Trump to spend Day 100 in office talking tough on trade

Posted May 01, 2017

Washington Post columnist Jonathan Alter argued it was "ridiculous" for Trump to claim he had the most successful first 100 days ever because he had no major legislative accomplishments, unlike many previous presidents.

U.S. President Donald Trump leads a rally marking his first 100 days in office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. April 29, 2017.

He began his speech with the now familiar attack on the news media, giving them a "big fat failing grade" and telling the crowd that they were "consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now".

While at the Pennsylvania company, Trump was asked about the correspondents' association dinner back in Washington.

At the 100-day mark, Trump chose instead to spend the evening with people who helped elect him and, polls show, remain largely in his corner.

The White House Correspondent's dinner was noticeably different last night from years past, namely because President Trump and his entire administration were not in attendance.

"Tonight looks a little different, but the values that underpin this dinner have not changed".

Some supporters in the crowd said they were willing to give Trump more time.

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"He doesn't respect the press, and they think he's a buffoon and a charlatan", said Democratic political consultant Dan Gerstein. "Undermining that by seeking to delegitimise journalists is unsafe to a healthy republic", he said to a standing ovation.

Also on his 100th day, Trump signed another executive order directing the Commerce Department and the U.S. Trade Representative to conduct a study of American trade agreements.

To raucous booing from the crowd, Trump trashed outlets such as CNN and MSNBC as "fake news" and called the wider Washington media elite "a disgrace".

The Correspondents' Dinner this year had fewer Hollywood celebrities in attendance.

Similar sentiments were expressed by journalist Bob Woodward, known for breaking the Watergate scandal during Nixon's presidency, who stated: "The press, especially the so-called mainstream media, comes under regular attack".

Most of Mr Trump's administration also skipped the event in solidarity with the President, who has repeatedly accused the press of mistreatment. Trump ended up being the butt of the jokes that night from comedian Seth Meyers and then-President Barack Obama.

None of the White House staff were present on the occasion in support of the President's decision.

Trump's approval ratings now hover at around 40%, which is believed to be lower than any other president at the 100-day mark. Trump visited a tool manufacturing company in Harrisburg where signed two executive orders - one directing the Commerce Department and the US trade representative to conduct a review of existing USA global trade and investment agreements and another creating the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing. "It is going to be attractive".