President Donald Trump griped about the cable networks on Friday, saying he gets “attacked maybe more than anybody,” shortly after calling for national solidarity amid the scare over potential explosives sent to some of his most prominent critics.
“Come to think of it, who gets attacked more than me?” he asked the crowd of mostly young, conservative African-Americans at the 2018 Young Black Leadership Summit. “I get attacked maybe more than anybody. I can do the greatest thing for our country and on the networks, it will show bad,” he added, which prompted a “Fake news,” cry from the crowd, many of whom donned Trump’s signature “Make America Great Again” hat.
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“I won’t use examples,” he said, adding that “today is a very special day,” in which federal authorities arrested a suspect for the package attacks.
In Trumpian fashion, he pivoted and looked out into the crowd and said, “I can just look at these beautiful, incredible and handsome faces.” And then cautioned that “today, you’re not allowed to use those terms.”
“It’s not politically correct,” he added, but said determinedly, “we have to bring that back into the world of being OK, right? Don’t you agree? We’re going to bring that back.”
“A lot of people are jealous of you. And jealousy is a very bad thing. It’s mean. It’s nasty.”
He promised to put Americans’ needs first, and then complained that people called his “America First” rhetoric “racist.”
“I said racist? Racist? Why is that racist?” he exclaimed. “Does everybody in this room agree? You’re living in America. America First.” The crowd responded with chanting: “U-S-A!”
Throughout the remainder of his remarks, Trump meandered from topic to topic praising Kanye West and commending his administration’s successes, including on health care, trade, the economy and immigration.
He lamented that the media’s coverage on the pipe bombs overshadowed his proposal earlier this week to lower Medicare drug prices and that it got “very little coverage.”
“It didn’t get the kind of coverage it should have” because “we’re competing” with the suspicious packages story, he said, but also mused that the coverage “can start to disappear rapidly,” since law enforcement arrested a suspect on Friday.
Trump digressed to immigration and proclaimed he would continue to block migrants from entering the country, referring to his latest action to deploy the military to the border. “Illegal immigration has been especially harmful to African-American communities,” he said. “We don’t have borders, we don’t have a country.”
He began to recite statistics on African-Americans, and accused Democrats of failing to address crime, education, poverty and prison reform, among other things. He then reminisced about his time on the campaign trail when he stoked controversy from a provocative question to the crowds back then.
“I asked black Americans to give me a chance” with your vote with, “What the hell do you have to lose?” The crowd cheered and many pumped their fists in the air.
Then the president declared that his administration has improved conditions for African-Americans significantly over the past two years, stating that the African-American unemployment level, the unemployment rate for women and the poverty rate is “the lowest level in history.” He then contended that it would be “awfully tough” for Democrats to beat him.
“While the Democrat Party is obsessed with resistance, we are focused on results,” he declared. “Where the Democrat Party has failed, Republicans have delivered.”
“No other president has done anything close to what we’ve done in the past two years,” he added, drawing more cheers from the crowd.
He praised the crowd, exclaiming their work as “historic.”
“We love you!” someone shouted, to which he responded, “I love you, too!” After his remarks, he took photos with attendees.