WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump holds a campaign-style “Make America Great Again” rally at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport on Saturday afternoon as he steps up his attacks on the news outlets, calling them “the enemy of the American people.”
For the third weekend in a row, Trump is in Florida, where he is staying at his Mar-a-Lago resort. And, again, he’s tweeting.
“Will be having many meetings this weekend at The Southern White House. Big 5:00 P.M. speech in Melbourne, Florida. A lot to talk about!” 7:51 a.m Eastern Time
Backstory: The pool report noted that this Twitter post came out as Trump’s motorcade was pulling into his Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.
The Florida rally can be seen in several contexts:
• Trump wants to keep in touch with his base.
• Trump is looking for a bigger platform to bash the press.
• Trump is holding a rally to underscore one of the messages of his Thursday free-wheeling press conference, that he has accomplished a lot.In office less than a month, Trump has yet to have Congress pass one major Trump driven piece of legislation.
Meanwhile, the clock ticks down to Feb. 28, when Trump addresses a joint session of Congress to outline his legislative agenda.
Ready for 2020 . . .
Trump’s team already has filed with the Federal Election Commission the papers needed to launch his 2020 re-election bid.
About that ‘Southern White House’ . . .
Until today, Trump had been calling his Mar-a-Lago resort the “Winter White House,” which gave rise to the question of what he would call it when he goes there in the other seasons.
Dubbing Mar-a-Lago the “Southern” White House solves that.
Florida White House history note: When Harry Truman was president, he stayed in Key West, at a Naval Station headquarters that today is known as the Truman Little White House.
Another tweet on the media . . .
“Don’t believe the main stream (fake news) media.The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it.” 7:31 a.m Eastern Time
Backstory: Trump is intent on tearing down the press after a week when his National Security Adviser was forced to resign and his Labor Secretary nominee pulled himself out after it was clear he did not have enough support from GOP senators to get confirmed.
At the Thursday press conference Trump said his White House is running like a “fun-tuned machine.” On Saturday it was running “very well.”
Trump used the “inherit the mess” line at this Thursday press conference.
Checking it out . . .
PolitiFact exams the inheriting-a-mess claim as it relates to the economic and foreign policy:
“Was it really a “mess”? As fact-checkers, our research on the economy, at least, has shown a lot of improvement in recent years.
“…Ultimately, Trump may have a point that the word is a “mess” today — but experts emphasized that it has almost always been thus.
Read the whole analysis HERE.
From Friday, more on the media . . .
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, 3:48 p.m. Eastern Time
Backstory: This is the Twitter post that shows the Trump shift from bashing the press in general to calling the press, for the first time, the “enemy of the American People.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel pushed back at Trump’s press bashing, according to Bloomberg News: Merkel “expressed respect for the media in a pointed contrast to U.S. President Donald Trump, whose latest Twitter blast labeled mainstream outlets “the enemy of the American people.”
“I stand by a free and independent press and have great respect for journalists,” Merkel said at an international security conference in Munich with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence in the audience. “We’ve always done well in Germany when we mutually respect each other.”