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'Let's Get Ready to Rumble!' President Trump Faces Off with the Media

02-17-2017
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WASHINGTON -- It was a showdown months in the making: Trump vs. the Media: The Rematch. 

In his first open press conference in more than a month, Donald Trump fielded questions on everything from the immigration ban rollout to his administration's communication with Russia. 

The Drip…

The elephant in the room was Russia and the intelligence leaks in the Trump administration. 

Earlier in the day, Trump took to Twitter to say that the "real story" behind ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn wasn't the fact that Flynn held conversations with a Russian ambassador before the election, but the fact that the information had been leaked to the media. 

When questioned if the media was fake or the stories, Trump reiterated that it was the media. 

"The public doesn't believe you anymore. They see that it's not fair," Trump said of the media and pointed out the press' low approval rating. 

Trump also announced that the Justice Department is looking into the leaks, which he called "criminal," and said the media was to blame as well for running the stories. 

"I don't mind bad stories when they are true," said Trump. 

When pressed on whether or not anyone from his campaign, other than Flynn, had conversations with Russia prior to the election, Trump said not to his knowledge. 

When it comes to the difference between these leaks and the one's he encouraged against Hillary Clinton during the election, Trump said this was different because those leaks weren't classified information.  

You're Fired?

For much of the week, there has been a level of confusion as to whether Flynn was fired or resigned. 

Trump confirmed that he asked for Flynn's resignation -- not because Flynn had done anything "criminal" but because he had misled the vice president and failed to remember details about his conversations with Russia. 

Immigration

Trump also announced a new immigration policy to be presented next week. According to the president, the new policy will be tailored to the court's decision but will still accomplish his original measures.

When it comes to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy (DACA), the president said he would handle it with delicacy.
 
"You have some absolutely incredible kids," Trump said, referring to DACA children. 

Pudzer Out/ Acosta In 

The purpose of the press conference, however, was to announce his new pick for Labor Department secretary, Alex Acosta.  Acosta, a former U.S. attorney general, is seen as an "establishment pick," with a greater chance of gaining Senate confirmation. 

The Florida International University dean is replacing Hardees/Carl's Jr. CEO Andy Pudzer who stepped down Wednesday amid speculation that he would not have gotten the votes needed for confirmation.  He also announced a new measure to work with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and plans to roll out the Obamacare replacement in mid-March.

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