Donald Trump attacked China and Canada, praised North Korea and defended his embattled Supreme Court nominee during a rare news conference in New York.

The US president answered questions from reporters for almost 90 minutes following meetings at the UN General Assembly.

Heated at times, a broad range of topics were raised at the news conference, including:

Image: Mr Trump is continuing to defend his Supreme Court nominee

:: Brett Kavanaugh

The allegations of sexual assault made against Mr Trump's nominee for the US Supreme Court dominated the news conference.

He described the claims as a "big fat con job" and said the Democrats would be "laughing" at how they had deceived the public.

Despite heaping praise on Mr Kavanaugh, the president said he would consider changing his mind about his nomination "if I thought he was guilty of something".

Mr Trump also admitted he views allegations of sexual assault "differently" because "a lot of false charges [have been] made against me".

Sky News' US correspondent Hannah Thomas-Peter asked the president whether he was concerned about the message he was sending out to women by using phrases such as "con job" to describe the allegations against Mr Kavanaugh.

He replied: "I've used much worse language in my life than 'con job'. That's like probably the nicest phrase I've ever used."

Laughter as Trump touted his administration's progress in past 2 years at UNGA: 'Didn't expect that reaction, but that's OK.' 0:40
Video: Donald Trump prompts laughter at the UN General Assembly

:: His UN speech

Mr Trump said claims that world leaders laughed at him in the opening moments of his speech to the UN General Assembly were "fake news".

At the start of his remarks, he had claimed his administration had accomplished more in under two years that any of his predecessors – with Mr Trump appearing slightly flustered when laughter broke out.

He told reporters: "They weren't laughing at me. They were laughing with me. So the fake news said people laughed at President Trump. They didn't laugh at me. People had a good time with me. We were doing it together. We had a good time. They respect what I've done."

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off 0:57
Video: Trump-Kim summit: How many handshakes?

:: North Korea

Mr Trump made the explosive claim that Barack Obama was close to going to war with North Korea, saying millions of lives were saved when he took over as president.

He said: "Obama said North Korea was by far his biggest problem. Not thousands, but millions of people would have been killed. That could have been a world war.

"If I wasn't elected, you would have had a war. You know how close Obama was to pressing that trigger? With me, no one is talking about war."

He also denied giving anything to North Korea in the historic talks with the isolated state.

He said: "I gave him nothing, other than I met. What did I give him? I didn't do what Obama did… give him $1.8bn (£1.37bn) in cash to get back for hostages. I got back our hostages. I never paid them anything."

He also described the letters Chairman Kim had sent him as "pieces of art" and said the two of them now "laugh" at the fiery rhetoric that used to fly between them.

Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau
Image: Canada has denied asking for a one-on-one meeting with the US president

:: Canada

Mr Trump said he had rejected a one-on-one meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Canadian prime minister, while they were in New York.

However, Mr Trudeau's spokeswoman has since said he did not request a meeting at all.

The US president told reporters he would not meet with Canada because he believed they were not treating the US fairly on trade.

He said: "We are very unhappy with the negotiating style from Canada. I love Canada by the way, I have friends, but that's nothing to do with it."

Mr Trump also criticised NAFTA, the deal between the US, Canada and Mexico, but refused to say if he would be pulling out of it. The US has struck a new deal with Mexico but has not yet reached an agreement with Canada.

Video: Trump accuses China of interfering in midterms

:: China

As he addressed the UN Security Council, Mr Trump accused China of attempting to interfere in the US midterm elections, which are going to be held in November.

Amid a trade war between the two countries, he told reporters: "I like China and I like President Xi. I think he is a friend of mine, maybe not anymore."

Mr Trump said China did not like him because he was "the first president ever to challenge China on trade".

A White House official later said the alleged meddling had reached an "unacceptable level", but Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi rejected the accusations as "unwarranted".

Rod Rosenstein said there would 'always be adversaries' working to 'exacerbate domestic differences'
Image: Rod Rosenstein has been at the heart of a political drama

:: Rod Rosenstein

Mr Trump was asked if he was planning on firing deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, amid reports he had planned to secretly record the president and use the 25th amendment to have him removed.

The US president said he would "certainly prefer not" to fire the Justice Department's second highest-ranking official.

Mr Trump is meant to meet with Mr Rosenstein on Thursday for talks, but the president hinted this may be delayed.

:: Idlib

Mr Trump claimed credit for the deal to set up a demilitarised zone in Idlib amid concerns for millions of lives if Syrian forces tried to capture the province, which is the last stronghold of rebel fighters.

He said his tweets calling for a Russian-backed offensive not to happen were key in the decision to indefinitely postpone it earlier this month.

He said: "Millions of people have been saved. I gave great credit to Iran, to Russia, to Syria, for not doing it.

"I think millions of people would have been killed and that would have been a shame. And Turkey has helped us a lot."

Mr Trump met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly
Image: Mr Trump met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly

:: Israel and Palestine

Mr Trump has said he believes a two-state solution could still happen in the Middle East, as he cast himself in the role of a facilitator, claiming he would be happy with whatever deal Israel and Palestine say they are happy with.

:: Interest rates

On domestic issues in the US, Mr Trump criticised the Federal Reserve for raising interest rates, breaking with custom of the presidency not commenting on the central bank's actions.

More from Donald Trump

He said: "Unfortunately, they just raised interest rates a little because we are doing so well.

"I am not happy about that. I would rather pay down debt or do other things. Create more jobs. So I'm worried about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates."

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