NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — President Trump lashed out at the press from the beginning of his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, saying his administration was in a fight against “fake news.”
“I want you all to know that we are fighting the fake news. It’s phony, fake,” Trump said before a crowd that appeared to love the media hits.
“I called the fake news the enemy of the people. They are the enemy of the people, because they have no sources. They just make them up when there are none.”
The blasts at the media followed another damaging story for Trump.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday morning blasted the CNN report as indefensible. While White House chief of staff Reince Priebus had a discussion with FBI officials, Spicer said there was nothing inappropriate in the conversation.
In his address to CPAC, Trump sought to clarify the difference between the press and “fake news media” and said he supports “honest” reporting and the First Amendment.
“I’m not against the media. I’m not against the press. I don’t mind bad stories if I deserve them,” he said.
“I am only against the fake news media or press,” he said. “I’m against the people that make up stories and make up sources."
Trump got a warm reception when he took the stage, with huge applause and a standing ovation. Attendees continued to stand for his speech until he told them to be seated. There was also an overflow crowd in the back of the room, who chanted “USA” and “build that wall.”
Trump's return to CPAC comes after he decided to skip it last year amid conflicts with his campaign schedule. There were also reports that protesters would walk out of his scheduled speech last year.
In CPAC’s 2016 poll for the White House, Trump came in a distant third behind Sens. Ted CruzTed CruzTHE MEMO: Frustrated Trump looks to turn it around Trump: 'No doubt' we'll make a deal on healthcare Wounded Ryan faces new battle MORE (R-Texas) and Marco RubioMarco RubioRepublicans giving Univision the cold shoulder: report Week ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's Labor pick Senators introduce new Iran sanctions MORE (R-Fla.).