Trump says he's brought 'profound change' to Washington

2017-04-29 21:36
(Evan Vucci, AP)

(Evan Vucci, AP)

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Washington - President Donald Trump on Saturday marked his 100th day in office by saying he had brought "profound change" to Washington and reaffirming that "my only allegiance" is to those he governs.

On a threshold that Trump has both derided and tried to define, the president also said he is putting Americans first even as he learns on the job.

"My only allegiance is to you, our wonderful citizens," Trump said in his weekly radio address.

Continued defiance

It was a preview of a day on which Trump was travelling to Pennsylvania to emphasise such priorities as American manufacturing, better trade deals for the US and his underdog victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November. He also was promoting a still-to-be defined tax cut plan and the nation's strong economy, on which many of his political fortunes rest.

Meanwhile, North Korea's missile launch on Saturday signalled its continued defiance against the US, China and other nations, on which Trump tweeted: "Bad!"

Trump's 100th day events are set in politically important Pennsylvania, which he won with 48%. It was the first time the state had voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George HW Bush in 1988.

Trump planned to sign an executive order directing the Commerce Department and the US trade representative to conduct a study of US trade agreements. The goal is to determine whether America is being treated fairly by its trading partners and the 164-nation World Trade Organisation.

Trump was scheduled to visit the AMES Companies in Pennsylvania's Cumberland County, which has manufactured shovels since 1774. He was then to hold a campaign-style rally in Harrisburg, the state capital. Democrats are planning their own rally nearby.

Trump's 100-day rally was a bit of counter-programming from the former reality television star. Back in Washington, media organisations and a few stars were gathering on Saturday for the annual White House Correspondents Association Dinner. Trump, who has derided journalists as "dishonest" and even enemies of the American people, is the first president since 1981 to stay away from the event. That year, Ronald Reagan was recovering from an assassination attempt.

Campaign promises

At the 100-day mark, Trump chose instead to spend the evening with people who helped elect him and, polls show, remain largely in his corner. Though the White House created a website touting its accomplishments of the first hundred days, Trump has tried to downplay the importance of the marker, perhaps out of recognition that many of his campaign promises have gone unfulfilled.

"It's a false standard, 100 days," Trump said while signing an executive order on Friday, "but I have to tell you, I don't think anybody has done what we've been able to do in 100 days, so we're very happy".

His rally in Pennsylvania will give him a chance "to talk to voters about what he has done over the past 100 days and how he sees the next 100 days and the 100 days after that," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said.

A failed effort to overhaul President Barack Obama's health care law behind him, Trump is turning to what he's billed as the nation's biggest tax cut. It apparently falls short of Reagan's in 1981, and tax experts are skeptical that the plan would pay for itself, as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has claimed.

The economy, so far, has been Trump's ally. Polls show that Americans feel slightly better about his job performance on that subject than his job performance overall.


Read more on:    world trade organisation  |  donald trump  |  us

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