In Ohio, Trump takes victory lap
About 300 miles from Washington, President Donald Trump on Tuesday night offered a view of his presidency free of what he called the “fake-news filter.”
Over the course of nearly an hour, Trump touted the work of his administration in getting gang members and other illegal immigrants “the hell out of our country,” and he promised a continuing crackdown on sanctuary cities.
Trump said he was working hard on “the single biggest tax cut in American history,” and he reiterated plans to spur $1 trillion in new spending on the country’s roads, bridges and other ailing infrastructure.
And here in the heart of the industrial Midwest, Trump promised to refill lost manufacturing jobs in factories or to “rip ’em down and build brand-new ones.”
“That’s what’s going to happen,” Trump said at a rally in a packed hockey arena that holds 7,000 people.
Appearing before a crowd of adoring supporters, the president was far removed from the challenges of the Russia investigation and other vexing issues that have contributed to the lowest job approval rating for a U.S. president at this point in his tenure.
When reminders of those troubles surfaced, they were quickly whisked away. That included a young protester who unfurled a Russian flag and who was wrestled out of the arena by local police.
“Boy, he’s a young one, he’s going back home to mommy,” the president declared to the delight of the crowd. “He’s in trouble. And I bet his mommy voted for us.”
It was clear from the outset of his remarks that Trump was in his element, appearing, as he has in other campaign rallies since taking office, in a state where he prevailed in last year’s election over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I’m here this evening to cut through the fake-news filter and speak directly to the American people,” Trump said in the first of many shots at the media, which he later dubbed as the “fake, fake, fake news.”
As he started to detail his achievements, Trump offered an assessment of his work that he said he knew the media — whom he called “a dishonest group of people” — would not share.
“I think, with few exceptions, no president has done anywhere near what we’ve done in his first six months,” Trump asserted.
“But they don’t let you know,” he said, motioning toward the media assembled in front of him. “They don’t want to write about it.”
Trump reflected on how he is perceived by some of his critics.
“Sometimes they say: ‘He doesn’t act presidential,’” Trump relayed. “And I say: ‘Hey look, great schools, smart guy, it’s so easy to act presidential, but that’s not going to get it done.’ ... It’s much easier, by the way, to act presidential than what we’re doing here tonight.”