Return to Transcripts main page


President Trump addresses what he calls a campaign rally in Melbourne, Florida. Aired 6-7p ET

Aired February 18, 2017 - 18:00   ET


DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And my administration has begun plans to crack down on foreign cheating and currency manipulation, which is killing our companies and really, really hurting our workers. We're going to end it.

Within a few days of taking the oath of office, I've taken steps to begin the construction of the Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipelines. Anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 jobs.

And very importantly, as I was about to sign it, I said who makes the pipe? Who makes the pipe? Something this audience understands very well, right? Simple question.

The lawyers put this very complex document in front. I said who makes the pipe. They said, sir, it can be made anywhere. I said not anymore. So, I put a little clause in the bottom, the pipe has to be made in the United States of America if we're going to have pipelines.

We believe in two simple rules - and I can tell you everybody in this massive - this is a massive hangar. This is for the big planes. And by the way, do you think that one media group back there, that one network will show this crowd? Not one. Not one. They won't show the crowd.

Coming in on the plane, and that plane represents so much - and just so you know they were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One. Can you believe this? I said no way. I said I refuse to fly in a $4.2 billion airplane. I refuse.

So, I got Boeing in - and it is actually two planes. A lot of people don't know. The Air Force One project is actually two planes. Why they need two planes, we'll have to talk about that, but they have two planes.

But we've got that price down by over $1 billion and I probably haven't spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project. But I got the generals in, who were fantastic. I got Boeing in. But I told Boeing, it's not good enough. We're not going to do if the price is still too high.

On the F-35 fighter jet, we were hundreds of billions of dollars over budget, seven years late. Great plane. Lockheed Martin. A great plane. So, think of it, they're seven years late. They're hundreds of billions of dollars over budget. Other than that, by the way, the project is going extremely well. And I got the folks in from Lockheed Martin, who were terrific people - and a terrific product, by the way - I also got Boeing in, I said, do me a favor, give me a competing offer and now they're competing and fighting and we've gotten hundreds of millions of dollars off the price of a plane that was going to be ordered.

In other words, if my opponent got in, there would've been no calls made to Lockheed and Boeing. They would have signed contracts. So, they're going to make plenty of money, but it's going to be a lot less than they would've made without Trump. That I can tell you. You might as well know about it. This, nobody talks.

And by the way, that's for fighter jets. One of the biggest orders in the history of aviation, the order for the F-35, you've been reading about it because it was a disaster under the last administration. A disaster. And now, we have it running beautifully.

In fact, when the Prime Minister of Japan - Prime Minister Abe, who is great, great guy, when he came over, he said thank you. I said for what. You saved us many, many millions of dollars on the F-35 fighter jet because when I negotiated, I took our allies into the same negotiation. So, the first thing he did was he thanked me for saving their money, and that's good, OK? That's good.

I know the media will never thank me, so at least Japan is thanking me, right?

But we believe in two simple rules. Buy American and hire American. We believe in them. We've just issued a new order which requires that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.

[18:05:11] And by the way, a new director was just approved. Can you imagine the length of time it's taking the Democrats? And I actually think it's an embarrassment to them, but this is getting in to be record-setting territory.

These are incredible people. Scott Pruitt was just approved - just now approved for the Environmental Protection Agency. He'll do so good. He'll do so good. But he won't have projects going 10 and 12 years and then getting rejected.

And they may be rejected, but they'll be rejected quickly. But for the most part, they're going to be accepted, they're going to be environmentally friendly and he is going to be a great secretary. He will be amazing. So, we're very happy that took place yesterday.

That's going to be a big difference because they were clogging up the veins of our country with the environmental impact statements and all of the rules and regulations. It was impossible to navigate for companies.

And what did it really mean? Forget about the companies. What did it mean? It meant no jobs. It meant companies leaving our country and going to foreign countries to do things that they'd rather do here. So, we're going to have a whole big situation. We are going to unfree all of those companies. They are going to be - they're going to have freedom. They're going to be able to build what they want to build. It will be environmentally friendly and we're going to start producing jobs, like you've never seen before. That's going to happen. That was a big thing.

