Monday 23 October 2017

Donald Trump accuses 'dishonest media' of fake news at campaign rally

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during his "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump invites a supporter onstage with him during a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida,. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump bows his head in prayer during a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Catherine Lucey and Julie Pace

President Donald Trump kicked off his campaign rally in Florida by attacking the media as purveyors of fake news and part of the corrupt system.

Appearing at an airport hangar in Melbourne, Florida, Mr Trump accused the "dishonest media" of publishing one false story after another as his administration gets under way.

Mr Trump said that when the media lie to the people, he will "never, ever let them get away with it".

First lady Melania Trump introduced her husband at the rally, just four weeks into his administration.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive for the "Make America Great Again Rally" at Orlando-Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Fla.. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

She recited the Lord's Prayer before offering her own pledge to act in the best interest of all Americans as she pursues initiatives she said will help women and children around the world.

Asked by reporters aboard Air Force One earlier if a campaign rally was too early, Mr Trump said "life is a campaign" and that making America great again is a campaign.

He added that "it's not easy, especially when we're also fighting the press and the media".

The president promised to repeal the health care law, build a border wall along the US-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs.

He also pledged to "do something over the next couple of days" to address the immigration order that has been blocked in the courts.

"I want to be among my friends and among the people," he told a cheering crowd, praising his "truly great movement".

Insisting he was the victim of false reporting, Mr Trump said his White House was running "so smoothly" and that he "inherited one big mess".

The president has been trying refocus after reports of disarray and dysfunction within his administration.

He has also had to contend with crowds of protesters, with thousands out on the streets of Dallas and Los Angeles to oppose immigration enforcement raids and to support immigrants and refugees generally.

Mr Trump, who held a rally in the same spot in Florida in September, clearly relished being back in front of his supporters, welcoming the cheers and letting one supporter up on stage to offer praise for the president.

The event had the familiar trappings of a Trump campaign rally, including red Trump caps, "Make America Great Again" and "Trump/Pence" signs and at least one sign reading "Hillary for Prison".

The rally came during Mr Trump's third successive weekend at his private south Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.

The president planned to interview at least four potential candidates for the job of national security adviser, a position unexpectedly open after Michael Flynn's firing early this week.

Mr Trump's first choice, Robert Harward, a retired vice admiral, turned down the offer.

Mr Flynn, a retired general, resigned at Mr Trump's request on Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia's ambassador to the US during the transition.

The president said he was disappointed by how Mr Flynn had treated Mr Pence, but did not believe Mr Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

Mr Trump has lurched from crisis to crisis since the inauguration, including the botched roll-out of his immigration order, struggles confirming his cabinet picks and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.

Press Association

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