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Trump lashes out at 'fake, disgusting news' as he denies being late for meeting with the Queen

Afternoon tea with monarch was 'beautiful', US president says while trashing journalists covering his speech

Jon Sharman
Friday 03 August 2018 16:13 BST
Trump claims Queen was late to meet him, not the other way around

Donald Trump has lashed out at “the fake, fake, disgusting news” at his most recent rally and denied claims he was late for his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II in July.

The US president said he was in fact early for the encounter at Windsor Castle and that his time with the “incredible” monarch – nearly an hour in all – was “beautiful”.

“We got along fantastically well, and the time went by, you know, sometimes if you like somebody you get along, good chemistry, the time goes by. So we were there for about an hour,” he added, gesturing to reporters gathered to cover his rally in Pennsylvania.

“But they can make anything bad because they are the fake, fake, disgusting news.”

While the Queen was standing in Windsor Castle’s grounds for some minutes awaiting Mr Trump’s arrival, the billionaire and his wife Melania arrived in a motorcade on time for the 5pm meeting, video from CNN showed.

A limited number of media organisations reported the pair were late while others said they were on time.

In Pennsylvania, a state he took from the Democrats in 2016 and which is home to a senate seat he hopes to secure for the Republicans in this autumn’s midterm elections, Mr Trump launched further attacks on journalists.

“Whatever happened to the free press? Whatever happened to honest reporting?” he asked, pointing to the media at the back of the hall. “They don’t report it. They only make up stories.”

Time and time again, he denounced the press for underselling his accomplishments and doubting his political rise.

He claimed reporters had diminished what he accomplished at his Singapore summit with North Korea leader Kim Jong-un; he complained about the tough questioning he received in Helsinki when he met Russia’s Vladimir Putin last month; and he began his rally speech with a 10-minute remembrance of his 2016 election night victory, bemoaning that Pennsylvania was not the state to clinch the White House for him only because “the fake news refused to call it”.

“They were suffering that night, they were suffering,” he said of the election-night pundits. He then promised that the Keystone State would deliver his margin of victory “next time”. “Only negative stories from the fakers back there,” the president said.

With each denunciation, the crowd jeered and screamed at the press in the holding pen.

The inflammatory performance came hours after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to distance herself from Mr Trump’s previous assertions that the media is the “enemy” of the American people.

Pressed during a White House briefing on the issue, she said the president “has made his position known”.

In a heated exchange with reporters, she recited a litany of complaints against the press and blamed the media for inflaming tensions.

“As far as I know, I’m the first press secretary in the history of the United States that’s required Secret Service protection,” she said, accusing the media of continuing “to ratchet up the verbal assault against the president and everyone in this administration”.

Mr Trump was in Pennsylvania to promote the campaign of candidate Lou Barletta.

Additional reporting by agencies

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