Updated Sep 26, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Key takeaways from Trump's marathon press conference

During a rare solo press conference Wednesday spanning an hour and twenty-two minutes, President Trump sounded off on issues including Brett Kavanaugh, Rod Rosenstein, North Korea and peace in the Middle East.

One big thing: Trump said he's had "a lot of false charges" made against him and called sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh a "big fat con job." The president declined to respond on whether he believed the accusers, saying Democrats and the third accuser’s lawyer are using the allegations to personally harm Brett Kavanaugh.

On Brett Kavanaugh: Trump says he's open to "changing [his] mind" about his Supreme Court pick if evidence from Kavanaugh's upcoming hearing is compelling.

  • Trump said, when asked if he thought the women accusing Kavanaugh were liars, that he'd see what happens during Thursday's hearings. "It's possible they could be convincing."
  • In a tense exchange with the president, CNN's Jim Acosta asked Trump to call on a female correspondent during his press conference and answer questions on Kavanaugh.

On Kavanaugh's public perception: "In this case you’re guilty until proven innocent. I think that is a very, very dangerous standard for our country."

  • In continuing his attack on Democrats, Trump said "George Washington would be voted against 100% by Schumer and the con artists."
  • "Somebody could come and say, '30 years ago, 25 years ago, 10 years ago, he did a horrible thing... And honestly, it’s a very dangerous period in our country and it’s being perpetrated by very evil people. Some of them are Democrats, I must say, because some of them know that this is a game that they’re playing."

On whether he'll watch Kavanaugh's hearing: "I want to watch. I want to see. I hope I can watch. I'm meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow, but I will certainly in some form be able to watch."

  • On the term "con job": Trump said he's used "much worse" language than con job before. "That's, like, probably the nicest phrase I've ever used."

On the fate of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein: When asked if he planned on firing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump said "we'll see," but his "preference would be to keep him."

On the media: "I think ABC, CBS, NBC, The [New York] Times, The Washington Post, they're all going to endorse me, because if they don't, they're going out of business. Can you imagine if you didn't have me?"

On North Korea and Kim Jong-un: "If I wasn't elected, you'd be in a war....You would've had a war and you would've lost millions, not thousands, millions of people."

On United Nations members laughing at him: "That's fake news, that's fake news. It was covered that way...They were not laughing at me, they were laughing with me."

On soybeans and farmers: Trump called farmers "patriots" and said his policies are creating growth for the soybean industry, but they've fallen 12% year to year.

On Middle East negotiations: "If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that's okay with me. If they want two states, that's okay with me...I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don't get killed anymore."

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest developments.

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