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2/16/17

The White House: Trump's most extraordinary news conference - by Jon Sopel

Today totally typified the unexpected and unpredictable nature of covering the 45th president of the United States.

I was at home, working on a book I am trying to finish when there was a flash on the TV: Donald Trump to hold unscheduled news conference in an hour's time.

I legged it down to the White House, and on a cold Washington morning waited outside the East Wing for 45 minutes until the Secret Service let us in.

I knew if I was to get a question in I would need to be near the front.

For half an hour the president berated us.

Never had there been a more dishonest group of people.

We were out of control. Wild. Feral. Not to be trusted.

And then it was questions.

He called various journalists he knew.

Then I managed to catch his eye.

And this is what followed:

Me: Could I just ask you, thank you very much, Mr President. The trouble...

President Trump: Where are you from?

Me: BBC.

President Trump: Here's another beauty.

Me: That's a good line. Impartial, free and fair.

President Trump: Yeah. Sure.

Me: Mr President...

President Trump: Just like CNN right?

Me: On the travel ban - we could banter back and forth. On the travel ban would you accept that that was a good example of the smooth running of government...

President Trump: Yeah, I do. I do. Let me tell you about this government...

Me: Were there any mistakes...

President Trump: Wait. Wait. I know who you are. Just wait. Let me tell you about the travel ban. We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision...

It was quite the most extraordinary news conference I have attended.

As I say, everything about reporting on this presidency is unexpected and unpredictable.

Read more: Trump's most extraordinary news conference - BBC News

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