HARRISBURG, Pa. — President Donald Trump marked his 100th day in office Saturday with a factory tour and a rally of the faithful in central Pennsylvania, returning to the populist and protectionist themes that fueled his improbable path to the White House.
For Trump, the Saturday night rally in Harrisburg was a chance, after his turbulent debut in the White House, to bathe in the support of bedrock supporters and reaffirm his determination to shake up what he has called the toxic, festering "swamp" of Washington.
Trump scheduled the rally in lieu of attending the annual dinner of the White House Correspondents' Association, which was held simultaneously in a hotel ballroom in Washington. The president's senior staff boycotted the dinner as a show of solidarity with their boss.
Trump spent the first nearly 15 minutes of his speech in Harrisburg focused almost entirely on the news media.
"There is another big gathering taking place tonight in Washington, D.C. Did you hear about it?" Trump asked the crowd. "A large group of Hollywood actors and Washington media are consoling each other in a hotel ballroom in our nation's capital right now."
"I could not possibly be more thrilled to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp," he added, calling the news media's coverage of him a "disgrace."
The president had kinder words for China, saying its president, Xi Jinping, was trying "very, very hard" to temper the flaring tensions over North Korea.
Trump hailed his administration's efforts to reduce illegal border crossings into the United States. "The world is getting the message: If you try to illegally enter the United States, you will be caught, detained, deported or put in prison. It will happen."
He vowed to fulfill his vow to build a wall on the southern border. "If the Democrats knew what the hell they were doing, they would approve it," he said. "Obviously they don't mind the illegals pouring in, the drugs pouring in. They don't mind."
Trump said his administration would be "taking the fight to the sanctuary cities that shield the dangerous criminals from removal." He said his administration would target drug dealers and the violent gang members of MS-13 and remove them. "We are sending them the hell out of our country and back home to where they belong."