Trump, in Rambling Defense, Calls Administration a ‘Fine-Tuned Machine’

President Trump dismissed reports about contacts between his advisers and Russia on Thursday and defended his performance in his first four weeks in office in a contentious news conference that showcased his unconventional and unconstrained presidency.

At a hastily organized White House event ostensibly intended to announce a new labor secretary, Mr. Trump engaged in an extended attack on the news media and boasted that his new administration was a "fine-tuned machine," not the chaotic operation perceived by many in Washington.

The challenges, he said, were a result of his predecessors. "To be honest, I inherited a mess, a mess, at home and abroad, a mess," he said.

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