Trump ral­lies sup­port­ers, blasts me­dia and Obama

New Straits Times - - World -

HAR­RIS­BURG (Penn­syl­va­nia): Don­ald Trump hailed a“very pro­duc­tive” first 100 days asAmer­ica’ s pres­i­dent on Satur­day, telling a roar­ing crowd of sup­port­ers other “great bat­tles” ahead would be won.

In an hour-long speech, Trump lam­basted the me­dia and pre­de­ces­sor Barack Obama, boasted of his sup­port for United States in­dus­try and the mil­i­tary, and vaunted his for­eign pol­icy po­si­tions, in­clud­ing on con­fronting North Korea, earn­ing cheers from the crowd.

The pres­i­dent held the cam­paign-style rally in a state that helped tip the elec­tion in his favour, while snub­bing a tra­di­tional White House cor­re­spon­dents’ din­ner tak­ing place on the same day, where he had risked be­ing roasted by co­me­di­ans.

Declar­ing him­self “thrilled” to be far from “the Wash­ing­ton swamp” and the “very bor­ing” din­ner, the pres­i­dent sneered at “fake news” CNN and the “fail­ing” New York Times.

“They are a dis­grace,” he said. The black-tie af­fair in Wash­ing­ton was head­lined by vet­eran in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists Bob Wood­ward and Carl Bern­stein, who gained fame in the Water­gate scan­dal that prompted the res­ig­na­tion of for­mer pres­i­dent Richard Nixon.

Wood­ward re­buffed Trump’s re­lent­less barbs against news out­lets.

“Mr pres­i­dent, the me­dia is not fake news — let’s take that off the ta­ble as we pro­ceed,” he said.

“What­ever the cli­mate, whether the me­dia is revered or re­viled, we should and must per­sist and I be­lieve we will.”

Some of Trump’s an­i­mos­ity stemmed from US me­dia eval­u­at­ing his 100-day record as mea­gre and mixed.

They have noted em­bar­rass­ing set­backs for the Repub­li­can on health­care and a travel ban, and re­ver­sals on China and the North At­lantic Treaty Or­gan­i­sa­tion, while also recog­nis­ing cam­paign pledges he had met, like ap­point­ing a con­ser­va­tive Supreme Court judge and pulling the coun­try out of the Trans Pa­cific Part­ner­ship trade agreement. AFP

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