Trump insists White House running ‘so smoothly,’ lashes at media
MELBOURNE, FloridaU.S. President Donald Trump insisted Feb. 18 that the White House is running smoothly, and used a campaign-style rally in Florida to bring his message to supporters “without the filter of the fake news.”
Trump employed a loud and muscular delivery - one which won over millions of voters on the campaign trail last year - to assure Americans he is fulfilling his promises to shrink government, rebuild the military, and repeal and replace health care reforms enacted by predecessor Barack Obama.
“This will be changed for the ages,” the new president told several thousand supporters in an airport hangar in Melbourne, a sun-bleached city on Florida’s Space Coast, AFP reported.
But Trump was completing his first month in office with his administration under a cloud back in Washington, where lawmakers pledge to further investigate his possible pre-election ties to Russia, his national security advisor was forced to resign in disgrace, and a cabinet nominee withdrew amid controversy.
“The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly,” Trump stressed, before going on an extended rant about the U.S. media.
“I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news,” Trump said.
“The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources... they just don’t want to report the truth,” he said.
“They’ve become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system.”
These remarks came one day after Trump took to Twitter to criticize media and describing the press as “the enemy of the American people!”
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Trump wrote.
Trump had tweeted an earlier post which targeted the New York Times, CNN, NBC “and many more” media - and ended with the exclamation “SICK!”
But he swiftly deleted that missive before reposting the definitive version - adding two more “enemies” to his blacklist.
Trump, who relishes campaigning perhaps like no other U.S. politician, arrived to a thunderous cheer when Air Force One, the presidential jet, rolled up to the hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport.
Aside from the fact that the billionaire businessman is now leader of the free world, the feel was extremely similar to that of a Trump campaign event from last year - from the speakers, to the recorded music, to the president’s brash, largely impromptu delivery.
“We’re going to start producing jobs like you’ve never seen before,” Trump said, highlighting how his pro-growth agenda has already led some U.S. firms to commit to domestic investments.
He reiterated his pledge to crack down on terrorism, saying he has asked Defense Secretary James Mattis to draft a “plan to totally destroy ISIS,” the Islamic State of Iraq and te Levant (ISIL).
“I’ve ordered decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,” he said, drawing loud cheers.
At one point Trump broke security protocol by inviting a supporter to hop a barrier and join him onstage.
“I wouldn’t say that the Secret Service was thrilled with that,” he said.