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On Wednesday President-elect Donald Trump took the stage for his first news conference in nearly six months. Much of the conference was filled with derogatory comments aimed at media and “fake news,” which were met with applause and cheers.
But Politico asserts that the claps and praise actually came from paid staffers within Trump’s circle in efforts to intimidate and discredit the press.
Trump expressed his disapproval by calling the online news outlet a “failing pile of garbage” that would “suffer the consequences.” He further bashed CNN for its report (though it did not publish the memo’s details), refusing to take and answer CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s questions at the press conference.
The Greek chorus of loyal, paid staffers in the back of the room boosting Trump with their hoots and cheers also served as a reminder, of sorts, of the movement of Trump backers happy to take him at his word and jeer the media as the out-of-touch liars.
And allegedly, this isn’t the first time Trump has paid aides to cheer. In 2015, the Hollywood Reporter found that actors were offered a rate of $50 to cheer for him at his presidential announcement.
If you missed out on the press conference, here are the six most important takeaways from it.
Dahlia Dandashi is a multimedia content producer. Her work has been published at the Austin American-Statesman and Viceland. An Arab-American raised in Dubai, she is based in Austin, Texas.