Donald Trump lashed out at the press over scrutiny of the money he raised to donate to veterans groups, in one instance pointing to a reporter and calling him a “sleaze.”
At a press conference in Trump Tower on Tuesday, Trump announced that he’d give $6 million — including $1 million of his money — to a variety of veterans groups.
But Trump became irritated by reporters who questioned why it had taken so long to make the donation, noting that Trump held the fundraiser for veterans all the way back in January.
“It seems to me you’re resistant to the kind of scrutiny that you get with running for president of the United States?” said CNN anchor Jim Acosta.
Trump responded: “I like scrutiny, but you know what when I raise money – excuse me excuse me, I’ve watched you on television and you’re real beauty – when I raise money for the veterans and it’s a massive amount of money, find out how much Hillary Clinton has given to the veterans, it’s nothing.
“I don’t want the credit for it but I don’t want to be lambasted,” Trump added.
Later, Trump pointed to an ABC reporter and called him a “sleaze.”
“What I don’t want is when I raise millions of dollars, and this sleazy guy over here — look, he’s a sleaze in my book,” Trump said. “You’re a sleaze because you know the facts and you know the facts well.”
Trump then turned his back and turned the press conference over to one of the veterans who had flanked him on stage.
That moment capped a tense few minutes of back and forth between Trump and the press.
“Writing a million dollar check is incredibly generous…but your critics say you exaggerate, is this a prime example?,” one reporter said. “Why exaggerate?”
“When Democrats are raising questions, the press is also reflecting what your opposition is saying about you,” said another reporter. “We’re not just us throwing questions at you.”
Trump responded that he didn’t mind the criticism coming from the opposition, but said it’s different when it comes from the press.
“I think the political press is among the most dishonest I’ve ever seen,’ he said. “I have to tell you that. But I think the political press – I see the stories and the way they’re couched.”
As the press conference ended, a reporter told Trump he had “set a new bar in being contentious with the press” and asked whether this is what it would be like if Trump wins the White House.
“Yeah it is,” Trump responded.
“I”m going to continue to attack the press,” he added. “I find the press to be dishonest. I find the political press to be extremely dishonest.”
So far, Trump said $5.6 million had gone from his organization to veterans groups.