President Donald Trump held a rally in Harrisburg for his 100th day in office Saturday night, fresh off a frustrating week in Washington.
After pushes to resuscitate the House GOP’s health care bill and pass a spending plan for the year, neither got much traction. A government shutdown was averted for at least a week.
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 2016 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 U.S. 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 sizable protest group assembled across the street. It was led by Montgomery County state Sen. 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.