Top 5 Surprising Moments From Donald Trump’s Press Conference
Donald Trump gave a throwback-to-primary-season press conference in Miami, Florida when he fielded questions from the room and left some reporters perplexed by his responses on July 25.
The Republican presidential candidate used the press conference to weigh in on current events for an hour, and touched on a wide variety of subjects.
Trump focused on the hack into the Democratic National Committee’s email server, addressed questions of whether Russians are actively trying to help his campaign, spoke about Donald Trump Jr.’s rumored run for New York City mayor, the release of John Hinckley Jr., and badmouthed an NBC reporter.
The press conference resulted in Trump making headlines on a day that was suppose to be reserved for the Democratic party and their convention. Here are 5 things he talked about.
1. Asks Russia for Hillary Clinton’s Missing E-mails
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 e-mails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
The Clinton campaign was swift to respond by saying that Trump “actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent,” according to a statement by spokesman Jake Sullivan.
In context, Trump was lamenting the attention given to the Clinton campaign’s “deflection”—when the Clinton campaign accused Russian agents of hacking into the DNC’s email server, rather than address the server’s contents—and suggested that Russia had an investment in Trump winning the election in November.
2. On Vladamir Putin
“I never met Putin, I don’t know who Putin is,” Trump said at the press conference.
The Republican candidate’s relationship to the Russian president has been put under the microscope since he praised Putin as being strong.
Russia and Vladamir Putin have had a hostile relationship with the United States, particularly with President Obama over the annexation of Crimea, the fight against ISIS in Syria, and other international disputes.
Trump had previously boasted about meeting Putin. During the Fox Business News debate in November he said he “got to know him [Putin] very well because we were both on 60 Minutes. We were stablemates, and we did very well that night.”
While denying that claim, Trump continued to advocate for friendlier relationships with the Russian president at the press conference.
“I would treat Vladimir Putin firmly, but there’s nothing that I can think of that I’d rather do than have Russia friendly as opposed to the way they are right now.”
3. Huma Abedin & Anthony Weiner
Trump also questioned whether Hillary Clinton should receive security briefings customary for presidential candidates, citing an FBI investigation into her handling of emails containing classified information, as well as her close aide Huma Abedin.
“Her No. 1 person, Huma Abedin, is married to Anthony Weiner, who’s a sleazeball and pervert. I’m not saying that, that’s recorded history. I don’t like Huma going home at night and telling Anthony Weiner all of these secrets,” Trump said.
Huma Abedin is one of Hillary Clinton’s closest long-time advisors, and vice-chair of her current presidential campaign.
Abedin has long been looked at with suspicion by Republicans—she gave a testimony to the House Benghazi Committee and was recipient to many of the controversial emails on Clinton’s private server.
Weiner, also a figure of controversy, made an unsuccessful bid to be New York City’s mayor, after having been embroiled in a scandal where he was caught sexting.
Weiner had said on Wednesday that he would run again for mayor of New York if Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., would decide to run for the position.
Trump said at the press conference that his son has no intention of running for office.
4. Mistakes Tim Kaine for Thomas Kean
Donald Trump made a gaff when he confused the Virginia Senator and Vice Presidential nominee Tim Kaine with the former Republican Governor from New Jersey Thomas Kean.
“Now Hillary Clinton likes to up it. Her running mate Tim Kaine, who by the way did a terrible job in New Jersey. First act he did in New Jersey was ask for a $4 billion tax increase and he’s not very popular in New Jersey. And he still isn’t,” Trump said.
After one of the reporters corrected Trump, he said “What? I mean Virginia.”
5. Freddie Gray prosecutor
On Wednesday the three remaining charges were dropped from the prosecution of officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man who suffered severe spinal cord injuries in the back of a police van in April 2015 and died a week after his arrest.
The death lead to violent and peaceful protests, and Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby moved quickly to indict the officers in May of 2015, a move that was criticized by many as rushing to judgment.
Trump, in his press conference, recalled those criticisms, and called for the State Attorney to “prosecute herself.”
“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.”