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Trump hails first 100 days in office

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania – Donald Trump hailed a ‘‘very productive’’ first 100 days as America’s president on Saturday, telling a roaring crowd of supporters other ‘‘great battles’’ ahead would be won.

PRESIDENT Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania during his 100th day in office last Saturday. (AP)

PRESIDENT Donald Trump arrives to speak at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania during his 100th day in office last Saturday. (AP)

In an hour-long speech attacking the media and predecessor Barack Obama, boasting about his support for US industry and the military, vaunting his foreign policy positions, including on confronting North Korea, reading a poem, and repeating his signature ‘‘Make America Great Again’’ motto, Trump earned cheer after cheer from the crowd in Pennsylvania.

The choice and setting of the rally – in a state that enthusiastically embraced his election – was a deliberate snub to a traditional White House correspondents’ dinner taking place late Saturday, where he had risked being roasted by comedians.

Declaring himself ‘‘thrilled’’ to be far from ‘‘the Washington swamp’’ and the ‘‘very boring’’ dinner, the president sneered at ‘‘fake news’’ CNN and the ‘‘failing’’ New York Times.

‘‘They are a disgrace,’’ he said.

Some of the animosity stemmed from US media evaluating Trump’s 100-day record as meager and mixed.

They have noted embarrassing setbacks for Trump on health care and a travel ban, and reversals on China and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, while also recognizing campaign pledges he has met, such as appointing a conservative Supreme Court judge and pulling the country out of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

Trump, in his speech, presented his record so far – including the signing of many executive orders – as ‘‘very exciting and very productive,’’ despite what he described as the ‘‘mess’’ left by Obama’s administration.

‘‘We are keeping one promise after another,’’ he asserted, adding that he preparing for ‘‘the great, great battles to come and that we will win in every case.’’

Trump highlighted his tough approach to immigration.

Stepped-up law enforcement was removing ‘‘drug dealers, gang members, and killers’’ from the country, he said, while reinforced vetting was keeping America ‘‘safe from terrorism.’’

‘‘We are going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country,’’ he said to applause and cheers of ‘‘USA! USA!’’

He did not acknowledge the difficulty he has had in finding the money to start work on the wall he vowed would be built on the Mexican border.

Instead, he insisted that ‘‘we need the wall to stop the drugs and the human trafficking’’ and ‘’we’ll have the wall – don’t worry about it.’’ (AFP)

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