Donald Trump back in campaign mode after bumpy start to administration

Donald Trump back in campaign mode after bumpy start to administration

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After a tumultuous first four weeks in government, US President Donald Trump is out of the White House and back on the campaign trail.

Mr Trump is due to hold a campaign rally at an airport hangar in central Florida this afternoon as he seeks to regain his footing following a series of crises that have threatened his young administration.

For the US leader, the rally in Melbourne offers an opportunity to recapture the energy of his upstart campaign and to connect with his supporters.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Mr Trump wants to “speak directly to people across this county in an unfiltered way, in a way that doesn’t have any bias”.

During an appearance yesterday at a Boeing plant in South Carolina, Mr Trump slipped back into his “America First” campaign message with ease.

“America is going to start winning again, winning like never ever before,” he said, as the company showed off its new 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft.

“We’re not going to let our country be taken advantage of any more in any way, shape or form.”

Big, rowdy rallies were the hallmark of Mr Trump’s presidential campaign. He continued to take part in them, although with smaller crowds, throughout the early part of the transition, during what he called a “thank you” tour.

The event on Saturday is being put on by Mr Trump’s campaign, rather than the White House.
Asked if it was a rally for the 2020 election, Ms Sanders called it “a campaign rally for America”.

Mr Trump himself promoted his appearance on Twitter: “Looking forward to the Florida rally tomorrow. Big crowd expected!”

Since taking office, Donald Trump has lurched from one problem to the next, including the botched roll-out of his immigration order, struggles confirming his Cabinet choices and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.

Mr Trump’s reset effort started on Thursday with a marathon press conference where he defended his administration and denounced the “criminal” leaks that took down his top national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

He used the platform to complain about the political press and to brag that his administration is a “fine-tuned machine”.

On Friday, even as Mr Trump sought to get out of Washington and talk about job creation, he continued to rail against the media online.

He tweeted: “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

Mr Trump is set to spend the US holiday weekend at what he calls his “Winter White House” – his Mar-a-Lago resort.

While there, he is also expected to continue deliberations on whom to appoint as his next national security adviser.

On Monday, Mr Trump demanded the resignation of national security adviser Michael Flynn following revelations that Mr Flynn had misled US vice president Mike Pence about Mr Flynn’s contacts with Russia.

Mr Trump’s first choice to replace Mr Flynn – retired Vice Admiral Robert Harward – turned down the offer.
The White House said Mr Trump might interview national security candidates at his estate over the weekend.

FBI director James Comey left a meeting with senators on the intelligence committee on Friday afternoon.
Neither Mr Comey nor the senators would discuss the subject of the meeting, but it followed reports that the FBI had interviewed Mr Flynn about his contacts in late December with Russian officials.

Mr Trump tweeted on Friday that “General Keith Kellogg, who I have known for a long time, is very much in play for NSA – as are three others”.

Gen Kellogg, who is serving as the acting national security adviser, travelled to South Carolina with Mr Trump aboard Air Force One.

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