Trump Rants Against the Media in Rambling Press Conference

He also said the ouster earlier this week of his national security advisor followed Michael Flynn's misleading statements to Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russian Federation during the presidential transition.

President Donald Trump called a hastily arranged press conference Thursday in the East Room of the White House, where he launched into a startling attack against the media. "After careful consideration and discussions with my family, I am withdrawing my nomination for Secretary of Labour", the 66-year-old fast-food executive said in a statement, adding that he was "honoured" to have been considered by Mr Trump for the post.

Democrats, doubting Mr Trump's Justice Department or the Republican-led Congress will pursue the matter vigorously, have demanded an independent investigation of possible illegal communications between Mr Flynn and the Russian government, and any efforts by Mr Flynn or other White House officials to hide wrongdoing.

"That's the question that I think you should ask the President, the question you should ask Reince, the chief of staff".

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said Republicans don't want to challenge Trump: "They want to get everything they can from this president before the wheels come off, and they don't want to antagonize" and become the target of his wrath on Twitter or elsewhere. No person that I deal with does.

"These activities border on the treasonous", said Representative Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, which is investigating Russian interference in the election.

On Monday, an hour after Ms Conway told reporters that Mr Flynn had the president's "full confidence", the White House suggested the ground under the former general's feet was not so solid.

The Trump camp denies having any untoward Russian contacts.

At one point, Trump was asked how the stories he condemned as "fake news" could in fact be fake if they were based on leaks he was slamming as illegal. Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also mentioned back in November, after the election that the Russian embassy reached out to the Trump campaign as part of "routine" outreach. He went on to say "I've never seen more dishonest media than, frankly, the political media".

On Capitol Hill, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Wednesday introduced companion legislation to a Senate measure aiming to enhance congressional oversight of Russian sanctions.

"Either Trump hasn't found the necessary independence and he's been driven into a corner. or "Russophobia" has permeated the new administration from top to bottom", he said.

"I know what is good and bad, I'd be a pretty good reporter". "I saw a couple people who were supposedly involved". The press should be ashamed of themselves, and the people who gave the information should be ashamed of themselves.

"This is very new, because usually the administration is united and unified and quiet", he said.

"The greatest thing I could do is shoot that ship that's 30 miles offshore right out of the water", Trump said. Even if the president wasn't aware of any of the reports, Trump clearly knew more than he was letting on. "The public gets it, you know".

Trump said he had had intelligence briefings on the matter and, although he was not willing to divulge classified information, he could say that "nuclear holocaust would be like no other".

  • Elsie Buchanan