Comey's testimony. You suggested he didn't tell the truth in everything he said. He did say under oath that you told him to let the Flynn -- you said you hoped the Flynn investigation -- he could let go— 

TRUMP: I didn’t say that.

KARL: So he lied about that?

TRUMP: Well, I didn't say that. I will tell you, I didn't say that. 

KARL: And did he ask you to pledge -- 
 
TRUMP: And there would be nothing wrong if I did say it according to everybody that I read today but I did not say that. 
 
KARL: And did he ask you for a pledge of loyalty from you? 
 
TRUMP: No, he did not. 

KARL: So he said those things under oath. Would you be willing to speak under oath and give your version of —  
 
TRUMP: 100 percent. I hardly know the man. I'm not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance. What would do that. Who would ask a man to pledge allegiance under oath. Think of that. I hardly know the man. It doesn't make sense. I didn't say that and I didn't say the other. 
 
KARL: So if Robert Mueller wanted to speak with you -- 
 
TRUMP: I'd be happy to tell you what I just told you. 
 
KARL: And you seem to hint that there are recordings of those conversations.
 
TRUMP: I’m not hinting anything. I'll tell you about it over a very short period of time. I'm not hinting at anything. Okay. Do you have a question here? 
 
KARL: When will you tell us about the recordings? 
 
TRUMP: Over a very short period of time. 
 
REPORTERS SHOUTING: Are there tapes, sir? 
 
TRUMP: Oh,you're going to be very disappointed when you hear the answer. Don't worry. John, do you have a question for the president? 
 
KARL: Yes. Thank you. President Iohannis, you're no stranger to Russian aggression. Vladimir Putin recently suggested that Romania could be in Russia's crosshairs. How concerned should the world be about Russia aggression in your region and how concerned should we be here in the United States be about what Russia tried to do in our election, sir? 


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