After delivering a speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, President Trump did a brief question-and-answer sessions with WEF Chair Klaus Schwab. The second and final question Trump fielded was about what experiences he had earlier in his life that he thinks prepared him for the presidency.
Trump’s response was not well received. First, he bragged about his business acumen and claimed he’s “always been successful at making money” — comments that elicited laughter for the crowd. But the laughs escalated to boos after Trump took aim at the “fake news” media.
“The other thing is, I’ve always seemed to get — for whatever reason — a disproportionate amount of press or media,” Trump began. “And throughout my whole life — someone will explain someday why — but I’ve always gotten a lot. And as a businessman I was always treated really well by the press. You know, the numbers speak and things happen, but I’ve always really had a very good press, and it wasn’t until I became a politician that I realized how nasty, how mean, how vicious, and how fake the press can be — as the cameras start going off in the back.”
As the crowd booed, Trump tried to walk it back.
Foreign journos sitting next to me booed Trump's attack on the press.
— Ishaan Tharoor (@ishaantharoor) January 26, 2018
“But overall I mean the bottom line, somebody said, ‘they couldn’t have been that bad because here we are, we’re president,’ and I think we’re doing a really great job.”
That wasn’t the only awkward moment during Trump’s WEF appearance. While he was being introduced before his speech, the crowd groaned when Schwab said to Trump, “I’m aware that your strong leadership is open to misconceptions and interpretation so it is so essential for us in the room to listen directly to you.”
If the crowd took Schwab’s advice and listened to Trump, they would have heard the “America first” fare we’re used to in the states. During his speech, Trump pushed nationalism — “I will always put America first just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also,” he said at one point — urged global business leaders to invest in the U.S., and sounded off on his desire to curtail legal immigration to the country.
“America is a cutting-edge economy but our immigration system is stuck in the past,” he said.