Back on 'campaign' trail, Trump rails against 'dishonest' media at Florida rally – The rally came on the back of an aggressive press conference on Thursday in which Trump embarked on a lengthy tongue-lashing of the news media.
President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the AeroMod International hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport on February 18, 2017, in Melbourne, Florida. (AFP)
Less than a month into his tumultuous presidency, Donald Trump stepped back into familiar turf with a "campaign rally" in Florida where he continued his tirade against "dishonest media" and insisted that his administration was running "so smoothly".
Cheered on by a 9,000-strong crowd packed into an airport hangar in Melbourne, Florida, the President said he wanted speak to his supporters without the filter of "fake news".
A visibly frustrated and agitated Trump also vowed to never let the media "get away with lies".
"I will do whatever I can that they don't get away with it," he said, alleging that media has its own agenda. "And their agenda is not your agenda."
The rally, similar in style to the ones during his presidential bid, came on the back of an aggressive press conference on Thursday in which Trump embarked on a lengthy tongue-lashing of the news media.
Though it wasn't clear what exactly Trump was "campaigning" for, he sought to assure his supporters that all was well with his administration, rebutting allegations that there were differences within the White House.
"You've seen what we've accomplished in a very short period of time. The White House is running so smoothly. So smoothly," he said, repeating his claim that he had inherited "one big mess".
"The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources, even though they pretend they have them. They make them up in many cases," he said.
"They (media) just don't want to report the truth. And they've been calling us wrong now for two years. They don't get it. But they're starting to get it," he said. "They have become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system."
But despite "all the lies, misrepresentations and false stories", the media could not defeat him in the election, he said. "We will continue to expose them for what they are. And most importantly, we will continue to win, win, win." It has been a chaotic four weeks for Trump. The tenure began with a controversy over the size of his inauguration crowd, which was followed by US federal courts halting his executive order that imposed a travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The past week also saw a furore over national security adviser Michael Flynn's alleged ties with Russia, culminating in his resignation from the post.
Reports have suggested that there are problems within his White House with sharp differences among his key team members.
In his first major rally after being sworn in as the 45th President of the United States, Trump said he wanted to be among friends and the people. "I want to be in a room filled with hardworking American patriots who love their country, who salute their flag, and who pray for a better future. I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news," he said.
He also repeated some of his major campaign promises like keeping the US safe by strengthening its borders. He vowed to rebuild the country's military and develop a plan to "totally destroy" ISIS. Trump also said he has started taking steps to bring back jobs to the country and "revive" the economy.
Earlier, talking to reporters travelling with him on Air Force One on his way to Melbourne, Trump said he was likely to make an announcement on the new national security advisor within a couple of days. "I have many, many that want the job that want to be a part of it, I'll make a decision in the couple of days, but we're meeting with actually four of them tomorrow, all of whom want it," Trump said. "I've been thinking about someone for the last three or four days, we'll see what happens. I'm meeting with that person. They're all good, they're all great people," he said.
Asked if it was too early to be holding a campaign event, Trump said, "For me, it's a campaign. To make America great again is absolutely a campaign. It's not easy, especially when we're also fighting the press," he said. "Life is a campaign. Making our country great again is a campaign," he said.