Trump Continues to Incite Division in America

By Reagan adviser: Trump speech deeply disturbing. Trump speech was 'most divisive' I've heard Updated at 2017-04-30 06:20:42 +0000

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Trump hit the road to celebrate his first 100 days in the White House with cheering supporters at a campaign-style rally, touting his initial achievements and lashing out at critics who have given his tenure poor marks.

Trump told a Pennsylvania crowd he was just getting started on meeting his campaign promises. He repeatedly attacked an "incompetent, dishonest" media, saying they were not telling the truth about his administration's accomplishments.

"My administration has been delivering every single day for the great citizens of our country," Trump said in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. "We are keeping one promise after another, and frankly the people are really happy about it."

The rally occurred on the same day as a climate march at which thousands of protesters surrounded the White House, and it also coincided with the annual black-tie White House press dinner in Washington.

Trump and his staff chose to skip the press dinner because of what he said was unfair treatment by the press. Trump said he was thrilled to be away from the "Washington swamp".

"A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation’s capital right now," Trump said to loud boos from the crowd. "If the media's job is to be honest and to tell the truth, the media deserves a very, very big fat failing grade."

Trump listed what he said were some of his key early accomplishments, including the successful confirmation to the U.S. 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.

"The world is getting the message: if you try to illegally enter the United States, you will be caught, detained, deported or put in prison," Trump said.

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. Trump's 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.

"We'll build the wall, people, don't even worry about it," he said.

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Some supporters in the crowd said they were willing to give Trump more time.

"I voted for him and I'll give him a year. That's enough time to whip Congress into shape and get some deals done," said Michael Casciaro, 54, a civilian contractor for the military.

Trump said he reversed course on promises to name China a currency manipulator because he wanted its help in trying to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile development. Trump has said all options are on the table if Pyongyang persists in its nuclear development.

In an excerpt of an interview with "Face the Nation" of CBS, set to air on Sunday and Monday and conducted during the trip to Pennsylvania, Trump said he would "not be happy" if North Korea conducted a nuclear test. Asked if that would mean military action, Trump said "I don't know, I mean we'll see."

Reveling in the cheers in Harrisburg, Trump made reference again to his upset victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the crucial swing state of Pennsylvania, which he said "carried us to a big, beautiful win on Nov. 8."

Trump left Washington as another in a series of protests against his administration was winding up. Thousands of marchers made their way through Washington's streets during the People's Climate March, a protest against Trump's moves to roll back environmental regulations.

Asked by reporters accompanying him to Pennsylvania what he had to say to the climate change protesters, Trump said: "Enjoy the day, enjoy the weather."

After the rally, the White House said the president had signed two trade-related executive orders, one for top U.S. officials to review all U.S. trade pacts for potential abuses and another setting up an office in the White House to advise him on trade-related issues.


Toned-down White House press dinner carries on without Trump

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The White House press corps gathered on Saturday for its annual black-tie dinner, a toned-down affair this year after Donald Trump snubbed the event, becoming the first incumbent U.S. president to bow out in 36 years.

Without Trump, who scheduled a rally instead to mark his 100th day in office, the usually celebrity-filled soiree hosted by the White House Correspondents' Association took a more sober turn, even as it pulled in top journalists and Washington insiders.

Most of Trump's administration also skipped the event in solidarity with the president, who has repeatedly accused the press of mistreatment. The president used his campaign-style gathering to again lambaste the media.

"I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away," he told a crowd in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, calling out The New York Times, CNN and MSNBC by name.

In Washington, WHCA President Jeff Mason defended press freedom even as he acknowledged this year's dinner had a different feel, saying attempts to undermine the media was dangerous for democracy.

"We are not fake news, we are not failing news organizations and we are not the enemy of the American people," said Mason, a Reuters correspondent.

Instead of the typical roasts - presidents of both parties have delivered their own zingers for years - the event returned to its traditional roots of recognizing reporters' work and handing out student scholarships as famed journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein presented awards.

"That's not Donald Trump's style," NBC News' Andrea Mitchell told MSNBC, referring to the self-deprecating jokes presidents in the past have made despite tensions with the press.

Instead, the humor fell to headline comedian Hasan Minhaj.

"Welcome to the series finale of the White House correspondents' dinner," Minhaj, who plays a correspondent on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" program, told the crowd.

He also joked about Trump, despite organizers' wishes, saying he did so to honor U.S. constitutional protection of free speech: "Only in America can a first-generation, Indian-American Muslim kid get on this stage and make fun of the president."

In a video message, actor Alec Baldwin, who has raised Trump's ire playing him on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" program also encouraged attendees.

Few other celebrities graced the red carpet, although some well-known Washingtonians, such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California, appeared.

Trump attended in 2011, when then-President Barack Obama made jokes at the expense of the New York real estate developer and reality television show host.

In an interview with Reuters this week, Trump said he decided against attending as president because he felt he had been treated unfairly by the media, adding: "I would come next year, absolutely."

In Pennsylvania, Trump told supporters the media dinner would be boring but was noncommittal on whether he would go in 2018 or hold another rally.

Late night television show host Samantha Bee also hosted a competing event - "Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner" - that she said would honor journalists, rather than skewer Trump.

(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton in Washington and Patrick Rucker in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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