Donald Trump singled out ABC News’ Tom Llamas and, to a lesser degree, CNN’s Jim Acosta during today’s news conference about money the candidate had raised for veterans groups back in January. Trump called Llamas “sleaze” and Acosta “a real beauty,” respectively.
Afterward, Trump told the press to expect more of same in his White House.
At today’s news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, the presumptive GOP nominee ticked off the 41 veterans organizations that have received various dollar amounts Trump said totals $5.6M. That money, he said, was raised as a result of the televised fundraiser he held in January, when he decided to opt out of Fox News Channel’s GOP debate. Of that $5.6M, $1M comes in the form of a check written by Trump himself, which he showed to media during the newser.
During his news conference, Trump blasted political reporters who had been following his campaign’s conflicting reports as to how much money had been raised off of the televised event in January.
“What I don’t want is, when I raise millions of dollars, have people say – like this sleazy guy right over here from ABC; he’s a sleaze in my book,” Trump said.
“Why am I a sleaze?” Llamas, who was in the press pack, was heard saying.
“You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well,” Trump shot back.
“Tom is one of the best journalists in the country,” ABC News told Deadline via email after the news conference. “He is also one of the most respectful and respected.”
Trump said during the news conference he had tried to keep a low profile about the fundraiser, which was televised. Since the event was held, Trump has been seen at various campaign events covered by TV cameras, touting the fundraiser.
Llamas also tweeted the exchange that led to Trump’s comment:
Llamas has publicly criticized Trump in the past for use of the pejorative term “anchor baby,” and a retweet by Llamas about the today’s exchange might give some insight into what caused Trump to spew in his general direction:
Meanwhile, CNN’s Acosta asked Trump if he was too thin-skinned to withstand the kind of media scrutiny afforded to all presidential candidates:
“I’ve seen you on TV; you’re a real beauty,” Trump snarked.
Asked if the news conference gave them a glimpse what it will be like attending press conferences in Donald Trump White House, Trump said, “Yeah, yeah, it is.”
In January, while Fox News Channel moderated and telecast the seventh GOP debate of this election cycle, Trump was two miles away from the debate venue in Des Moines, IA, with his own event at Drake University for veterans with the Wounded Warrior Project.