President-elect Trump gave his first press conference in 167 days on Wednesday. He last held one in July 2016 on the campaign trail, and since then, he has opted to use Twitter and conduct interviews with select news outlets in recent months. Trump, 70, previously scheduled a news conference for December 15th, but postponed it at the last minute.
It began when Press Secretary Sean Spicer took the podium to address Tuesday’s explosive BuzzFeed report. He called it “outrageous” and “highly irresponsible” and dismissed it as a “sad and pathetic way to get clicks.”
The press conference is taking place just a day after BuzzFeed published a shocking, unverified report claiming that the ex–Apprentice star has deep ties to Russia and that there “was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.” The report, which has not been substantiated and contains multiple errors, also alleged that Trump participated in “perverted sexual acts,” including allegedly hiring prostitutes to perform “golden showers” during a trip to Moscow.
The business mogul took to Twitter on Tuesday to slam the report, calling it “fake news” and “a total political witch hunt.” He added in more tweets on Wednesday that he has “nothing to do with Russia – no deals, no loans, nothing!”
During the press conference, Trump conceded that Russia likely meddled in the United States presidential election. When asked by a reporter as to what he would say to Russian President Vladimir Putin about the hacking, he responded: “He shouldn’t have done it. I don’t believe he will be doing it more.” Trump also said he would present a replacement for the Affordable Care Act “very soon” and that he would distance himself from his businesses.