State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Katie Meyer covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.
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Trump attacks media in defiant Pennsylvania speech

Written by Katie Meyer, Capitol Bureau Chief | Apr 30, 2017 1:53 AM

Supporters wait in line for the president's rally, in front of semi trucks repurposed from the campaign. (Photo by Katie Meyer/WITF)


(Harrisburg) -- President Donald Trump held a rally in Harrisburg for his hundredth day in office, fresh off a frustrating week in Washington.

After pushes to resuscitate the House GOP's healthcare bill and pass a spending plan for the year, neither got much traction. A government shutdown was averted for at least a week.

But nevertheless, it was a defiant Trump who arrived at the Farm Show Complex, and an enthusiastic crowd that embraced him.

The president kicked off his speech to a mostly-full arena with an airing of grievances, directed at one of his favorite targets.

"The media," he said, "deserves a very, very big fat failing grade" for covering his first 100 days in office.

Specifically, he claimed that "media outlets like CNN and MSNBC are fake news. Fake news."

Much of the rally was reminiscent of Trump's campaign events. Back were adamant promises to renegotiate NAFTA, build a border wall, and return mining and factory jobs to Pennsylvania.

One difference from the campaign? His tone on China--an ally with the US against North Korea. 

"I think it's not exactly the right time to call China a currency manipulator right now," he said. "Do we agree with that?" he asked the cheering crowd.

Meanwhile, a sizeable protest group assembled across the street. It was led by Montgomery County State Senator Daylin Leach, one of the most liberal members of his chamber.

He said he thinks Trump is taking advantage of his loyal base.

"[Trump] was going to take health care from the people in line here, and give the money in a tax cut to his buddies," Leach said.

The Pennsylvania rally was scheduled opposite the White House Correspondents Dinner, which Trump chose not to attend. 

Published in News, State House Sound Bites

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