President-elect Donald Trump just finished his first press conference in six months and it went as predicted: totally unpredictable. The next commander-in-chief had the confidence and gait of a golden peacock. What can we take away from this spectacle? Here are five things we learned:
1) HE ADMITTED RUSSIA'S ROLE IN THE HACKING OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS, SORT OF
For the first time, Donald Trump said out loud that Russia interfered with the Presidential election, except he did it on his terms. "I think it was Russia," Trump mused, though mere moments later he said it could possibly be another country. Or "sick people". This will be one of the biggest themes of the Trump presidency: casting doubt on anything that could potentially undermine him and trying to have it both ways on any given subject, even when facts override what he wants to be true.
2) THE PRESS IS NOT GOING TO HAVE AN EASY TIME
Mr Trump made it clear that he was in charge of the press conference from the beginning and that not all members of the press are treated equally. CNN reporter Jim Acosta tried to ask a question, but Mr Trump brushed him off by repeatedly refusing to answer him. In addition to refusing to a question from one of the largest media institutions in America, the Peotus dismissed CNN as "fake news." He also called Buzzfeed a "failing pile of garbage". This is a dangerous precedent for a so-called "free press."
3) THE AMERICAN PUBLIC WILL NOT BE SEEING HIS TAX RETURNS
When pressed about releasing his tax returns, Mr. Trump went straight to his go-to line: he can't release them because they are under audit. Plus, he won the election! He then had the audacity to say that most Americans (apart from reporters) didn't care about them or their contents. This, despite the fact that they would prove whether or not he has any business links to Russia and just how solvent he really is. So yes, reporter or not, we do want to see your tax returns, Mr Trump.
4) MEXICO WILL PAY FOR THE WALL... EVENTUALLY?
Mr. Trump returned to his campaign pledge that Mexico would pay for the extravagant cost of building a wall on the border between it and the United States. Former Mexican President Vicente Fox said, in no uncertain terms and very colourful language, that his country would not comply. Trump said America will build the wall but Mexico will, eventually, reimburse the cost. No specifics, just promises.
5) HIS SONS WILL TAKE OVER HIS BUSINESS BUT HE WILL NOT DIVEST
The Peotus had Sherri Dillon, a financial advisor at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, come out and explain why Mr Trump couldn't sell his company. His sons, Eric and Donald Jrand a longtime associate, will be taking over the Trump Organization in a blind trust. He said that it will do no new business with foreign parties and its dealings would be vetted by an, as of now, unnamed ethics advisor.
The press conference was extremely revealing, mostly by fact of what wasn't revealed. Trump left many unanswered questions about his business, the Russian hacking, what the Obamacare replacement would look like, and the list goes on.
At times, he came off as a dictator, swatting relevant questions away like pesky flies, talking down to anyone who dared ask a question he found beneath him; showing that he is in charge, no one else, and that Donald Trump is above the press, the haters, the losers, and, if needs be, the law.
His list of enemies just grew even longer as the American people grow ever more tired of empty rhetoric at the beginning of a long and unchartered trip.
Sam Grittner is a writer and recovering political and news junkie currently residing in Brooklyn