what trump supporters are saying tuchman pkg._00001806.jpg
what trump supporters are saying tuchman pkg._00001806.jpg
Now playing
02:26
What Trump supporters are saying
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
PHOTO: Richard Drew/AP
President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Now playing
02:17
Trump claim to world leaders met with laughter
PHOTO: CNNMoney
Now playing
06:22
How Trump's tweet sparked #WhyIDidntReport
President Donald Trump points to the crowd after speaking to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Brentwood, N.Y.
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
President Donald Trump points to the crowd after speaking to law enforcement officials on the street gang MS-13, Friday, July 28, 2017, in Brentwood, N.Y.
Now playing
01:46
Trump's I'm-joking-but-not-really strategy
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15:  U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the White House Press Corps prior to his Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 15: U.S. President Donald Trump listens to a question as he speaks to members of the White House Press Corps prior to his Marine One departure from the South Lawn of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:20
Trump often says he's 'the least racist person'
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:00
Trump on Manafort: I feel sad about that
PHOTO: Pool
Now playing
01:22
Trump on Cordray: He was groomed by 'Pocahontas'
Now playing
05:58
Baldwin: This face behind Trump startled me
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:01
Trump responds to op-ed: 'Gutless'
PHOTO: CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
03:18
Why Woodward's book matters
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
01:13
Dean: Trump acts 'frighteningly dictatorial'
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08:  U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:31
Woodward book reveals 'crazytown' White House
PHOTO: CNN Illustration/Getty Images
Now playing
03:03
Trump's latest Twitter tirade lashes at media
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waits to speak during a memorial service at the Pentagon for the 9/11 terrorist attacks  September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
TOPSHOT - US President Donald Trump waits to speak during a memorial service at the Pentagon for the 9/11 terrorist attacks September 11, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:57
Trump warns of violence if GOP loses midterms
PHOTO: Photo Illustration: Getty Images/CNN Business
Now playing
01:40
Trump: Impeach somebody who's done great job?
PHOTO: Fox News Channel
Now playing
01:19
Trump on Sessions: What kind of man is this?

Story highlights

On Thursday, President Trump held a news conference to announce his new nominee for secretary of labor

Kayleigh McEnany: For Trump supporters, the press conference was a victorious display of confidence

Editor’s Note: Kayleigh McEnany is a CNN commentator and a graduate of Harvard Law School. She studied politics at Oxford University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely hers.

(CNN) —  

While the establishment politicians and the left scoff at President Trump’s Thursday press conference, Trump voters celebrate a victorious display of confidence. After a week of rampant speculation about selective leaks from the intelligence community, Trump boldly took to the East Room podium to address a room full of inquisitive journalists.

Undeterred by critical reporting, Trump did not cower behind a press secretary with carefully crafted words, as most politicians would do. Instead, he himself spoke directly to the American people, breaking through the interpretive lens of the media.

Kayleigh McEnany
PHOTO: Bryan Manicchia, Studio Artistry
Kayleigh McEnany

Trump voters deemed his press conference a success for several reasons: He directed the conversation back to the issues; he showed his undeterred fortitude in tackling the tough questions; and he corrected the record.

According to the latest CNN poll, 90% of Republicans approve of the way Trump has handled the presidency thus far. Often left out of the media narrative are the reasons why Republicans feel this way. GOP voters look to the President and see a litany of accomplishments: a soaring stock market, withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, elimination of job-killing regulations, expedited permit approval, a hiring freeze on nonessential federal workers and a task force for reducing violent crime, among others. All this in just three weeks.

These accomplishments, however, rarely garner media attention, except for Thursday when Trump listed them before a captive media audience, saying “I’m making this presentation directly to the American people with the media present. …”

In addition to placing a spotlight on his work, Trump showed his willingness to tackle tough questions rather than hide from them. During the Republican primary, Trump was open to interviews from all media outlets, both hostile and friendly. While other politicians granted few interviews and were reserved in their media access, Trump was known for his unprecedented openness in taking on any interviewer.

For Republican primary voters who applauded Trump’s willingness to address criticism head on, Thursday was a return to the candid, refreshing straight talk for which Trump has become so beloved.

But perhaps most importantly of all, Trump’s press conference provided a needed retort to the onslaught of speculation surrounding intelligence leaks that have consumed the news cycle. From the resignation of national security adviser Mike Flynn to leaked suggestions that Trump campaign affiliates communicated with Russian intelligence officials, Americans were given a select and partial set of facts provided by leakers.

Amid these leaks, many unknowns persisted. For instance, very few individuals have seen the transcripts of Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador. Nevertheless, commentators have speculated that Flynn acted inappropriately in his discussion with the ambassador.

Trump, who presumably has been briefed on the transcript, used his press conference to defend his former national security adviser, justifying the content of the call while emphasizing the flawed way Flynn communicated his call to the vice president.

Get our free weekly newsletter

Trump also provided a retort to the nefarious assumptions that he and his campaign staff had connections with Russia. He emphasized that “nobody that I know of” had any contact with Russian intelligence officials and rebutted the sinister suspicions that the left has inserted into the factual gaps left open by the leaks.

Rather than dodging questions on these distracting leaks, Trump willingly answered them – not through a scripted press secretary – but directly from the mouth of the President to the ears of the people.

Although the establishment forces that repeatedly underestimated Trump saw Thursday’s press conference through a prism of negativity, Trump’s voters cheered in the reassurance that we finally have a “politician” who governs as he campaigned.