President-elect Donald Trump answers journalists’ questions during a press conference in New York on Wednesday. (Don Emmert/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

There was a bad-cop/good-cop/bad-cop dynamic at President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference Wednesday. And it was worth waiting several months to watch it all go down.

It all started out with Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary. There was no mistaking his hostility regarding the latest Trump-media kerfuffle, in which CNN on Tuesday reported that intelligence chiefs “presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” A bit later, BuzzFeed published a wide-ranging dossier on Trump’s alleged ties and activities in Russia — even as the site itself conceded that the claims were unverified.

It’s best not to attempt an abridgment of Spicer’s remarks, so here’s what he said:

Before we start, I want to bring your attention to a few points on the report that was published in BuzzFeed last night. It’s frankly outrageous and highly irresponsible for a left-wing blog that was openly hostile to the president-elect’s campaign to drop highly salacious and flat-out false information on the Internet just days before he takes office. According to BuzzFeed’s own editor, there are serious reasons to doubt the information in the report. The executive editor of the New York Times also dismissed the report by saying it was totally unsubstantiated, echoing the concerns that many other reporters expressed on the Internet. The fact that BuzzFeed and CNN made the decision to run with this unsubstantiated claim is a sad and pathetic attempt to get clicks. The report is not an intelligence report, plain and simple.

From there, Spicer explored allegations in the dossier published by BuzzFeed, particularly with regard to the actions of three Trump campaign officials. He zeroed in on the case of Michael Cohen, a top Trump Organization official who, according to the BuzzFeed-published documents, traveled to Prague on official business. “Mr. Cohen has never been in Prague,” said Spicer, who called publication of the dossier a “political witch hunt.” He piled on by calling it all “shameful and disgraceful.”

Moments later, Trump took the podium. In no way did he dissent from Spicer’s characterization. In fact, he cited “fake news” propagated by “one group and one television station.” But then he praised the various news outlets that refrained from publishing the dossier. “I will tell you that there were some news organizations that were so professional and so incredibly professional that I’ve just gone up a notch in terms of what I think about you.” So there you have it, media: If you want the praise of Donald Trump, sit on negative information about him.

Later in the news conference, he was asked about this tweet:

Bad-cop Trump riffed, “I think it was disgraceful that the intelligence community allowed any information that turned out to be so false and fake, out. I think it’s a disgrace. 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. 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 what took place.”

For the record, BuzzFeed disclosed the entire dossier alleging all manner of connections between Trump and Russia, including so-called compromising material that could allegedly make Trump beholden to the Russians. CNN, meanwhile, reported on the existence of the dossier but did not release it, as it couldn’t verify the claims within it.

CNN correspondent Jim Acosta wasn’t about to take Trump’s broadside against his employer sitting back. So he leaned forward and demanded (caution: The exchange between Trump and Acosta was so fevered and full of crosstalk that the transcription below can only be an approximation):

ACOSTA: Since you’re attacking us, can you give us a question?… Mr. President-elect,

TRUMP: [Signaling to another reporter] Go ahead. Go ahead. [Signaling to Acosta] No, not you. Not you.

ACOSTA: Since you are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance? You are attacking our news organization.

TRUMP: Your organization’s terrible. Your organization’s terrible.

ACOSTA: Sir … Mr. President-elect, can you state categorically … Can you give us a question?

TRUMP: She’s asking a question. Don’t be rude.

ACOSTA: Can you give us a question?

TRUMP: Don’t be rude.

ACOSTA: Can you give us a question?

TRUMP: Don’t be rude. No, I’m not going to give you a question.

ACOSTA: Can you give us a question?

TRUMP: I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.

ACOSTA: Can you state categorically that nobody … Mr. President-elect, that is not appropriate.

You read that right: The same guy who stood by his story about thousands of Muslims cheering the attacks of Sept. 11; who promoted the vile and racist lie of birtherism; and authored an untold number of other falsehoods is now ripping others for spreading “fake news.” As if this term hadn’t already been twisted, thrashed and weaponized.

In any case, CNN released a statement asking people to please acknowledge the difference between its work on the Russian dossier and that of BuzzFeed:

CNN’s decision to publish carefully sourced reporting about the operations of our government is vastly different than Buzzfeed’s decision to publish unsubstantiated memos. The Trump team knows this. They are using Buzzfeed’s decision to deflect from CNN’s reporting, which has been matched by the other major news organizations. We are fully confident in our reporting. It represents the core of what the First Amendment protects, informing the people of the inner workings of their government; in this case, briefing materials prepared for President Obama and President-elect Trump last week. We made it clear that we were not publishing any of the details of the 35-page document because we have not corroborated the report’s allegations. Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.

More to come on people blaming other people for authoring fake news.