A combative President Trump initially deflected questions about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh during a White House press conference on trade, and also accused reporters of working for the Democratic Party.
During an extended attack on Democrats for their handling of Kavanaugh, Trump accused the media of taking the party’s side.
“I consider you a part of the Democrat Party,” Trump said.
Trump shot down questions three times from reporters on Kavanaugh following remarks in the Rose Garden, instead demanding they first ask questions about the newly negotiated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He signaled he would eventually take questions on Kavanaugh, but didn’t do so until almost an hour into the press conference.
“What does that have to do with trade?” he said when asked by ABC reporter Cecilia Vega about his tweets on Kavanaugh. “I don’t mind answering the question, but I’d like to do the trade questions, too.”
“We’ll do the Kavanaugh questions,” he told another reporter shortly after.
When a third reporter sought to ask him about Kavanaugh — and from CNN, one of the president’s usual media targets — Trump grew irritated.
“Don’t do that,” Trump told CNN reporter Kaitlan Collins when she tried to ask about reports the White House had put limits on the FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh. “Excuse me, do you have a question on trade?”
When Collins persisted, Trump directed another reporter to be given the microphone and ask a question on trade.
When he agreed to take questions on the controversy surrounding his Supreme Court pick, Trump criticized reports that the White House had not allowed the FBI to interview accuser Julie Swetnick as inaccurate.
Trump insisted he was deferring to the Senate on the investigation, saying he wants it to be “comprehensive” but completed quickly.
Throughout the news conference, Trump continued to squabble with reporters and accuse the press of misleading coverage, charges that have become a hallmark of Trump’s presidency. He accused the press of treating him “unbelievably unfairly.”
“You’ve had enough,” Trump told Collins at a later point, refusing to take another question from her about Kavanaugh.