U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday basked in the cheers of his supporters in the rural heartland of America, far from the controversies of Washington and investigations linking his campaign to Russia’s meddling in last year’s election.
At a campaign rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Trump told the crowd of admirers, “It’s always terrific to be able to leave that Washington swamp and be able to spend time with the truly hardworking people. We call them American patriots.”
Trump spoke for more than an hour, defending achievements during his first five months in the White House, which he said the “fake news,” his derisive term for the mainstream U.S. news media, had largely ignored.
He praised his supporters and ignored occasional hecklers in the crowd, saying, “We have the hardest working, the smartest people, the toughest people.”
Trump’s Cabinet includes numerous wealthy individuals and he defended his choice of two of them, top economic adviser Gary Cohn and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“In those particular positions, I just don’t want a poor person,” Trump said.
It was Trump’s fifth campaign-style rally since taking office, all in states he won on his path to a four-year term as the U.S. leader. Trump has already declared he will run for re-election in 2020.