NEW YORK — President Trump on Wednesday defended his address to the United Nations, asserting that the audience of foreign delegates was “laughing with me” during a moment early in Tuesday’s speech in which he was interrupted by audible chuckles.
“They weren’t laughing at me,” Trump said at a news conference here when asked about the episode. “The ‘fake news’ said people laughed. People had a good time with it. We were doing it together.”
News stories about the speech, including in The Washington Post, noted that the laughter came after Trump had opened his remarks by saying his administration had accomplished more than “almost any other administration” in U.S. history.
“Didn’t expect that reaction, but it’s okay,” Trump said in response to the laughter.
The audience then laughed louder and applauded.
Widespread news coverage suggested that audience members were rebuking the president’s claims.
At the news conference, Trump sought to portray it as a lighthearted moment. He acknowledged that he “heard a little rustle” as he was making the case that “the country is stronger than ever before.”
“I said, ‘It’s true.’ I heard smiles,” Trump said. He added, “They respect what I’ve done.”