President Donald J Trump rallied with his supporters for more than an hour on Tuesday evening in Arizona, slamming the media for its “dishonest” coverage of his response to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and criticizing the state’s Republican senators McCain and Flake.
President Trump pulled a piece of paper out of his jacket and re-read his initial statements condemning the racists involved in the protests in Charlottesville.
“Did they report that I said that racism is evil?” President Trump asked of the media. The crowd yelled, “No!”
“You know why?” Trump asked the crowd. “Because they are very dishonest people.”
A 32-year-old counter-protester was killed in Charlottesville after police said a Nazi sympathizer rammed his car into a crowd. After the violence, the president was criticized for blaming “both sides” for the unrest instead of just white supremacists.
As Trump spoke about the media’s dishonest coverage of him, the crowd broke into the chant: “CNN sucks!”
“These are sick people,” President Trump said of the media. “You know the thing I don’t understand? You would think … they’d want to make our country great again. And I honestly believe they don’t.”
Because of what happened in Charlottesville, Phoenix’s Democratic mayor, Greg Stanton, asked the president last week to delay his rally. The president denied his request.
President Trump talked about how cities across the country have begun removing Confederate statues. “They’re trying to take away our culture, they’re trying to take away our history,” he pointed out to the overly-supportive attendees.
Trump made fun of the crowd of protesters posed outside the convention center Tuesday evening, bragging that there were far more Trump supporters in attendance than haters outside.
“All week, they’re talking about the massive crowds that are going to be outside,” Trump said. “Where are they?” The crowd cheered in response.
Then the president mocked the alt-left protesters who had been demonstrating in Virginia at the same time as the KKK and nationalists.
“You know, they show up in the helmets and the black masks and they’ve got clubs and they’ve got everything,” President Trump observed, declaring, “Antifa!”
During the Arizona rally, President Trump suggested that he may use his first pardon for Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff convicted of a charge for not obeying a 2011 order from a judge to stop his anti-immigrant traffic patrols.
“I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine,” Trump said. “But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. Is that OK?” The crowd cheered.
Without specifically naming them, the president spoke about Arizona’s two Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, who have been giving him trouble lately; McCain voted against the Senate’s recent plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, and Flake wrote a book that is highly critical of Trump.
“One vote away – I will not mention any names,” Trump said of McCain and his lack of support for the recent GOP healthcare bill.
As for Sen Flake, he has battled with Trump on immigration and has been promoting a book that claims the GOP is in “denial” about the president.
Speaking about Flake, Trump said, “And nobody wants me to talk about your other senator, who’s weak on borders, weak on crime. So, I won’t talk about him.”
President Trump also vowed to follow through on his promise to crack down on illegal immigration. He said he isn’t giving up on repealing ObamaCare and expressed optimism about reforming the country’s broken tax codes.
Tuesday’s rally came a day after President Trump announced plans to send more troops to Afghanistan – an announcement he highlighted during his speech. He asked, “Did anybody watch last night?” The crowd cheered.
“Last night, as you know, I laid out my vision for an honorable and enduring outcome in a very tough place, a place where our country has failed, Afghanistan,” President Trump said.
The president also addressed the recent tensions with North Korea, saying that he believes Kim Jong Un is “starting to respect us.” Trump expressed hope that “maybe something positive can come about.”
Overall, perhaps the best way to describe the rally is by stating it was Trump being Trump.
CEO of DML NEWS, Dennis Michael Lynch said, “I didn’t watch it live, but I saw the replay, and I’m sure it was a blast for the people in the audience — unless you experience a Trump rally, it’s impossible to feel the energy on TV — but the rally did nothing to move his agenda forward. I laid out my ideas for how he can start to drain the swamp as promised. I sent them to him. I hope he listens.”
You can watch the speech below:
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