Trump Packed News Presser With Paid Staffers To Cheer And Jeer As He Bashed Reporters

When Donald Trump launched a vicious and sustained attack against CNN’s Jim Acosta at his first press conference in nearly 168 days, several attendees could be heard clapping and cheering in support of Trump’s assertion that CNN is “fake news.”

As it turns out, Politico reports that Trump filled the room with paid staffers to help provide him with moral support as he faced hundreds of reporters from around the globe gathered in his lobby.

At one point, the paid attendees shouted “no!” when the president-elect rhetorically asked, “do you honestly believe that Hillary Clinton would be tougher on Putin than me?”

The staffers also cheered when Trump fired back at a reporter who asked about his tax returns. “The only ones who care about my tax returns are the reporters,” Trump said.

Politico reports:

It was Trump’s method of battling back an extraordinary report that U.S intelligence officials have presented both Trump and President Barack Obama with unverified allegations that Russia has compromising information about the incoming 45th president, including about a reported salacious encounter in a Moscow hotel room.

With three of his grown-up children, Vice President-elect Mike Pence, and members of his senior staff looking on from the sides, Trump framed the anticipated barrage of questions about his connections to the Russians as a referendum, instead, on the untrustworthy media, seated in seven rows of plastic folding chairs in front of him.

The Greek chorus of loyal, paid staffers in the back of the room boosting Trump with their hoots and cheers also served as a reminder, of sorts, of the movement of Trump backers happy to take him at his word and jeer the media as the out-of-touch liars.

RawStory adds:

More than 250 journalists attended Trump’s news conference, but as the AP notes, only Breitbart’s Matthew Boyle received a reserved seat. He used his special destination to ask the president about “all the problems that we’ve seen throughout the media.”

“What reforms do you recommend for this industry here?” Boyle, who works for the website formally run by Trump senior advisor Steve Bannon, asked the president-elect.

“Some of the media outlets that I deal with are fake news more so than anybody,” Trump told Boyle. “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,” he said, as his paid staffers cheered.