'The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly,' Trump said. Photograph: (Reuters)
Trump was trying to sell his turbulent, month-long presidency's achievements
A month into his presidency, US president Donald Trump addressed a campaign-style rally in Melbourne, Florida.
Speaking at an airport hanger, Trump told several thousand of his supporters that he is fulfilling his campaign promises to shrink government, rebuild the military, and repeal and replace health care reforms brought by his predecessor Barack Obama.
A rally of this sort -- campaign-style -- is unusual for a sitting president but his month-long presidency has been turbulent and Trump was here to bypass what he calls the "dishonest media" and talk directly to the people to sell the achievments of his fledgling -- some would say floundering -- government.
"I also want to speak to you without the filter of the fake news," Trump said.
"This will be change for the ages," he added.
"The White House is running so smoothly, so smoothly," he said.
In reality, newspapers have continued to report his campaign's ties with Russia before the election, his national security adviser was forced to resign 24 days into the job, and a cabinet nominee had to withdraw amidst controversy.
Trump told his supporters that he is fulfilling his promises to shrink government, rebuild the military, and repeal and replace health care reforms brought by his predecessor Barack Obama
And Trump attacked the media.
"The dishonest media, which has published one false story after another, with no sources... they just don’t want to report the truth," he said.
"They’ve become a big part of the problem. They are part of the corrupt system."
Highlighting how his pro-growth agenda has led some US firms to commit to domestic investment, he said, "We're going to start producing jobs like you've never seen before".
He also spoke about cracking down on terrorism, saying that he has asked defense secretary James Mattis to draft a "plan to totally destroy ISIS," the Islamic State extremist group.
"I've ordered decisive action to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country," he said, AFP reported.
Meanwhile, demonstrators hit the streets across the United States on Saturday as thousands continue to gather to protest Trump’s immigration policies.
While Trump defended his executive order at the Florida rally, protesters said they will continue to march.
"Well, the fact that my mom was is an immigrant currently, and I just feel like I need to do this for her so she gets the rights she needs because this whole time she's working hard to provide for us, and of course she's part of this country just like all of us, and I'm here fighting for her and my father," one woman marching in Los Angeles told Reuters.
In New York, anti-Trump protesters staged a New Orleans-style mock funeral for the “American Presidency”.
Hundreds of protesters, many of them wearing black mourning clothes, rallied at Manhattan's Washington Square Park with a cardboard casket that symbolically contained "The American Presidency".
The dates for the “birth and death” of the presidency were printed on the casket as April 30, 1789, when George Washington was inaugurated as the country's first president, and January 20, 2017, when Trump was sworn in.
"We wanted to plan a funeral on (in) honour of Presidents' Day. Every single one of these presidents you see passing before you, they all had problems. But nothing like what we're seeing from this presidency or this administration," organiser Christina Chapman from the anti-Trump protest group Rise and Resist told Reuters.
(WION with inputs from agencies)