Trump spars with media at news conference

Trump told reporters that he "inherited a mess," and that intelligence leaks "are absolutely real. The news is fake."
4:29 | 02/17/17

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Transcript for Trump spars with media at news conference
A lot of news to get to. You saw that press conference yesterday. What a presidential press conference. Never seen anything like it before. President trump unfiltered. 77 minutes. His critics said he was unhinged at that time. Two things we know for sure never seen one like that and just one month into his presidency we know exactly what's on the president's mind. Yes, he definitely tells it all and the president was on attack for those 77 minutes battling with the media enaour chief white house correspondent Jon Karl was in the room where it happened. Good morning, Jon. Reporter: Good morning, Amy. Well, the president came ready to spar and he seemed to relish it insisting that despite those headlines about white house turmoil his presidency is off to an historically productive start. To be honest, I inherited a mess. It's a mess. At home and abroad. A mess. Reporter: Despite the mess he says he's inherited the president insisted he's done a great job. The main problem, news coverage that harps on the negative. I turn on the TV, open the newspapers and I see stories of chaos, chaos. Yet, it is the exact opposite. This administration is running like a fine-tuned machine. Reporter: The president touted a productive first month. A soaring stock market, executive orders cutting regulations and a smooth rollout of his supreme court nominee. Press reports on dysfunction and drama trump said were simply wrong. I can handle a bad story better than anybody. As long as it's true and, you know, over the course of time I'll make mistakes and you'll write badly and I'm okay with that but I'm not okay when it is fake. Reporter: Fake is what the president calls reports that his campaign advisers had repeated contacts with suspected Russian operatives before the November election. I just want to get you to clarify. Can you say definitively that nobody on your campaign had any contacts with the Russians during the campaign and on the leaks, is it fake news or are these real leaks? Well, the leaks are real. You're the one that wrote about them and reported them. I mean the leaks are real. You know what they said. You saw it. And the leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake. Reporter: The first part of my question, the contacts can you definitively say that nobody -- I had nothing to do with it. I have nothing to do with Russia. Irtold you, I have no deals there. I have no anything. Reporter: Later associated press reporter Julie pace tried to pin the president down. No, nobody that I know of. So you're not aware of any contacts during the course of the election. How many types do I have to answer this question. Can you just say yes or no. Russia is a ruse. I know you have to get up and ask a question. Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia. Reporter: As for his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, the president continued to praise the man he fired. Mike Flynn is a fine person and I asked for his resignation. He respectfully gave it. Reporter: But it was this exchange that stunned many. Including lawmakers on capitol hill. When you say that, are you going to include the cbc, Mr. President in your conversations with your urban agenda and inner city agenda -- Am I going to include? The congressional black caucus and the congressional -- I would. I tell you what, do you want to set up the meeting. Do you want to set up the meeting. No, no, I'm just a reporter. Set up the meeting. I know some of them. Set up a meeting. I would love to meet with the black caucus. I think it's great. Reporter: The congressional black caucus sent the president a letter a month ago saying that they want to work together but did not receive a response. Now, Amy, this morning both the congressional black caucus and the white house say that they're working on setting up a meeting. All right, Jon, we're also learning this morning that president trump's initial ic to replace Michael Flynn as national security adviser has officially turned down that offer. Reporter: That's right. Former vice admiral Bob Harwood, former Navy S.E.A.L. Was offered the job. I spoke to him late last night. He said he was humbled and honored to get the offer but after serving for 40 years in the Navy including several deployments, many deployments in war Zones that he couldn't do it to his family again. He just couldn't make the commitment. All right, Jon Karl, we appreciate it. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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