WASHINGTON (CN) - Holding court at his new D.C. digs, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump warned Republicans on Monday to rally around him.
"It's very simple," Trump told the audience of about 100 reporters at the old Post Office , acquired by the reality-television star in 2014. "I have more votes than anybody."
Trump cited his status as an "outsider" as to why the Republican Party has yet to throw its full weight behind him.
"If people want to be smart, they should embrace this movement," he said, calling a bluff on leading Republicans, like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who have spoken publicly against him.
Insisting that Ryan called him last week, and "couldn't have been nicer," Trump said he believes Republican opposition is a political ploy.
"People really do want to be a part of it," he said, noting that "there's something amazing that's happening" with the number of first-time voters turning out for him.
Trump expressed confidence that he will clinch the Republican nomination.
"We should make it pretty easily based on what I'm seeing," he said.
Trump promised to strengthen trade, education and health care, and to rebuild the "decimated" U.S. military - areas his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton will be weak on - but he offered no specifics.
Though jumping from question to question, Trump lingered on the issue of Supreme Court justice nominations under the next administration.
"This country is in big, big trouble if Democrats win and appoint liberal justices," he said.
Trump indicated that he is working in conjunction with conservative D.C. think tank the Heritage Foundation to compile a list of seven to 10 judges of possible Supreme Court nominees.
"I want a conservative, very good group of judges," he said. "I'm not appointing a liberal judge."
Shortly after the press conference began, Trump called on a woman who asked if he would hire veterans at his new luxury hotel, which is under construction in the old Post Office Pavilion, and set to open in September.
Trump summoned her up, shook her hand and asked her to tell reporters about her experience, after which offered her a job.
"If we can make a good deal on the salary she's probably going to have a job," Trump said.
When later asked why he would take a risk on a stranger, Trump said, "I felt good about her," after which she teared up.
"Look at that with the tears," he said. "I have instincts about people," Trump added.
After the press conference, the woman identified herself as Maryland resident Alicia Watkins, a formerly homeless Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan as a network engineer, and said she survived the Sept. 11 attacks.
Watkins told reporters that she supports Trump, but had never met him before. She said writes freelance pieces for veteran organizations and veteran-centered blogs for troopsmedia.com, but the website appears to be under construction.
Trump was set to speak at the annual America-Israel Public Affairs Committee conference Monday evening, where a group of pro-Palestinian protestors organized by anti-war group Codepink denounced him with chants of "dump Trump."