- Associated Press - Saturday, February 18, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on President Donald Trump (all times EST):

6:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s newest campaign rally sounds much like his old campaign rallies with promises of action on health care, taxes, crime and America’s southern border, among other issues.

Trump’s rhetoric often mirrors what he said for months in the run-up to Election Day, with familiar phrases like “we don’t win anymore” and “drain the swamp.” And it’s ending with a familiar tune, the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

Trump appeared early Saturday evening at an airplane hangar in Melbourne, Florida, to revisit his campaign promises and update supporters on the progress he’s made after just four weeks in office.

In the face of reports of chaos in his young administration, Trump is assuring supporters that the White House is “running smoothly, so smoothly.”

Trump is also castigating the news media, saying they are purveyors of “fake news” and part of the corrupt system.


6 p.m.

President Donald Trump is kicking off his campaign rally in central Florida castigating the news media as purveyors of “fake news” and part of the corrupt system.

Appearing at an airport hangar in Melbourne, Florida, Trump is telling cheering supporters that he wants to speak to them without the filter of the “fake news.” And he’s accusing the “dishonest media” of publishing one false story after another as his administration gets underway.

Trump says that when the media lie to the people, he will “never, ever let them get away with it.”

First lady Melania Trump introduced her husband at the rally, reciting the Lord’s Prayer before offering her own pledge to act in the best interest of all Americans as she pursues initiatives she says will impact women and children around the world.

Asked by reporters aboard Air Force One if a campaign rally was too early, Trump said that “life is a campaign” and that making America great again is a campaign. He added that “it’s not easy, especially when we’re also fighting the press and the media.”


4:35 p.m.

A supporter of President Donald Trump attending the president’s rally in central Florida says she wishes that certain media outlets wouldn’t be “so mean” to him, especially during news conferences.

A disabled veteran from Claremont, Florida, 60-year-old Cheryl Hall says she was a Trump campaign worker during the election.

As she waits for Trump at an airplane hangar at Orlando Melbourne International Airport near Melbourne Saturday afternoon, Hall says she’s not bothered by Trump’s remarks about the media, though she knows some do tell the truth and others don’t.

Hall also says that instead of always bringing up Russia, the news media should ask Trump about health care, taxes and jobs, issues that she calls her priorities and more important than Russia.


3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump plans to interview at least four potential candidates to be his national security adviser.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer says that Trump will interview his acting adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, as well as the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton.

Also set to speak with the president are Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.

The interviews are expected to take place Sunday while Trump stays at his private south Florida club, Mar-a-Lago.

Trump is scrambling to fill the vacancy left by the firing of Michael Flynn.


11:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is interviewing John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster for the job of national security adviser.

A White House official says both meetings will take place this weekend at the president’s private club in South Florida.

Trump is scrambling to fill the vacancy left by the firing of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn last week. The president has also expressed interest in former CIA Director David Petraeus, though Petraeus has not been interviewed by the president since Flynn’s forced resignation, according to the official.

The official was not authorized to discuss the interview process publicly and insisted on anonymity.

-By Julie Pace


10: 50 a.m.

President Donald Trump is out of Washington for the weekend. His plans include meetings at his Mar-a-Lago estate and a campaign rally in central Florida.

On Twitter Saturday, Trump touted his “many meetings this weekend at The Southern White House” and his “big” speech in Melbourne later in the day. He added: “A lot to talk about!”

Trump is trying to regain his footing following a series of crises that have threatened his young administration.

Trump may meet this weekend with potential candidates to replace his ousted national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn - retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward - turned down the offer.

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