We're standing up for the incredible men and women always of law enforcement. We're standing up. And I can tell you, the military and law enforcement, they stood up big - I don't say for me. I'm the messenger, folks. I'm the messenger.

They stood up for us in this last election. We got numbers that nobody believed were possible from law enforcement and from military, basically people that wear uniforms like us. Isn't that nice?

And I saw this man on television just now. You. I just saw him on television. He said I love Trump. Let Trump do what he has to do. That's my guy right there. It's true.

Come here. Come here. No, I just - I'm coming in. That's OK. Let him up. Let him up. I'm not worried about him. I'm only worried he's going to give me a kiss. I'm not worried about anything else. This guy is so great. He was one of many people - they're interviewing people in the line. And I have to say, there's a tiny group of protesters out there and they were given as much publicity as this massive room packed with people.

But they interviewed this man. Come on up here. Come on up. The guy was great. Hop over the fence. Come on. He can do it. This guy is in good shape. Look at him. Look at this guy. Come on. This guy is great. Don't worry about him. No, no, come here. Come on up. Come here. Come here.

This guy, so he's been all over television saying the best things and I see him standing. I think you got here like at 4 in the morning.


TRUMP: Say a couple of words to this crowd.

HUBER: Mr. President, thank you, sir. We, the people, our movement is the reason why our president of the United States is standing here in front of us today. When President Trump, during the election, promised all these things that he was going to do for us, I knew he was going to do this for us. Mr. President, thank you so much, sir.

TRUMP: A star is born. A star is born. Thank you, man. Thank you. Take care. That's fine.


[18:10:11] I wouldn't say that Secret Service was thrilled with that, but we know our people, right? We know our people. He's a great guy. And so many others. I see some others that were being interviewed, I see them over here. They started - they came at 4 in the morning. The media will give them no credit. The media, as I told you, they won't show this crowd. Look at that, all the way outside of this. And this is as big a hangar as you get, all the way outside, way back to the fences. Amazing. I want to thank you. But I want to thank everybody.

So, I've directed the Department of Justice to take a firm, firm stance to protect our cops, sheriffs and police from crimes of violence against them. We will work with our police, not against our police. Our police do a great job and they've never been troubled like they're troubled now. It's very unfair what's happening. So, we want to cherish our law enforcement. And we will always protect those who protect us.

We've directed the creation of a task force for reducing violent crime in America, including our inner cities. We're going to make our inner cities safe again. Look at what's going on. Look at what's happening in Chicago. Hundreds of shootings, hundreds of deaths.

I'll tell you what's happening in Chicago and many of the places - safety is a civil right and we will fight to make America totally safe again. I've ordered the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice to coordinate on a plan to destroy transnational criminal cartels, which are all over the United States and we are going to stop the drugs from pouring into your country, into your community, into your cities and poisoning our youth. We're stopping it. We're stopping it.

We've taken historic action to secure the southern border and I've ordered the construction of a great border wall, which will start very shortly.

And I've taken decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country. So, you've probably read, where we want to enforce the laws as existing, and so we signed an order couple of weeks ago and it was taken over by a court, originally by a judge and then a -


TRUMP: Yes, it's very sad. And the reason is for protection and safety. So, the statute is so plain and so clear - I said last week, I was speaking to a great group of sheriffs, the sheriffs group in Washington, and I said if you have a college education, you can understand it; if you have a high school education, you can understand it; if you were a bad student in high school, you can understand it.

And I was told - I'll check - but I found it hard to believe, in an over 30-page decision by the appellate court, three judges, and you could tell by the way they were reacting because it was broadcast on television and everything we do gets a lot of people watching. So, you could tell by the way that phone call went wasn't looking good.

And when they wrote their decision, as I understand it, maybe I'm wrong, but they didn't write the statute that we're making the decision about because every word of the statute is a total kill for the other side.

[18:15:04] So, I thought I'd read it and here's what it says. This is what it says. Whenever the president finds that the entry of any aliens or any class of aliens into the United States - OK, so essentially whenever somebody comes into the United States, right, if it would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, OK?

