Donald Trump on Wednesday gave one of his most off-the-wall press conferences to date. In addition to encouraging Russia to engage in cyberwarfare against the United States, the Republican nominee appeared to confuse Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D), with a one-time governor of New Jersey who left office more than 20 years ago.
Speaking at his Doral, Florida, resort, Trump also bragged about how many “Hispanics” he has working at the golf club. Then, as if to add insult to injury, he said President Barack Obama was “ignorant” and described how his foreign policy “just doesn’t jive.”
Trump may be taking more heat for his comments about Russia than he is for his jabs and insults against other people and groups, but these recent comments say a lot about the candidate. For anyone still hoping Trump might pivot into a more presidential mode after securing the GOP’s nomination: Good luck with that. On the contrary, it seems that winning the primary has only served to expand the range of targets for Trump’s attacks, anger and petulance.
Below are some of the hidden gems from Wednesday’s presser.
Trump tried a little Hispanic outreach.
“Doral is great,” he said. “I think I have over 1,000 Hispanics working at Doral, and they’re doing a great job.”
Never change, Donald.
He appeared not to know who Tim Kaine is. Or where Kaine comes from.
Trump: [Clinton’s] running mate, Tim Kaine, who by the way did a terrible job in New Jersey, the first act he did in New Jersey was ask for a $4 billion tax increase, and he was not very popular in New Jersey and he still isn’t. What?
Reporter: You mean Virginia?
Trump: I mean Virginia. The first thing he did, the first thing Tim Kaine did, he asked for a $4 billion tax increase. And he’s not very popular there. So let me just tell you. And I went all over Virginia, and I was there the other day, and I thought he’d be popular ― he’s not popular because he asked for tax increases.
Kaine is a senator ― and former governor ― from Virginia. New Jersey had a governor named Tom Kean a few decades ago, so there’s that?
Trump told a female reporter to “be quiet.”
“Be quiet, I know you want to, you know, save her,” Trump told NBC News reporter Katy Tur, a snide suggestion that Tur supports Clinton.
It wasn’t the first time Trump had insulted Tur, a veteran foreign correspondent who has been embedded for months with the Trump campaign. Trump claimed in June that Tur “knows nothing about my campaign. ... We don’t even let her in. We don’t talk to her, we don’t let people talk to her because she’s not a very good reporter.”
It’s so hard to believe he’s not doing well with the women.
He said a Baltimore prosecutor should prosecute herself over her handling of the Freddie Gray case.
“I do have a reaction to the prosecutor in Baltimore who indicted those police officers, I do,” Trump said. “I think she ought to prosecute herself. OK, that’s my reaction. I think it was disgraceful what she did, and the way she did it, and the news conference that she had where they were guilty before anybody even knew the facts.”
Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced on Wednesday that her office was dropping charges against the three remaining officers awaiting trial for their alleged role in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who suffered a fatal injury in police custody.
Prosecutors typically tend to act like they’re indicting defendants because those people are guilty. Some might say that is their job. But it’s clear that Trump doesn’t know much about the legal system.
Trump, a man who called for the Central Park Five to be put to death years before the group was exonerated, is one to caution about getting out the pitchforks.
Trump wasn’t quite sure who tried to kill Ronald Reagan.
“By the way, David Hinckley should not have been freed, OK?” he said. “David Hinckley was just released. John Hinckley. I think that John Hinckley, excuse me, John Hinckley should not have been freed. I just heard about it.”
On Wednesday, a federal judge ruled that John Hinckley Jr. could be released into his mother’s custody, 35 years after an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan wounded the then-president and three others.
Maybe Trump got him confused with David Brinkley, an OG of the liberal lamestream media.
He also came out against email.
“I’m not an email person. I’m not an email person myself,” Trump said. “I don’t believe in it, because I think it can be hacked for one thing. But when I send an email I mean, if I send one ― I send one almost never, I’m just not a believer in email. A lot of people have taught me that, including Hillary. But honestly, it could be, maybe it’s hacked. Who knows?”
He clearly does not feel this way about Twitter.
Trump insulted Obama with this not-at-all loaded line.
“I think President Obama has been the most ignorant president in our history,” he said. “His views of the world, as he says, don’t jive.”
He accused Putin of using the “n-word” to describe Obama.
“Putin has said things over the last year that are really bad things, OK? He mentioned the n-word one time. I was shocked to hear him mention the n-word. You know what the n-word is, right? He mentioned it, I was shocked,” Trump said.
The “n-word” that has been most frequently associated with Putin and Obama’s relationship is “nuclear,” which certainly doesn’t seem to be what Trump was referring to.
Trump took credit for Clinton’s flip on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
“She lied about TPP,” Trump said. “She was for TPP, she saw me on television knocking the hell out of it because it’s a horror show, it’s going to kill all our jobs, it’s going to be almost as bad as NAFTA, maybe worse which her husband signed, by the way, which destroyed this country, destroyed manufacturing in the United States.”
“She also saw me talking about TPP and currency manipulation and currency devaluation,” he added. “And she heard it and she said wow, she can’t win that subject in a debate.”
While serving as secretary of state, Clinton said the TPP “sets the gold standard” for trade deals. Last year, amid a heated primary campaign against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who ardently opposes the trade deal, Clinton said a closer inspection of the then-recently negotiated terms “didn’t meet [her] standards.”
Virginia governor and longtime Clinton confidante Terry McAuliffe said on Tuesday that the Democratic nominee would sign an altered version of the TPP if elected president. The Clinton campaign has denied this suggestion, and a spokesperson for McAuliffe later said that he was simply expressing what he wants Clinton to do.