By Bonnie K. Goodman
President Donald Trump made a triumphant fifth appearance on Friday, Feb. 23, 2017, at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held “at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland.” Trump’s appearance gives the conference its first Republican president in eight years, and he emphasized the party’s return to power. What should have only a victory lap speech outlining his conservative policy agenda to the audience instead turned into an attack on the mainstream news media that have taken aim at the new President for both his policies and possible negotiations with Russia before the election and especially the inauguration.
President Trump emphasized in his address that the conservatives returned to power in Washington. The president expressed, “All of these years we’ve been together and now you finally have a president, finally.” Trump first spoke to the conference in 2011 and put forward the idea of possibly running in 2012 against incumbent Democrat Barack Obama, which he decided against waiting instead for 2016.
Trump was noticeably absent from the conference last year during the presidential campaign and tough primary season. The president explained why he chose to skip the conference, “I would have come last year, but I was worried that I’d be at that time too controversial. We wanted border security. We wanted very, very strong military. We wanted all of the things that we’re going to get, and people considered that controversial, but you didn’t consider it controversial.”
President Trump made the most headlines for what he said about the press in his address; he again attacked them as peddling “fake” news. The most recent criticism comes after reports surfaced that the White House asked the FBI to squash news reports about Trump campaign officials possibly speaking with Russian officials before the election.
The president mainly went after the media naming unnamed sources for his administration providing the information they report. Trump commented, “I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources. They shouldn’t be allowed to use sources unless they use somebody’s name. Let their name be put out there.”
Trump wanted to clarify he is only against fake news, telling the audience at CPAC, “I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s fake, phony, fake.” President Trump criticized the media for their coverage of his tweet on fake news, “In covering my comments, the dishonest media did not explain that I called the fake news the enemy of the people. The fake news. They dropped off the word ‘fake.’ And all of a sudden, the story became, the media is the enemy. They take the word ‘fake’ out.”
The president however, named most of the top mainstream media including, the New York Times, CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC News calling them fake. Despite his attacks on the media the president still let the audience a CPAC know he is a firm “supporter” of “First Amendment to the United States Constitution,” telling them, “I love the First Amendment; nobody loves it better than me. Nobody.”
Source: ABC News Radio Online