Now, you know the countries we're talking about and these were countries picked by Obama. They weren't even picked - they were picked by Obama. He may - so the president may by proclamation and for such period as he shall deem necessary - now because it's all - it should have said he or she, right? They were not politically correct when they do that. In fact, that's the only thing that was actually wrong with it. He or she. But I don't think the women care too much about that, right? I don't think so.

By the way, we did very well with women. My wife said, when some of these phony polls were put out, the CNN poll was so far off, the phony polls, but when some of these - she said, what's wrong with you and women. We did very nicely with women. We did nicely with a lot of groups that they didn't we're going to do so nicely with. I guess we had to. That's why we're all here tonight, right?

So, and it goes - and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens, as immigrants or non-immigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restriction he may deem to be appropriate. So, basically, it says the president has the right to keep people out if he feels it's not in the best interest of our country, right? Unbelievable. Unbelievable.

And I listen to these judges talk and talk and talk, so unfair. So, we'll be doing something over the next couple of days. We don't give up. We never give up. We had a court that I disagree with. I disagree with bigly. And by the way, whether you read it or whether you watch it on television when other lawyers come on, many of them can't even understand. They're saying, how do you come up with that decision. It cannot be more simple.

So, their ruling on what I just read you and they don't even quote it in their ruling because you can't because it's too obvious. So, we will do something next week. I think you'll be impressed. Let's see what happens. Here's the bottom line. We've got to keep our country safe. You look at what's happening. We've got to keep our country safe.

You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden. They took in large numbers. They're having problems like they never thought possible.

You look at what's happening in Brussels. You look at what's happening all over the world. Take a look at Nice. Take a look at Paris. We've allowed thousands and thousands of people into our country and there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing. So, we're going to keep our country safe. And we all have heart, by the way. And what I want to do is build safe zones in Syria and other places, so they can stay there and live safely until their cities and their country - that mess that I was left by Obama and everybody else - folks, we were left a mess like you wouldn't believe.

But we're going to build safe zones. We're going to have those safe zones - we do owe $20 trillion, OK? So, we're going to have the Gulf States pay for those safe zones. They have nothing but money and we're going to do it that way instead of taking massive numbers - tens of thousands of people into our country and we don't know anything about those people.

[18:20:07] We want people to come into our country, but we want people that love us, we want people that can cherish us and the traditions of our country. We want people that are going to be great for our country. We don't want people with bad, bad ideas. We don't want that.

I've also directed the defense community, headed by General - and now - you know, he said it. He said it. And now Secretary 'Mad Dog' Mattis to develop a plan to totally destroy ISIS. I have ordered the Department of Defense to begin plans for the great rebuilding of the United states military.

We will pursue peace through strength. Our military is badly depleted. You have planes in the military where the father flew them and now the son is flying them. They're so old. We make the best equipment anywhere in the world. We're going to start using our best and most modern equipment.

And we're going to make sure that our veterans have the care they need when they come home. We love our veterans. We're going to do a great job for our veterans. Our veterans have been very, very sadly treated. These are our great, great people. We owe them so much. Our veterans are going to be taken care of for once and for all.

Our system and our country has let down our veterans. We are not going to let that go on any further. You wait and you see what we're going to be doing for our great veterans. Thank you, veterans, for all - who is here? Who is a veteran? We're going to take care of our veterans.

We're going to downsize the bloated bureaucracy and make government lean and accountable. We are going to drain the swamp in Washington DC.


TRUMP: I've already imposed - I'm not sure they're too happy about it - a five-year lobbying ban on the executive branch officials and a lifetime ban on lobbying for a foreign government.

And there is another major promise I have kept to the American people. I've nominated a fantastic justice to replace the late great Justice Scalia. His name is Judge Neil Gorsuch. And he comes from my list of 20 very, very highly qualified judges.

He's an incredible - and he has an incredible resume. He's respected by all. His education is as good as it can get. His writings are truly amazing. He will be a true defender of our Constitution.

So, let's tell the Senate Democrats to support his nomination for the good of the country because what's happening with the Democrats - no wonder they're doing so badly. No wonder they're doing so badly. You take a look.

