President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence held a raucous rally in Ohio on Thursday, celebrate their victory in the US presidential election.
After thanking the crowd, Trump said, “America is going to start winning again, big league.”
The president-elect’s remarks Thursday night closely resembled his campaign speech, touching upon his positions on the US economy, jobs, domestic policy, and immigration.
Trump’s speech also included the announcement of a new Cabinet appointee, retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis for the role of defence secretary.
“But we’re not announcing it until Monday, so don’t tell anybody,” Trump said.
Notably, Trump also appeared to take a stand against far-right, white-supremacist, nationalist groups who have latched on to his coattails: “We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all its forms. We denounce all of the hatred and forcefully reject the language of exclusion,” he said to some applause and cheers.
Trump also revived his attacks on news organisations, pointing directly to reporters covering the rally inside the arena: “The people back there the extremely dishonest press. Very dishonest people. … I mean how dishonest,” before going on a lengthy tirade against journalists and pundits who predicted he would lose to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
The event comes nearly three weeks after Trump’s surprise victory, and amid a bustle of new Cabinet appointments ahead of the president-elect’s inauguration on January 20.
The rally at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati also played out under the lingering spectre of vote recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted dismissed those efforts in remarks at the event, saying “as your chief elections official, I signed the document certifying President-elect Donald Trump as the winner of the state of Ohio.”
The crowd erupted.
Calling the results “remarkable,” Husted said “he won by a margin of 450,000 in our state.”
A handful of speakers representing the state delivered remarks applauding Trump’s positions on domestic and immigration policy as the crowd chanted in fits and starts — at one point reviving the “drain the swamp” and “build the wall” chants that were often heard on the campaign trail.
Since the election, however, Trump has not spent much time with staffers in charge of briefing him daily on classified intelligence matters, and has added some billionaire Wall Street bankers to his Cabinet despite railing against such individuals before he was elected.
All told, Trump will preside over the wealthiest Cabinet in US history, according to the Los Angeles Times, if his picks are ultimately confirmed by Congress.
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