President Trump said Saturday night that members of the media deserve “a very, very big, fat failing grade” in their first 100 days covering his administration.
“Now, before we talk about my first 100 days, which has been very exciting and very productive, let’s rate the media’s 100 days,” Trump said to a roaring crowd in Harrisburg, Pa. “Should we do that? Should we do it?”
Trump ripped into reporters for covering his administration critically, continuing a familiar line of attack for his administration, and rattled off a laundry list of statistics suggesting eroding public trust in the press.
Mainstream (FAKE) media refuses to state our long list of achievements, including 28 legislative signings, strong borders & great optimism!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2017
He also slammed media coverage of the 2016 election as inaccurate, referring to poll numbers that, at the time, pointed to a likely Democratic victory in November.
“They’re incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because [they] covered it, us, me, but all of us, they covered it so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad,” he said.
“Remember their predictions? They lost a lot of people because of the way they covered.”
“If the media’s job is to be honest and to tell the truth, then I think we would all agree the media deserves a very, very big, fat failing grade,” he added.
Trump has maintained an ongoing feud with reporters in his first months in office, often lambasting news outlets that cover his administration critically as “fake news.”
As he delivered the fiery speech on Saturday, journalists gathered in Washington for the White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) dinner – an event that Trump announced in February he would not attend. He is the first president to not attend the event since Ronald Reagan, who missed the event while recovering from an assassination attempt.
But although Trump has taken an adversarial approach in his relationship with the press, he has often appeared eager to talk to reporters. In the week leading up to his 100th day in office, the president sat for several interviews with reporters, and penned an op-ed in The Washington Post – one of the news outlets he has denounced.
Trump took aim at the media earlier on Saturday, writing on Twitter that journalists refused to cover his “long list of achievements” in his first months in office.
“Mainstream (FAKE) media refuses to state our long list of achievements, including 28 legislative signings, strong borders & great optimism!” he tweeted.
Trump ends his first 100 days in office having signed a flurry of executive orders but without securing any major legislative victories, such as repealing ObamaCare.
His legislative signings have largely focused on formalities and personnel appointments, including a waiver allowing Defense Secretary James Mattis to serve.
This report was originally published in The Hill and The Hill is now LIVE Coverage onTrump Presidency 100 Days Rally in Pennsylvania.
During speaking, Trump pause and pointed out a man who hold the sign.
“Thank you for that sign. ‘Blacks for Trump.’ I love that guy.” pic.twitter.com/lriqHDrTVE
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) April 30, 2017