Politics Unusual: Perceiving Trump

- June Cross and Betsy West are both professors at Columbia University's School of Journalism. They are two media experts presenting two different viewpoints. We asked them to react to some of the comments made during President Trump's Thursday press conference. Trump said the administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine."

"Well he's done a lot," Cross said. "He certainly probably signed more executive orders than any other president in the history of the United States."

"I think that's reality as President Trump wants it to be," West said. "If you look at the immigration order rollout and the implosion of the Flynn nomination, not many people would describe the administration, so far, as a fine-tuned machine."

And that leads into Trump's defense of Mike Flynn, his former national security adviser who resigned after misleading officials about the nature of his communications with Russian diplomats.

"What he did wasn't wrong, what we did in terms of the information he saw, what was wrong was the way that other people including yourselves in this room who were given this information, because that was classified information that was given illegally, that's the real problem," Trump said.

"Trump supporters believe that the president can do no wrong, therefore anything that anyone who works for him does, can also not be wrong," Cross said.

"I think that's a debatable point and it's certainly one he made over and over again to deflect the questions about whether or not his campaign had contacts before the election with the Russians," West said.

Another moment getting a lot of attention is when reporter April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks asked the president about meeting with the Congressional Black Caucus, and he responded by asking her if they are friends of hers.

"Trump's voters elected him to go to Washington and turn the entire system upside down and that's what he's doing," Cross said. "It includes not responding to the media in the way the media is used to being responded to."

"It's kind of jaw-dropping the President Trump would ask a veteran political reporter to set up a meeting with an organization that I'm sure his staff can arrange for him," West said.

Whether or not you're satisfied with the president's remarks, one thing both of these experts can agree on is that this certainly hasn't been a boring presidency. 

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