President Trump holds a rare news conference

By Meg Wagner and Brian Ries, CNN
6:36 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018
6:36 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Our live coverage of Trump's news conference has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see how it went down.

6:33 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

6 key takeaways from Trump's news conference

President Trump just wrapped a rare news conference — the 4th of his presidency , by CNN's count — where he touched on a variety of topics.

Many questions were centered on his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is facing allegations of sexual assault, and Trump's time at the UN. Here are the biggest lines:

  • On the allegations against Kavanaugh: "And these are all false, to me. These are false accusations in certain cases, and certain cases even the media agrees with that."
  • On Democrats' handling of the Kavanaugh conformation process: "They’re actually con artists, because they know how quality this man is, and they have destroyed a man’s reputation."
  • On the possibility he could change his mind about Kavanaugh: "They're giving the women a major chance to speak. Now it's possible I'll hear that and say hey I'm changing my mind. Hey, that's possible."
  • On assault allegations he has faced personally: "I was accused by, I believe it was four women... who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me," Trump said as he continued to blast the media for repeating the allegations. 
  • On US-North Korea relations: "If I wasn't elected, you'd be in a war. And President Obama essentially said the same thing."
  • On rumors that he wants to fire Rod Rosenstein: "I would much prefer to keeping Rod Rosenstein."

As Jake Tapper put it:

6:29 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump says world leaders at UN "weren't laughing at me, they were laughing with me"

President Trump sought to correct the record at his press conference on Wednesday by claiming world leaders at the United Nations didn't laugh at him, as it seemed, but were laughing with him.

"They didn't laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together. We had a good time. They respect what I've done. The United States is respected again," Trump said.

This was the moment at the UN:

6:13 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump says he rejected Trudeau meeting

From CNN's Kevin Liptak

President Trump said he rejected a meeting request from Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau amid a bitter NAFTA renegotiation.

"Yeah I did," Trump said. "His tariffs are too high and he doesn’t seem to want to move."

He suggested deep mistrust in Chrystia Freeland, the lead Canadian trade negotiator, and her team. 

"We're not getting along at all with their negotiators," Trump said. And he warned the US would soon go after Canadian auto imports.

5:46 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump: If I wasn't elected, you would be in a war with North Korea

From CNN's Allison Malloy

President Trump, discussing his relationship with North Korea and Kim Jong Un, claimed that if he "wasn't elected, there would have been a war" adding that former President Obama was close to "pressing the trigger." 

"President Obama thought you had to go to war. You know how close he was to pressing the trigger," Trump claimed saying that there could have been a world war. 

Trump also claimed that President Obama said as much. "If I wasn't elected, you'd be in a war. And President Obama essentially said the same thing."

Trump also claimed that "not thousands- millions of people would have been killed. That could have been a world war." 

Trump flaunted his relationship with North Korea and once again referenced the letters between the two leaders. 

6:12 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump says he may delay Rosenstein meeting, would prefer not to fire him

From CNN's Jeff Zeleny

President Trump said he may delay his Thursday meeting with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to avoid “competing” with the Kavanaugh hearing on Capitol Hill.

“I don't want to do anything that gets in the way,” Trump said at a news conference.

The President also goes on to say that he “would certainly prefer” not to fire Rosenstein.

He suggested he may well keep him around for awhile. He also said he believes Rosenstein’s denials of the New York Times story that he didn’t talk about wearing a wire or the 25th Amendment.

But remember: Of course, the potential delay — or cancelation of Rosenstein meeting — is not only about competing with Kavanaugh. It's actually an acknowledgment from the President that his advisers — from lawyers to Sean Hannity to others — are urging him not to fire Rosenstein, which could only complicate the Russia probe.

Watch more:

5:36 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump says Kavanaugh allegations affect him: "It's happened to me many times"

From CNN's Allison Malloy

President Trump, speaking at a press conference in New York, said allegations against Brett Kavanaugh "effect" him because he has had similar allegations many against himself "many times." 

"People want fame. They want money. When I see it, I view it differently," Trump said. "It's happened to me many times. I've had many false charges."

"When you say does it effect me? Absolutely. Because I've had it many times," Trump said regarding the allegations surrounding Kavanaugh. 

"I was accused by, I believe it was four women... who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me," Trump said as he continued to blast the media for repeating the allegations. 

In reality, at least 17 women have accused Trump of sexual assault. 

"I've had a lot of false charges against me," Trump said. 

5:38 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump quotes expert: China has total respect for Donald Trump's "very, very large brain"

President Trump, while discussing US-China relations, said an expert on China recently said the country has "total respect" for his "very, very large brain."

Trump made a reference to a "Mr. Pillsbury," likely Michael Pillsbury, the Hudson Institute's director for Chinese strategy, and said, "If you look at Mr. Pillsbury, the leading authority on China, he was on a good show — I won't mention the name of the show — recently. And he was saying that China has total respect for Donald Trump and for Donald Trump's very, very large brain," Trump says.

5:20 p.m. ET, September 26, 2018

Trump says he'll be watching tomorrow and could change his mind on Kavanaugh

President Donald Trump signaled Wednesday that he could change his mind if he finds the women who have accused Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault and other inappropriate behavior credible.

"They're giving the women a major chance to speak. Now it's possible I'll hear that and say hey I'm changing my mind. Hey, that's possible," Trump said.

Trump also said he plans to watch tomorrow's hearing between Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who has accused him of sexual assault.

"I'm going to see what happens tomorrow. I'm going to be watching, believe it or not," Trump said. "I'm going to see what's said. It's possible they will be convincing."

He later added: "I want to watch. I want to see. I hope I can watch. I'm meeting with a lot of countries tomorrow."