President-elect Donald Trump packed his press conference on Jan. 11 with paid staffers who cheered for him, and jeered the press, at Trump Tower in New York City (video below).
Vice President-elect Mike Pence and senior Trump staff members were situated on the sides of the press conference, while paid staffers lined the back of the room, reports Politico.
Garry Kasparov, a well-known critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, tweeted about Trump's press conference: "That reminded me of a Soviet press conference. More speakers than questions, more flags than answers."
During his news conference, Trump slammed BuzzFeed News and CNN, and refused to take questions from CNN reporter Jim Acosta, saying: "I’m not going to give you a question. You’re fake news!"
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That one liner was met by cheers and applause from Trump staffers.
At another point during the press conference, Trump asked a rhetorical question to the media: "Do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Putin than me?"
Several paid Trump staffers shouted: "No!" notes Politico.
The Associated Press reports that only one seat was reserved at the press conference, and that was for a reporter from Breitbart News, which used to be run by Trump's senior adviser Steve Bannon, who openly supported the racist alt-right movement during his tenure at the site.
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Trump called on the reporter from Breitbart, who didn't ask Trump about government policies, but rather his thoughts on "fake news," which Breitbart has been accused of.
"Some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news more so than anybody," Trump replied. "I could name them, but I won't bother, but you have a few sitting right in front of us. They're very, very dishonest people, but I think it's just something we're going to have to live with. I guess the advantage I have is that I can speak back."
Media Matters noted some of the Breitbart headlines under Bannon in August 2016: "Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy," "Planned Parenthood's Body Count Under Cecile Richards Is Up To Half A Holocaust," "Hillary Clinton's Muslim Brotherhood Problem" and "There's No Hiring Bias Against Women In Tech, They Just Suck At Interviews."