Race after race - I just want to tell you in case you didn't read it. Of course, you're reading the fake news, but the Democrats were supposed to win the presidency. That didn't happen. They were supposed to take over the Senate, that didn't happen. And they were supposed to take over potentially even the House. It was going to be, four weeks out, the greatest defeat in the modern history of American politics. And it was, but it was for the Democrats, not for the Republicans.

[18:25:12] So, we have to tell the Democrats because they're doing the wrong thing for the American people to stop their tactics of delay and obstruction and destruction. They got to get on with it.

My administration is also pushing ahead strongly with very historic tax reform. We are working to lower tax rates on the middle class, to reduce tax rates bigly on businesses, and to make our tax code more fair and very simple for all Americans, so it's understandable by everyone.

Senate Democrats should work with us to lower taxes and bring back our jobs, but the Democrats want to increase your taxes very, very substantially. We're not going to let that happen.

It's also time for the Senate Democrats to take responsibility for Obamacare and to work with us to replace it with new reforms that reverse this nationwide healthcare tragedy. It's a tragedy. You look at some states, Arizona up 116 percent, and your deductibles have gone so high that you can never use it. Obamacare doesn't work. It's become totally unaffordable.

Remember, they said, the healthcare, it's unaffordable. It doesn't work. And I said to the Republicans, I said you want to do something great politically, don't do anything. Sit back for two years, let it explode, the Democrats will come and beg for us to do something. But we can't do that to the American people. We have to fix it and we will.

We need members of both parties to join hands and work with us to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to build new roads and bridges and airports and tunnels and highways and railways all across our great nation.

You are all part of this incredible movement, this movement that we talk about so much, that's been written about on the cover of every magazine all over the world. It's a movement that is just sweeping - it's sweeping across our country. It's sweeping frankly across the globe. Look at Brexit. Look at Brexit. Much smaller example, but it's still something you can look at.

People want to take back control of their countries and they want to take back control of their lives and the lives of their family. The nation-state remains the best model for human happiness and the American nation remains the greatest symbol of liberty, of freedom and justice on the face of God's Earth.

And now, we have spirit like we've never had before. It's now that we have our sacred duty and we have no choice and we want this choice to defend our country, to protect its values and to serve its great, great citizens.

Erasing national borders does not make people safer or more prosperous. It undermines democracy and trades away prosperity. We're giving it away. The so-called global elite have done very well for themselves, but have left working families with shrinking wages. Really, I mean they are shrinking.

18 years ago, many of you in this room rule made more money working one job than you're making right now working two and three jobs. Instead of peace, we've seen wars that never end and conflicts that never seem to go away.

We don't fight to win. We fight politically correct wars. We don't win anymore. We don't win at trade. We don't win in any capacity. We don't win anymore. We're going to start winning again, believe me.

[18:30:00] And we have the chance now, working together, to deliver change for the ages. This will be change for the ages, change like never before to pursue real peace, real stability and real prosperity.

We want to secure our borders and protect our workers, to rebuild our military and our infrastructure, to fix our schools and restore safety to our neighborhoods, to bring hope and opportunity to our inner cities, to ensure a level playing field for all women in the workforce, to reform our tax code and remove the regulations that undermine growth and innovation, and to replace chasms of distrust with new bridges of opportunity and cooperation.

We must ignore the tired echoes of yesterday's fights. We're fighting battles that no longer help us. We're fighting battles that other people aren't treating us fairly in the fight.

I'm a NATO fan, but many of the countries in NATO, many of the countries that we protect, many of these countries are very rich countries, they're not paying their bills. They are not paying their bills. They have to help us. No longer are we chained down by the discredited approaches of the past, no longer must we listen to those who have nothing to brag about, but failure.

New circumstances demand new solutions. Americans have fought and won wars together. Our heroes have shed their blood together and lost their lives. Our citizens have raised their children together, fought for justice together, and shared common hopes and dreams from one generation to the next, stretching back to the first day of our American independence. This is our legacy. It belongs to all of you and it belongs to every man, woman and child in our nation. Now is the time to call upon these deep ties in the name of bold action. Let us move past the differences of party and find a new loyalty rooted deeply in our country. We're all brothers and all sisters. We share one home, one destiny and one glorious American flag.

