LOUISVILLE, KY. — President Trump visited Kentucky on Monday for the first time since he took office. He talked about health care and his accomplishments thus far in his presidency but not without jokes about Kentucky’s college basketball teams and insults to the press.
Standing in front of an American flag and two signs reading “PROMISES MADE” and “PROMISES KEPT,” Trump spoke to a packed Freedom Hall in Louisville. He talked about what he’s done since he took office in January, which included increasing jobs and starting on campaign plans to build a wall, but he made sure the crowd knew there was still more to come.
“We inherited a mess,” Trump said. “It’s been 51 days. Give me a chance.”
The speech came at the end of one of the most tumultuous days of Trump’s presidency thus far. Early Monday morning, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence met for the first public hearing on Russia’s efforts in the election. At the hearing, FBI Director James Comey confirmed an investigation into Russian election interference and the role of the president’s campaign in it. In reference to Trump’s recent claims on Twitter that there was a wiretap of Trump Tower, Comey said there is no evidence to back up the claim.
Trump didn’t bring up the hearing or either claim at the rally.
The Senate Judiciary Committee met Monday morning to begin its four-day hearing to confirm Republican judge Neil Gorsuch for the United States Supreme Court. At the rally, Trump complained about still not having his cabinet approved, so he urged the committee to approve his nomination swiftly in hopes that it will fix the court system.
“We have a little problem with the courts not wanting to give us their decisions when we want them,” Trump said.
Trump made no mention of his controversial travel bans. Instead, he focused on his plans to build a wall along the U.S.’s southern border. He said the wall will stop the drugs that are “pouring into our country and poisoning our youth.” During his campaign, Trump said he met with many families whose members were “viciously killed” by illegal immigrants.
“One by one, they are being tracked down and thrown the hell out of our country,” Trump said in reference to the illegal immigrants.
The crowd responded with “USA” chants.
After recent criticism of his proposed budget and the Republican health care bill, Trump spent much of his speech discussing former President Barack Obama’s health care law. He repeatedly referred to it as a “disaster” that Democratic leaders need to take responsibility for.
Before he can make any tax cut, Trump said the country needs to repeal and replace “Obamacare.”
“We just gotta get it done,” Trump said.
Trump blamed the media as one of the reasons “Obamacare” has not yet been repealed.
“If they told the truth about ‘Obamacare,’ it would be so great because our plan would sail right through,” said Trump, pointing to the press.
The crowd booed.
Before Trump arrived, Kentucky Republican Gov. Matt Bevin also talked about the media and thanked them for coming but encouraged them to find stories of unity rather than stories that are divided on party lines.
The crowd booed.
When Trump took the stage, he pointed fingers at the press and referred to them as “the fake media” multiple times.
Trump joked he was just “reporting the news” when the crowd booed at Trump’s reference to the San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick not standing for the national anthem before a football game.
“I love when I report the news, and they say I messed it up,” Trump said. “No, the people who reported it messed it up.”
The crowd booed.
Nevertheless, with the NCAA’s March Madness happening this month, Trump found opportunities to joke about Kentucky’s teams in the tournament.
“You just worry about your basketball team, Kentucky,” he said. “I’ll take care of the rest.”
Trump ended his speech the same way he’s ended most in the past — by chanting, “We will make America great again.”
“The future belongs to us,” Trump said. “ The future belongs to you. This is your time. This, the United States of America, is your country again.”
The crowd cheered as Trump walked off the stage to the Rolling Stone’s “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
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