WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump’s speech Friday to a leading conservative group was like a series of greatest hits from his campaign rallies.
Speaking to the crowd Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference, he reminisced about his victory in the Republican primaries and credited conservatives with overcoming concerns and supporting him.
“I love this place, I love you people,” he said. “It’s patriots like you that made it happen, believe me.”
He said his victory represents a new movement in America, saying “we are a nation that put and will put its own citizens first.”
Last year, Trump skipped the event and the group put its support behind Sen. Ted Cruz. This time around, the president got a warm welcome and a standing ovation.
“Yesterday, I sat in a room and they actually asked how many people supported Trump before the election, and 40 percent of the people raised their hands,” attendee George Braun said. “How many support him now? One hundred percent of the people in the room raised their hands.”
“He was well received. A year ago, he probably would have been booed,” attendee Dr. Alan Berger said.
Bashing the media is always a big hit at CPAC and Trump spent about five minutes on that theme, clarifying that he sees as “the enemy of the people” outlets that carry what he calls “fake news,” CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“There are some great reporters around,” he said. “But there’s some terrible, dishonest people and they do a tremendous disservice to our country and to our people.”
Later, CNN and the New York Times were banned from an off-camera press briefing at the White House. The top Times editor said, “we strongly protest. Free access to a transparent goverment is obviously of crucial national interest.”
The president vowed to “build the wall” along the Mexican border and remove what he called the “bad guys” from the country.
“As we speak today, immigration officers are finding the gang members, the drug dealers and the criminal aliens and throwing them the hell out of our country,” he said.
And he further sketched out his “America first” philosophy, saying globalism is great in theory but troublesome for America in practice, Aiello reported.
“There’s no such thing as a global anthem, a global currency or a global flag,” he said. “This is the United States of America that I’m representing.”
The president also denounced Hillary Clinton’s characterization of some of his supporters as belonging in a “basket of deplorables.” The crowd responded to his Clinton criticism with chants of “Lock her up!” just as they did at Trump rallies last year.
Trump also met with Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who refused to endorse him during the campaign.
“It’s sort of like being on an airplane. You want to root for the pilot,” Kasich said. “If you’re on an airplane with the pilot, you don’t want the pilot to screw up.”
Further blurring the line between Candidate and President Trump: He left the Conservative Political Action Conference stage to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” by The Rolling Stones, the same exit music he used during the campaign.
There were some protesters who got into the event. Several of them held up Russian flags with the name “Trump” printed on them.
The protesters were removed from the room and the president never mentioned them.
Also Friday, the president tweeted his anger toward the FBI, saying the bureau is “totally unable” to stop national security leaks.
He also said his revised travel and immigration executive order is on deck, likely next week.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)