We're united together by history and by providence. We will make America strong again. I promise. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again. Greater than ever before. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much.

(Music Plays)

PAMELA BROWN, CNN HOST, NEWSROOM: Well, there you heard. President Trump giving what sounded very much like a campaign stump speech at this hangar in Melbourne, Florida. He talked about what he wants to accomplish now that he is president and he also talked about some of what he views as accomplishments since he's been in the White House.

He was introduced by the First Lady Melania and she read the Lord's prayer. We haven't heard from Melania much since she became First Lady, but she introduced her husband, President Trump, there today and we have a large panel joining us now to discuss what we just heard from President Trump and what was dubbed as a campaign speech. Our political commentators Ryan Lizza, Alice Stewart, Jeffrey Lord, Marc Lamont Hill joining us now.

And, Jeffrey Lord, I want to go to you on the heels of - I'm sorry, Alice Stewart, I want to go to you because we're waiting Jeffrey to join us.

Alice, no surprise, he began his speech going after the media as he has done time and time again and calling the media fake and saying that he wanted to go speak to the American people directly and get through the filter of the news media. Here's what he said.


[18:35:03] TRUMP: The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another with no sources, even though they pretend they have them, they may come up in many cases, they 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. I can tell you that. They've become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system.

Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln and many of our greatest presidents fought with the media and called them out oftentimes on their lies. When the media lies to people, I will never, ever let them get away with it. I will do whatever I can that they don't get away with it. They have their own agenda.


BROWN: There you heard, President Trump. And he referred to Thomas Jefferson there, Alice, but when you go back and look at what Thomas Jefferson actually said about the media, he said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."

That's one of the many statements he made basically in favor of the media. He was a founding father. Freedom of the press is in the First Amendment. What do you make of Donald Trump's comments there?

ALICE STEWART, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: I think it's important also in Thomas Jefferson's comment, as he says, no government should be without censors. And I think it's important that we do have the media and those in journalism to be the fourth estate and keep a check and balance on what happens in government.

Clearly, Donald Trump doesn't see it that way. He feels - a broad- brush across the board - the media reports lies and nothing but lies, and it's up to him to call attention to it. And there are certain instances where he may have a case, but I believe from a communication standpoint, it's not a good idea to have a blanket comment and complete overall statement that all media and all reports are lies because I don't think it's true.

But, clearly, that's the way he believes, that's what he feels, and that's why he mentions this right off the top because he feels time and time again, he has to bypass the media and speak directly to the people. That's why he's having rallies speaking to the people. That's why he tweets at all hours of the day and night to get what his idea and his message of the day is because he wants to bypass the media.

He's set the stage for the reason for him being there, for the most part, right out of the gate, and then he rattled off the key points that he wanted to make, which is his commitment to safe streets and securing the border, repealing/replacing Obamacare, and fighting radical Islamic terrorism, and those were the key points that he wanted to make, but clearly his condemnation on the media is something that is not going to go away.

BROWN: And just for perspective, we have Jeffrey Lord here finally and I believe I saw Julian Zelizer earlier, but I don't know where he has gone.

So, Jeffrey Lord, what was your take from hearing what the president said? This was a president who was coming to speak to his supporters without a specific agenda, without promoting something specific.

He basically ticked through what he would like to accomplish and what he feels like he has already accomplished. Who was he speaking to today? What was the purpose? Do you think it was for him or for the people there in that airport hangar or both?

JULIAN ZELIZER (voice-over), PROFESSOR, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY: Both, I think, to some degree. But I think if you recall here, he called somebody out that he recognized from television from giving an interview and have the guy come up.


ZELIZER (voice-over): And talk. That's who he's talking to. In the literal and metaphorical sense, that's exactly who he's talking to. And when he had this press conference the other day, there was such a disconnect. I know my friends in the media had written large and in the political world were kind of rolling their eyes and, oh, this is awful, et cetera, et cetera, but I knew on the spot, and I've heard from people, how much they loved it and how much they appreciated it, et cetera.

