NEW DELHI: In his first press conference as president-elect, Donald Trump gave the media a flurry of headlines. The two main policy decision revealed in the conference centred around Trump’s commitment to build a wall and the plan to repeal and replace Obamacare. That aside, however, the press conference was -- in typical Trump style -- at times strange, a little misleading and even occasionally abusive.

Trump repeatedly hit out at the media, specifically outlets that had reported a recent unsubstantiated dossier containing lurid details on purported intelligence gathered by Russia about Trump. Buzzfeed and CNN, in particular, were singled out by Trump for reporting what he called “fake news.”

“I think it was disgraceful — disgraceful that the intelligence agencies allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake out,” Trump said in response to a question that asked him to elaborate on a recent tweet, as Trump had taken to the micro-blogging site earlier comparing America to “Nazi Germany.”

“I think it’s a disgrace, and I say that — and I say that, and that’s something that Nazi Germany would have done and did do. I think it’s a disgrace that information that was false and fake and never happened got released to the public,” Trump explained. “As far as Buzzfeed, which is a failing pile of garbage, writing it, I think they’re going to suffer the consequences. They already are. And as far as CNN going out of their way to build it up … It’s a disgrace and I think they ought to apologize to start with Michael Cohen,” he continued.

CNN’s Jim Acosta intervened to ask a question, and what followed was a bizarre exchange as Trump proceeded to slam CNN and refused to grant Acosta a single question.

“Since you’re attacking us, can you give us a question? Mr. President-elect —since you are attacking our news organization…” Acosta tried. “Not you,” Trump cut in. “Can you give us a chance?” Acosta interjected. “Your organization is terrible,” Trump responded. Acosta continued to try to ask a question, with Trump flatly refusing, saying, “Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question. I’m not going to give you a question… You are fake news.”

Trump was referring to a report by CNN and a dossier published by Buzzfeed. CNN had reported that four senior intelligence officials—the heads of the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, and the Director of National Intelligence—briefed both Donald Trump and President Barack Obama about Russian interference in the election.

The report summarised serious allegations made about Trump’s connection to Moscow and his behaviour when visiting Russia. The documents summarised by CNN were authored by a source that organisation believed to be credible, and went as far as to make the claim that while in Russia, agents were able to record Trump in a variety of sexual acts which they then used to blackmail the Republican candidate.

Buzzfeed published the full dossier including highlighted sections about the alleged sexual acts, foreign policy deals and other points of concern. Buzzfeed did not comment on the authenticity of the memos, adding an editor’s note with the clarification: “BuzzFeed News is publishing the full document so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”

In a memo to staff about the decision to publish the dossier, BuzzFeed Editor Ben Smith said: "Our presumption is to be transparent in our journalism and to share what we have with our readers. We have always erred on the side of publishing."

The decision to publish immediately divided the media community, with New York Times’ Dean Baquet saying the Times would never publish unverified allegations of that nature. The statement suggested that BuzzFeed was irresponsible for doing so.

Others, however, felt that if the allegations were serious enough to form an intelligence briefing, BuzzFeed had a responsibility to publish them for the public to see. Media organisations often publish unverified allegations if they believe the source to be credible. In fact, the allegations against Hillary Clinton in the DNC email scandal also fall within this category, as the media outlets reporting on the matter are relying largely on what they believe to be credible sources.

Trump’s way of dealing with the allegations was in the form of running down the media organisations involved (“fake news”, “failing pile of garbage”) and refusing to allow the CNN journalist present a single question. He also made the quotable statement, “I’m also very much of a germaphobe, by the way, believe me” when arguing that the allegations were not believable.