President Donald Trump used the occasion of his first 100th day in office to hold a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, touting his record and taking aim at the national media. The president told a boisterous crowd of supporters that he was “thrilled” to be far away from Washington D.C. where members of the press were gathered for the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner.
“As you know there’s another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington D.C., did you hear about this? 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. “They are gathered together for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. Without the president.”
Trump spent the first few minutes of his speech criticizing his treatment by the media, using his standard refrain of “fake news.”
“Media outlets like CNN and MSNBC are fake news. Fake News,” Trump said. “And they’re sitting and they’re wishing in Washington – they’re watching right now – they would love to be with us tonight. But they’re trapped at the dinner, which will be very, very boring.”
To the cheers of the crowd, Trump listed numerous achievements he said he has accomplished in the first 100 days since the inauguration.
He included the administration’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, his appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, job creation, a crackdown on immigration and terrorism as some of his crowning achievements.
Trump also indicated that he would soon be making a decision about America’s role in the Paris Climate Agreement.
During the rally, Trump criticized the former administration, saying he inherited a mess from President Barack Obama.
On Feb. 25, Trump announced he wouldn’t be attending the dinner on Twitter, but sent his best regards.
“I will not be attending the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner this year,” Trump wrote. “Please wish everyone well and have a great evening!”
Trump is the first president to miss a White House Correspondents’ Association dinner since Ronald Reagan, who was recuperating from an assassination attempt at Camp David during the dinner in 1981.
Before the star-studded event kicked off, Hasan Minhaj — the Daily Show correspondent and the evening’s host — told MSNBC’s Jacob Soboroff the evening would “very interesting” without the president there.
SOURCE: KALHAN ROSENBLATT