There is a disconnect here. I, for one, would like to see a way - differences and divides in a political sense are not always bad. They're good, in the sense that you get to clarify ideas about what we should do going forward, but it is helpful here to understand - for instance, let me give you an example involving CNN. He talked about not showing the crowds. Well, I'm sitting here at home and eventually I saw CNN showing a crowd. Good. That's all.

BROWN: Thank you for pointing that out, Jeffrey Lord. We did. Go ahead.

[18:40:05] ZELIZER: That's a very reasonable thing to do. And I saw a number of crowd shots, that's good. Where the problem comes is, for example, in this whole business with this reporter and the anti- Semitism thing and the notion that he somehow dodged a question.

Well, he didn't dodge. I think he feels very strongly about anti- Semitism. His family is Jewish. One of his senior aides is his son- in-law, who is an Orthodox Jew for heaven's sakes. The Prime Minister of Israel says he's known him for years and that he is not anti- Semitic and is very pleased to be dealing with him.

So, it's those kind of things that need context, context, context all the time. I think that's, in essence, the complaint and I think that, over time, he could be to the press and the media - this has been going on for like 50 years in the television age. And I think, perhaps, he could be a Nixon-goes-to-China kind of moment here and work with the press.

The press should not be the president's copy boy. They should be independent, but they need to be fair. And I think that's all he's saying. And people like that guy up there that he got up there on that platform, that's what they are saying. I live among these folks all the time. They stop me all the time. That's what they're saying.

BROWN: But he's saying more than we need to be fair. He's saying we are fake. Everything we churn out is fake and he argued that that is undermining democracy, this perpetual message that he pushes out.

ZELIZER (voice-over): I don't think he's undermining democracy. I think he's into a debate. BROWN: Fair enough. He has every right to say whatever he wants to say. And, Ryan Lizza, on that note, this was very much vintage Donald Trump.

As I was watching this, I was reminded of how he was on the campaign trail before the election. This was very similar in terms of how he was and what he said. Clearly, his supporters in that airport hangar liked what they heard.

But what do you think? Do you think that this is a message that is resonating beyond just his base, his supporters that put him in the White House?

RYAN LIZZA, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes. Look, it was no different than most of his campaign speeches, almost all of the policy positions are consistent with what he was talking about last year, talking about the wall, talking about tax reform, talking about some of these other issues.

And then, a pretty serious defense of both the competence of his White House and the organization of the White House, which has really come under scrutiny for being chaotic and off to a very poor start; defense of his executive order, which has now been challenged by the courts to such a degree that the White House is actually going to rescind it.

So, you saw him read, sort of cherry-pick from the government's argument in that case and sort of scratches head about how the justices could not have agreed with him. But, as we know, he's actually going to sort of abandon that executive order.

Talking about some things that, I think, will be interesting up on the Hill. He reiterated his idea for a 35 percent tariff for countries that leave the United States. That's an idea that is extremely controversial among many Republicans.

And then, on foreign policy, I thought it was very interesting that he sent a very different signal to our European allies than even his vice president did this week. He talked about his - and I forget the exact word, but I believe it was - he said I'm a NATO fan, but - right? There's always a but. And he talked about NATO countries having to pay their fair share. There wasn't a sort of full throated defense of the Western alliance as a lot of our allies are looking for -

BROWN: Which is interesting because Mike Pence just did a full- throated defense.

LIZZA: Absolutely. So, the mixed signals continue.

And then, one thing on the Jefferson thing, I do - look, Jefferson complained about the press, especially after he was president. Most presidents complain about the press. That's not new.

But to use Thomas Jefferson, who was a pretty big fan of the First Amendment, if I'm remembering correctly, as a cudgel to attack the American media, I think is - does just not stand up to scrutiny. Remember, Jefferson may have criticized the media, but he did not see the media as an enemy of the American people. He never talked about it in those terms, although he did clearly attack the partisan press of his day.

BROWN: Well, it's a good thing we - well, hold on. I want to actually bring in our presidential historian here, Julian Zelizer, Professor of Princeton University, to put it into context.

Was there accuracy to what President Trump said about the presidents he named including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and their relationships with the media.

ZELIZER: Look, what's true is the media is often at odds with presidents. That's when they're serving their function. They're supposed to be a watchdog and there's many presidents who have complained about how they're treated by the press or even complained about certain parts of the press.

