Real-estate mogul Donald Trump strongly objected at a Tuesday-evening press conference when a reporter did not provide the full context of one of his quotes.
The reporter noted that Trump is being criticised on the campaign trail because he said on “Meet the Press” in 1999 that he was strongly in favour of abortion rights. Critics say the quote is evidence that Trump, who has since changed his position, is untrustworthy on the issue.
“Read the full statement of what I said,” Trump said as he took questions in Marshalltown, Iowa. “Read the full statement. No, no, you’re not reading the full statement. Read it. … Read the full statement.”
The Republican presidential front-runner then simply said he was pro-life and moved on to other questions.
A few minutes later, the same reporter tried to ask Trump again about the candidate’s critics on the abortion issue. This time, the journalist was armed with the full 1999 quote, in which Trump also said that he hated the concept of abortion despite his belief that the government shouldn’t ban it.
Trump repeatedly asked why that context wasn’t included in the original question. The reporter explained that he had just pulled up the quote and the wireless internet was shoddy at the press conference.
“Then you got to get Wi-Fi, OK?” Trump said as they talked over one another. “Don’t ask me questions like that. You’re not a very good reporter doing that.”
The two had yet another testy exchange later in the press conference. Trump demanded an apology as the reporter started to ask a question.
“Do you have a question that now is a legitimate question? Do you apologise?” Trump asked.
“Do I apologise for reading your words?” the journalist replied.
“No, no, for not reading my words. No, do you apologise for not reading my words? Excuse me, do you apologise for not reading my exact words?” Trump asked as they again talked over one another. “Excuse me. You quoted me and you took out the main part of the quote. I’m just asking: Do you apologise?”
The reporter started to ask his question saying, “Even if you hated abortion.” But Trump cut him off.
“Forget you,” Trump said, moving on to taking questions from someone else.
Watch part of their exchange below:
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