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Trump says leaders at UN laughed with him, not at him: ‘We had fun’

President Donald Trump held a news conference Wednesday in New York, during which he addressed the allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as well as his own accusations of misconduct. White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump about the initial reaction when he addressed the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The president held a press conference this evening in New York that lasted nearly 90 minutes. We played some excerpts from that at the top of the program.

    But we want to take a moment now to listen to one more question and answer.

    Our White House correspondent, Yamiche Alcindor, was there, and asked Mr. Trump about the initial reaction when he addressed the U.N. General Assembly yesterday.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Yesterday, you were talking about your administration's accomplishments at the United Nations, and a lot of the leaders laughed.

    Why do you think they were laughing?

  • President Donald Trump:

    Well, that's fake news.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    And what was that experience like?

  • President Donald Trump:

    Yes, it's fake news. And it was covered that way.

    OK.

    So I said that, since my election, our economy has become the hottest in the world, tax reductions, regulations. Confidence levels are the highest in 18 years, really soon to be historic. Unemployment is the lowest in the history of our country.

    As I said, our country is now stronger than ever before. It's true. I mean, it is true. And I heard a little rustle. And I said, it's true.

    And I heard smiles. And I said, oh, I didn't know there would be that kind of — they weren't laughing at me. They were laughing with me. We had fun.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    And Yamiche joins me now by telephone. She's still in New York.

    Yamiche, the president wanted to set the record straight on that.

    Much of that news conference, though, was about Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court nominee, tomorrow's hearings, the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh.

    We heard the president, Yamiche, say that he really wants to hear the woman Christine Blasey Ford testify.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    He did say that.

    And he said that he reserved the right to pull his nomination and to withdraw the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh if he hears something tomorrow that moves him. And this president, of course, is someone who goes with his gut, who is very impulsive at times. So, there is an — there is an opportunity there for the president to possibly say that he does not want Brett Kavanaugh to be his nominee.

    But the president said, in this country, you are guilty until proven innocent. And he said that because he said, I myself face false allegations from women who say that I acted sexually inappropriate.

    And, of course, there are a number of women who have said that about the president. And he's saying that he feels for Brett Kavanaugh, because of that, a sense of kinship.

    So that is somewhat coloring his view of tomorrow's hearing.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    It was interesting, Yamiche, because, early on in the news conference, I heard him say that these accusations, not only from Christine Blasey Ford, but these two other women who've come forward in the last day or two, he said, these are all false accusations.

    But then he also said, we should hear from these women. So, there's a bit of a contradiction going here.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    There is definitely a contradiction there.

    The president is saying that he wants to remain open, but he's also saying that these women are not essentially telling the truth. He was asked over and over again, are these women lying?

    And while he wouldn't say that, yes, Professor Ford is lying, yes, all these other women, Deborah Ramirez, is lying, he said that this is all about a — this is all part of a con, and that Democrats are — waited until the last minute to do this.

  • Judy Woodruff:

    Yamiche, it was quite a tour de force, 90 minutes.

    Yamiche Alcindor, reporting for us from New York, thank you.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Thanks, Judy.

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