I do think, though, President Trump has opened up a much more aggressive frontal assault on the media as a total institution. Not just complaining about unfair treatment, but actually questioning the validity of the facts and figures that come out of the news.

[18:45:13] So, like with everything else, it's scale and scope. You can find pieces of what he's done before, but I think this is a different level in terms of how he's doing it.

BROWN: All right. I want to bring in Marc Lamont Hill. I want to get Marc's point of view because he hasn't had a chance to speak yet. And, Marc, you had a very sort of clear vision of what you wanted to hear from Donald Trump today. Did you hear it?

MARC LAMONT HILL, PROFESSOR, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE: I had a clear vision of what I wanted to hear. I also had a clear expectation of what we actually would hear. And I think my expectations were met. I said that this would be like a home game and it certainly was. He played to the audience that got him here.

He talked about his accomplishments in ways that may not speak to any kind of real personal responsibility, but would resonate with people. He said I saved you a billion dollars. Joe Smith will say, hey, that's a great thing. And it is a great thing, saving a billion dollars. But in the grand scheme of things, it's a relative drop in the bucket.

But those types of asides and anecdotes allow him to appear as someone who's coming out of the gate doing everything that he promised to do. He came out and really rallied the crowd. He talked about his vision long-term, but, again, I didn't see the type of specificity that I would have liked to hear from any president.

Again, doubling down on the attacks on media, not surprising at all. He called essentially everyone fake news. That is a very dangerous position to take. Again, he had an opportunity - before the speech, I said, he has an opportunity to reinforce what Vice President Pence said today, which is that they are firmly aligned with our NATO allies, that there is an opportunity here to really shore things up.

And instead, he did the both end thing. I'm attached to you guys, but pay your fair share, we're going to be tough on you all. It raises anxiety among people in neighboring countries and in the EU. It's a very dangerous proposition.

I think Donald Trump, again, did some interesting things here to shore up the base, but until he reaches across - the people across the street or who are across the proverbial political aisle or instilling some sense of progress, what we're going to find is that his approval numbers are going to drop.

And at some point, those dropping numbers are going to matter. You cannot govern through executive orders. At some point, you need actual legislation. At some point, you need to actually reach across the aisle. At some point, you need congressional involvement. At some point, you can't alienate the various branches of government and the media, which is a de facto fourth branch of government.

You can't do that and advance any substantive long-standing policy. That's a concern from those of us who are critics of Donald Trump and nothing today happened that made me feel any better about that.

BROWN: So, Jeffrey Lord, what do you have to say to Marc's concern?

LORD: Pamela, I want to call attention to one thing here. Since we're talking about presidents and the media, Franklin Roosevelt - President Franklin Roosevelt, and he experimented with this when he was Governor of New York, but he invented what is known to history as the fireside chat.

He took the relatively new medium of radio and began addressing the American people on a regular basis, sometimes even with rallies, and I believe those rallies were broadcast over the radio.

He did it for a political reason. He did it to get over the heads in the day - there being no television, he did it to get over the heads of Republican newspaper publishers around the country and get his message directly to the people. That's why they had fireside chats.

What you just saw is the 21st century version of Franklin Roosevelt's fireside chat. President Trump is not the first to do this. President Obama, on February 9, 2009, had a town hall televised meeting in Elkhart, Indiana because he was pushing his stimulus.

So, there's nothing really new about this, but this is, without doubt, the Trump version of the FDR fireside chat. And FDR's fireside chats were legend, they were very effective and I think these are going to be a very potent weapon for President Trump.


BROWN: Hold on. Go ahead, Julian.

ZELIZER: It's not untrue that this is an effort to communicate directly, just as FDR did. But FDR addressed issues like the banking crisis and tried to create calm nationally, not just with Democrats, but also with Republicans over the press are doing it, so that people felt as if he was talking directly to them. Literally to create calm as people were worrying about the bottom falling out.

So far, the way that President Trump does this, it's still much more of a direct partisan tool aimed at people who are loyal to them. So, there's a difference in the way that he imagines who his audience is.

