President Donald Trump spoke to reporters for about 18 minutes Friday morning before departing for the G-7 summit — and he threw out bizarre claims at every turn.
The president discussed pardons, porn stars and professional athletes during the impromptu news conference — where he also called for the return of Russia into the international group — and threw personal jabs at some of the reporters as Marine One awaited departure.
Here are the 14 most bonkers moments from the encounter:
1. “Russia should be at this meeting … They should let Russia come back in.” Trump invited Russia back into the G-8, from which it was suspended as punishment for annexing Crimea, and then insisted that Vladimir Putin wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election.
2. “I’m thinking about Muhammad Ali.” The president milked the moment for maximum drama before hinting he would pardon the late heavyweight champion — whose conviction for evading the draft was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, and who was granted blanket amnesty by President Jimmy Carter.
3. “Yes, I do have an absolute right to pardon myself, but I’ll never have to do it.” Trump doubled down on his claim that he could pardon himself, even as he insisted no one was above the law. He again argued that he had done nothing wrong, so a self-pardon wouldn’t be necessary.
4. “Rudy is great, Rudy is Rudy.” The president defended his legal adviser Rudy Giuliani, who he said was doing a great job, and said he would not disagree that a woman who worked as a porn actress was disreputable.
5. “Dennis Rodman was a great rebounder.” Trump suggested the former NBA player was a “genius” who could contribute something valuable to the North Korea summit because he had been good at grabbing rebounds despite being only 6’7 tall.
6. “European Union treats us very unfairly, Canada, very unfairly, Mexico, very unfairly.” The president has been attacking Canada on Twitter all week, and he threatened to undo trade agreements, including NAFTA, with allies — even as he invited Russia back into the G-8.
7. “She wanted to go, she can’t fly for one month.” Trump insisted his wife wanted to attend the G-7 summit meeting but was still unable to fly after undergoing a surgical procedure last month — which he revealed had taken four hours. Melania Trump did not appear in public for 26 days, and the president twice jabbed his finger toward the White House to show reporters where she presently was located.
8. “That’ll maybe be a nice birthday present for me.” The president suggested that he expected politically advantageous news from an upcoming report by the inspector general of the Justice Department.
9. “I’ve been preparing all my life.” Trump issued a non-denial denial of his comments that he was not preparing for his upcoming summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, and instead intended to skate by on “attitude.” He called reports about his accurately quoted remarks “fake news” because they did not also highlight his claims about those lifelong preparations.
10. “Just ask Hillary.” Trump compared his lifetime preparations for the North Korea summit, which he didn’t describe in any detail, to Hillary Clinton’s preparations for their presidential debates, which he suggested lasted for only a week.
11. “Comey and his band of thieves leaked classified information.” The president reacted to the indictment of a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer who allegedly made false statements to the FBI by attacking former director James Comey, whom he fired months earlier.
12. “He was quite a character, I will say.” Trump offered his condolences to Anthony Bourdain’s family after the chef and TV host’s suicide.
12. “Iran is now a different country.” The president claimed Iran had changed in some unspecified fundamental ways after he ripped up the nuclear agreement reached with the Obama administration, although foreign policy experts disagree.
13. “Incredible that you can break into a lawyer’s office.” Trump again claimed federal investigators had broken into his lawyer Michael Cohen’s office when they executed a search warrant granted by a judge.
14. “That’s a Democrat bill that we’re enforcing.” Trump again blamed Democrats for a policy he approved to separate migrant children from their parents at the border, and insisted he “hated” the policy. He promised to end the policy if Democrats would agree to fund his border wall.