He did so by holding a press conference. The press conference is now his favorite format. He is sharp, funny, spontaneous, and quick on the uptake. As is usually the case, at the press conference he fielded more hostile questions from the media in one hour than Hillary has in her entire pampered, Ivy League, first lady life.
Think about that for a moment. Has any journalist ever confronted her about all those real scandals? The Whitewater swampland real estate deals. Her covering up rapes and sexual harassment by her husband. Her stealing White House furniture. Not once has anyone in the press pressed her for an answer.
Meanwhile, Trump has to explain why two lines in his wife's 20-minute speech were similar to a speech Michelle Obama gave eight years ago.
Throughout her life, the press gave Hillary a pass. Now she pays for that lifelong free ride by being unprepared for this campaign.
Trump is not another flimsy Republican politician whom the Washington press corps can roll. Trump played bigger rooms: New York City. The media center of the world is ruthless.
Back when he owned the New Jersey Generals, Trump wrestled George Steinbrenner for the sports covers of the tabloids. Trump spent 40 years taking tough questions. His first divorce was bitter and nasty and played out on the front pages of the newspapers. The best press in the world tried to bring him down. He survived, then thrived.
In her lifetime. Hillary has not spent 40 seconds handling a hostile press.
A year into his full campaign, the Washington press corps still thinks it can trip Trump up on piddly stuff. Remember a few weeks ago when the Big Huge Expose In The Washington Post was that Trump had posed as his own fake PR agent a quarter-century ago? This time, the press corps tried to portray Trump as a secret agent for Vladimir Putin, whom the press assumes leaked the DNC emails that brought down the DNC chairwoman on the eve of the convention.
Trump played along with that. His attitude was: Sure, focus attention on me.
Not every reporter in Washington is an idiot.
From Jake Novak at MSNBC:
Grand Theft Convention.
No, that's not a new video game. But it is what we just saw Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump do to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats and Hillary Clinton are helping him do it!
During about an hour-long news conference earlier Wednesday, Trump was asked repeatedly about allegations that the Russian government is behind the hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee's emails that embarrassed the party on the eve of their national convention in Philadelphia. Trump quickly pivoted to also discussing Clinton's private email-server controversy and the 30,000-plus emails the former Secretary of State had deleted from her private server under questionable explanations and circumstances.
Advantage Trump.Trump wants the election to be a referendum on Donald Trump. That is how he wins.
Could you see any of the other Republican candidates doing that? Ted Cruz would not even talk to the mainstream press. Trump will talk to just about anyone anytime anywhere.
And then Cruz had the nerve to complain about all the "free media" Trump got. Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as free media. You have to earn it.
And Trump goes out and earns it every day.
This was supposed to be Hillary's week. She just got Trumped. She thinks she is getting away with something by having the DNC email scandal focus on Trump. She will be befuddled when this does not bring him down. Eventually, she may figure out what all these little things amount to.
It will be too late -- because it already is.
If you cannot own the press the week you are nominated, you may as well pack it in.
The Kindle version of "Trump the Press: Don Surber's take on how the pundits blew the 2016 Republican race" finally is available. Please order here.
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