BROWN: Let's hold our thoughts. Jeffrey Lord, that's a great tease for coming up after this break. And Marc Lamont Hill, I know you want to say something too. Everyone, standby. We have a lot more to discuss. We will be back right after this quick break. Stick around.



[18:54:00] TRUMP: Say a couple of words to this crowd.

HUBER: Mr. President, thank you, sir. We, the people, our movement is the reason why our president of the United States is standing here in front of us today. When President Trump, during the election, promised all these things that he was going to do for us, I knew he was going to do this for us.

Mr. President, thank you so much, sir.

TRUMP: A star is born. A star is born.


BROWN: All right. And we have Gene Huber joining us now, the Trump supporter - President Trump supporter who was there speaking on stage and what to be an impromptu invitation to the stage. Donald Trump, the president, pointed out, the Secret Service didn't seem too happy. But nonetheless, Gene, you got up there, you shook the president's hand and you said some words. What was that moment like for you?

[18:55:18] HUBER: I want to tell you something. It was the moment of my life. I will never, ever forget what just happened to me. I've been with Mr. President Trump for over two years, fighting battles, in and out, in and out of lies and terrible things always said about him. But we stuck together and it's just an amazing feeling where I'm at right now. That just is unbelievable.

BROWN: So, I have to ask you, there was a moment there where he sort of whispered something into your ear. What did he say?

HUBER: Oh, he said - he goes, you're great is what he told me. If I'm not mistaken, he said you are great because he saw me - because I was the first one on line. I got here at 4 in the morning. So, I got a lot of interviews from news people.

So, President Trump must have seen me on TV. So - and I told the reporter that I loved President Trump. And President Trump heard me say that and he told me that on stage. He goes - he said that he loves me. And I do with all my heart because he fights for us each and every second.

He didn't have to do this for us. He's 70 years old, a billionaire. A beautiful family. And this man comes out and works harder than anyone I've ever seen in my life. And that's why he's a winner.

BROWN: So, it's clear he saw you on television giving interviews. If he's watching right now, which he very well may, what would you want to say to him?

HUBER: What was that now? I did not hear that. I'm sorry.

BROWN: What would you want to say to him if he's watching right now. Clearly, he saw you earlier when you were giving interviews. What would you want to say to him now?

HUBER: To President Trump? I would just say, President Trump, I want to thank you so much for giving me this opportunity to come on stage like that.

Mr. President, I've been with you for two years. You've probably heard this. Every single second, every day, I'm with you. I've got a six-foot cardboard box of President Trump in my house. And I salute that every single day. And I pray and tell him, Mr. President, I pray for your safety today and I'm not lying. I do that every single day to the president, but it's cardboard.

BROWN: Let me ask you. You said you've been with him from the very beginning. What is it about his message that has resonated with you, Gene?

HUBER: It's just the way he speaks the truth. It comes from the heart. That's the most important thing. It comes from his heart and he speaks the truth. That's what we believe and us - our movement believes.

Just look how - look at what he's started. Look at it. Look at what President Trump says. There's never been a movement like this ever, ever. I've never been into politics in my life up until President Trump came down the elevator. And he taught me everything. And He taught me everything.

BROWN: So, he's been in office, he's been president for nearly a month. What's your take so far on how he's done?

HUBER: He is doing fantastic. There's no words to describe what this man is doing. He promised to do this. He promised to do that. You have a lot of those supporters out there. I have family members that say to me they voted for President Trump, I hope he does this, I hope he can do this. You know what I say? He will do this. That's why I love this man because he's smart, he gets it, and he's going to change the world. He's going to change the world, folks.

BROWN: Gene Huber, clearly, you are a big supporter of President Trump. And like you said, this is a moment today that you will never forget, being invited on stage by the president to say a few words. Thank you so much, Gene, for coming on talking to us. We do appreciate it.

HUBER: Can I just say one quick thing?

BROWN: Quickly.

HUBER: Ma'am? Yes, very quick. Appreciate the interview. Let's just be a little, little nicer to our president. Thank you so much.

BROWN: I was waiting for a comment like that from a Trump supporter considering he calls us fake news. Thank you so much, Gene Huber.

The next hour of NEWSROOM starts now.