The political media was a buzz at Donald Trump’s visit to Arizona today….
The story was Trump was going there to throw down against Republican Senator Jeff Flake , who is running for re-election and has been critical of Trump in the media….(The other Arizona Senator is Republican John McCain , who helped derail the Healthcare Repeal bill effort)
That story didn’t play…
Instead Donald Trump got a chance to recharge his batters with a large crowd that was supportive….
Oh, and changed directions on the Charlottesville violence and comments he made for the third time….
Of course he attacked the media….
President Donald Trump was back in his natural element on Tuesday night, revving up a stadium of supporters in Phoenix, launching attacks on the media and defending last week’s response to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the day after a scripted, sober address about an increased American military presence in Afghanistan.
Trump seemed to be reveling in the crowd’s love from the moment he entered, clapping his hands as he made his way slowly to the podium, and before long he was enticing the crowd to rain boos on reporters.
“Wow, what a crowd, what a crowd,” were Trump’s first words when he stepped to the microphone.
“There aren’t too many people outside protesting, that I can tell you,” Trump quickly added, before going on to marvel at the size of the crowd, and noting that some people were still in line waiting to get in.
Trump then issued a call for unity.
“We all share the same home, the same dreams and the same hopes for a better future,” he said. “A wound inflicted on one member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt. And one American suffers an injustice, all of America suffers together. We’re all together.”
But quickly, Trump became animated and began a broadside against the “very dishonest media,” as the crowd booed loudly. Apparently lifted by the energy of the crowd, Trump quickly moved off script.
“I have a home in Charlottesville,” Trump quipped, before attacking the media and re-reading his initial statements from after Charlottesville, claiming repeatedly that he was misrepresented by the press. He did not repeat his call for blame on “many sides.”
Trump derided The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN — the crowd chanted “CNN sucks!” — and “little George Stephanopoulos” of ABC.
The crowd roared along with each attack, as Trump was repeatedly interrupted by protesters, one of whom he berated for not having a “powerful voice.”…
Large protests were planned near the Phoenix Convention Center, where Trump appeared.
Arizona is not exactly friendly territory for Trump to begin with. He carried the state in November by less than four points, a slim margin in a state that hasn’t gone Democratic in a presidential race since 1996. Neither of the state’s Republican senators, Jeff Flake and John McCain, supported him on Election Day. Flake never endorsed Trump, and McCain withdrew his support after a tape surfaced in October in which Trump bragged about groping women.