Trump’s 100-day rally: president launches attack on ‘failing’ media

The speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania returns to familiar campaign themes and includes a dig at the very boring White House correspondents dinner

Donald Trump returned to familiar territory on Saturday in a bullish campaign-style speech in Pennsylvania to mark his 100 days in office.

In a performance that suggested the US president was still in election mode, he repeated his scathing attacks on the media and his well-worn pledges to build a wall, destroy Islamic State, drain the swamp and revive the military.

To loud cheers of USA, USA from the crowd, he vowed to save American healthcare and repeal disastrous Obamacare.

Trump opened the rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with a dig at the White House Correspondents Dinner, which was also taking place on Saturday night, saying it would be very very boring.

Theres a large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nations capital right now, he said.

I could not possibly be more thrilled to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp, spending my evening with all of you and a much, much larger crowd and much better people.

Trump decided to skip the White House Correspondents Dinner, becoming the first US leader to miss the annual event since Ronald Reagan in 1981.

Supporters at the Harrisburg rally. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

They are gathering together for the White House Correspondents dinner without the president, he said.

The crowd booed every time the president mentioned the media and when Trump said organisations such as CNN and MSNBC broadcast fake news.

In a speech that was more backward-looking than agenda-setting, Trump said the media would get a big, fat failing grade for its reporting of his first 100 days in office. In contrast, the president said his administration had been very exciting and very productive and that he was delivering every single day.

We are keeping one promise after another, and frankly the people are really happy about it, he said.

Trump listed what he said were some of his key early accomplishments, including the successful confirmation to the US supreme court of Justice Neil Gorsuch and clearing away many regulations on the environment and business.

He also listed his approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, killing a pending Asian trade pact, and enhanced security measures that have led to a sharp decline in illegal border crossings at the southern border.

He shrugged off his failure to score major legislative victories on his core campaign promises, such as repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act and construction of a Mexican border wall. Trumps ban on visitors from some Muslim nations was blocked in court.

He blamed Democrats for the legislative failures so far and said all of his promises would be kept eventually. Well build the wall people, dont even worry about it, he said.

At one point a protester, reportedly waving a Russian flag, was taken out of the stadium by police. Trump paused his speech to say Thats right get em out of here, get em out.

During a long rumination on the importance of law and order and keeping illegals out of the country, Trump recited AI Wilsons poem The Snake, which he often read out during election rallies.

There was one notable departure from his election rhetoric, with Trump reversing his hard line on China being a currency manipulator. Citing the support of president Xi Jinping of China in pressuring North Korea over its nuclear ambitions, he said the label he has used in the past was now counterproductive.

I dont think right now is the best time to call China a currency manipulator, he said.

Trump ended his speech with the rousing promise: We will make America strong again, we will make American wealthy again, we will make America prosper again, we will make America safe again we will make American great again.

In another echo of his campaign rallies, Trump left the stage to the Rolling Stones You Cant Always Get What You What.

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