For a second straight day, President Trump refused to directly address questions Thursday about a documented rise in anti-Semitic episodes in the United States, prompting renewed concern from prominent Jewish groups.
A day earlier, he sidestepped a query from an Israeli reporter on the issue by touting his margin of victory in the electoral college and his Jewish grandchildren. On Thursday, the president labeled a reporter's attempt to revisit the issue as "insulting."
"Here's the story, folks. Number one, I am the least anti-Semitic person that you've ever seen in your entire life," he said at a news conference. "Number two, racism, the least racist person."
While President Trump wavered Thursday on whether he will stop shielding from deportation people who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children, his aides have identified at least two ways to quietly end their protections without his fingerprints.
An executive order has already been drafted to end the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that allows hundreds of thousands of the immigrants to live and work openly in the U.S. Trump used that legal mechanism to great fanfare to expand deportation authority and restrict entry to the U.S.
But with the president showing less willingness to sign such an order, advisors have begun to explore alternatives.
Less than a month into President Trump’s tenure, an overwhelming share of Americans already have strongly held views about his job performance and positions are deeply polarized.
Trump's core supporters continue to strongly back the new president, a survey from the nonpartisan Pew Research Center finds. His opponents -- a larger group -- fervently disapprove of him.
Those polarized views help explain why Trump's attacks on the media and repeated mentions of his defeated Democratic opponent – he mentioned “Hillary” 12 times during his news conference today – may make sense as a strategy. While his approach may not change the minds of people who dislike him, it could help rally his existing supporters.
When asked if Putin was testing Trump, he said he did not believe so.
In his news conference, reporters repeatedly pressed President Trump on the question of whether anyone from his campaign had contacts with Russia intelligence officials, and he repeatedly avoided answering.
Trump was asked the question five times and eventually said that "nobody I know of" had such contacts.
Here are the relevant excerpts from the transcript of the news conference provided by CQ Roll Call. Some words in the questions were not audible for the transcription:
President Trump announced Thursday that his administration will be releasing a new, narrower executive order on travel to replace one that's been shot down by multiple federal courts.
The order temporarily suspended travel from seven mostly Muslim countries and halted refugee admissions but is not in effect after court defeats.
Trump did not clarify details of the new order, saying only that it would be "tailored" to the "bad" courts that described the original order as overreaching, suggesting it would be narrower in its focus.
Donald Trump makes a premonition that the press will say he was ranting and raving.
President Trump said Thursday that “nobody that I know of” from his campaign contacted Russian agents or government officials before his election.
His denial was perhaps the most notable development in a a lengthy news conference in which he berated the press and complained that he had "inherited a mess."
Trump also defended his ousted national security advisor, Michael Flynn, saying that Flynn acted appropriately in discussing sanctions with Russia during the transition period. He said Flynn was asked to resign only because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about those discussions.