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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Donald Trump defends debate, attacks media at Melbourne rally



Donald Trump held his first post-debate rally in the largest battleground state in the nation Tuesday, defending his debate performance, reviving many of his attack lines and using the opportunity to recast the media narrative of his first debate against Hillary Clinton.

"I knew I was going into a situation where you were going to have the largest audience in the history of television and I took a deep breath and pretended I was talking to my family,'' Trump said to the boisterous audience at the Orlando-Melbourne International Airport.

Buoyed by the cheering crowd, which Trump did not have during the debate, he pointed to the bank of media cameras and called out the "corrupt corporate media" whom he said has enabled Clinton.

"Without the corrupt mainstream media, she wouldn't have a chance,'' he said as the crowd cheered. He later urged the cameras to show the packed room, with people lined up along the balcony.

He estimated the crowd was 25,000, including 12,000 he said were waiting outside. "Fire marshal: Let 'em in,'' he shouted. Police said the total count was closer to 9,500. Story here.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 28, 2016 7:10am]


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