At White House Event, Trump Tells Supporters He’s ‘Feeling Great’

Reporting by The Associated Press:

WASHINGTON, DC — President Donald Trump on Saturday made his first public appearance since returning to the White House after being treated for the coronavirus. The White House has refused to declare that he is no longer contagious, and the gathering of hundreds of people on the South Lawn went ahead despite the guidance of public health officials.

Trump delivered an address on his support for law enforcement from the Blue Room balcony to a friendly crowd. The president wore a mask as he walked out for the speech but took it off to make his remarks. He received an enthusiastic response from his supporters.

“I’m feeling great,” said Trump, who said he was thankful for their good wishes and prayers as he recovered.

Trump is also priming for a Florida rally on Monday and campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania later in the week.

The president addressed the large crowd even as the White House refuses to declare that he is no longer contagious and against the guidance of public health officials.

The White House insisted the event on the South Lawn was an official event and not a campaign rally. But Trump used the address to make broadsides against the Democratic ticket of former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris.

“I think we’re gonna swamp them by so much,” he said.

Trump appeared healthy, though perhaps a little hoarse, during the 18-minute speech that was intended to send the message that he’s back and ready to resume his battle for reelection.

Before the speech, White House officials said they had no information to release on whether the president was tested for COVID-19, meaning he made his first public appearance without the White House verifying that he’s no longer contagious.

Security was stepped up around the White House before the event, which was called a “peaceful protest for law & order.” Police and the Secret Service closed surrounding streets to vehicles and shut down Lafayette Square, the park near the White House that has long been a gathering place for public protest.

As questions linger about his health — and Democratic opponent Joe Biden steps up his own campaigning — Trump also planned to leave the Washington area on Monday for the first time since he was hospitalized for a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida. He is also scheduled to hold campaign events in Iowa and Pennsylvania next week and is increasing his radio and TV appearances with conservative interviewers, hoping to make up for lost time with just over three weeks until Election Day and millions already voting.

Biden’s campaign said he again tested negative on Saturday for COVID-19. Biden was potentially exposed to the coronavirus during his Sept. 29 debate with Trump, who announced his positive diagnosis barely 48 hours after the debate.

The president has not been seen in public — other than in White House-produced videos — since his return five days ago from the military

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Photos: Hundreds of supporters gather for Trump’s White House event

Ahead of President Trump’s first in-person event since his COVID-19 diagnosis, large crowds made their way to the White House’s grounds Saturday.

They gathered on the South Lawn, where Trump delivered a speech from the White House’s balcony. Hundreds attended the event.

Earlier today, the president’s supporters, donning “Make America Great Again” hats and blue “We The Free” t-shirts, rallied at The Ellipse, the park south of the White House lawn. Someattendees did not appear to be wearing masks.

The Trump campaign said all attendees would be given a temperature check and that the wearing of masks would be encouraged.

President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.DOUG MILLS/NYT
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.Doug Mills/NYT
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19.
People attend a rally at the White House in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, as President Donald Trump appears on the balcony during his first public event since being hospitalized for COVID-19. DOUG MILLS/NYT
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters listen as President Donald Trump speaks from the Blue Room Balcony of the White House to a crowd of supporters, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington. Alex Brandon/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to  appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists.
Supporters of President Donald Trump march in Washington, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump is scheduled to appear on the balcony of the White House on Saturday afternoon, and address a previously scheduled gathering of conservative activists. STEFANI REYNOLDS/NYT
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after being hospitalized for Covid-19, appeared briefly on Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of chanting supporters gathered at the White House.
Supporters of President Donald Trump hold up ÒBack the BlueÓ signs during a rally outside the White House in Washington, Oct. 10, 2020. Trump, eager to prove he has fully recovered a week after being hospitalized for Covid-19, appeared briefly on Saturday afternoon in front of hundreds of chanting supporters gathered at the White House. Stefani Reynolds/NYT
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
President Donald Trump supporters rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where President Trump will hold a rally in the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
President Donald Trump supporters rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where President Trump will hold a rally in the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump rally at The Ellipse, before entering to The White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Supporters of President Donald Trump receive pizza after a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Supporters of President Donald Trump receive pizza after a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press
Conservative commentator and political activist Candace Owens speaks during a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where President Donald Trump will hold an event on the South lawn on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Washington.
Conservative commentator and political activist Candace Owens speaks during a rally at The Ellipse, before entering to the White House, where President Donald Trump will hold an event on
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Trump rallies supporters at White House in first event since COVID-19 diagnosis

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Nine people who attended Trump rally in Minnesota contracted coronavirus Schiff: If Trump wanted more infections ‘would he be doing anything different?’ MORE rallied his supporters at the White House on Saturday in the first public event he’s held since he was diagnosed with COVID-19. 

In an event the White House dubbed a “peaceful protest” on “law & order,” the president repeated some of his usual talking points in a speech that lasted just more than 15 minutes, touting his support for law enforcement and hammering Democrats for nationwide demonstrations over systemic racism and police brutality. 

“The homes and churches and businesses of Black and Hispanic Americans have been looted. You know that. They’ve been vandalized and burned by left-wing fanatics, total bad people. They know what they’re doing. Yet Biden likes to call them ‘peaceful protesters,’” he added, referring to Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFederal judge shoots down Texas proclamation allowing one ballot drop-off location per county Sanders endorses more than 150 down-ballot Democrats Debate commission cancels Oct. 15 Trump-Biden debate MORE

Trump has sought to woo Black and Hispanic voters away from Biden this election cycle. The former vice president has polled extremely well with Black Americans both in the Democratic primary and in the polls for the Nov. 3 election, though marginal decreases could impact his standing in some key swing states.

The speaking event was organized by conservative activist Candace Owens, who leads the BLEXIT movement and has centered her activism around pushing voters of color to leave the Democratic Party.

Trump has previously railed against nationwide unrest sparked after the police killing in late May of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The police killings of several other Black Americans, including Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., have added to nationwide calls for police reform and racial justice.

“Black and Latino Americans are rejecting the radical socialist left, and they’re embracing our pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-police — we want law and order; we have to have law and order — and pro-American agenda,” he said to cheers.

He has assailed Black Lives Matter as “an extreme socialist” movement and stood firmly with local police departments.

The president has looked to expand his appeal to people of color by touting record low unemployment rates for Black and Hispanic Americans before the coronavirus struck.

The president mentioned his Platinum Plan, which was unveiled last month and includes platforms such as making Juneteenth a federal holiday and prosecuting the Ku Klux Klan as a terrorist organization.

The plan will “bring back new jobs, like at a level that you’ve never seen before … increase capital, increase money coming into the Black community, into the Hispanic community,” Trump said Saturday.

Trump also promoted the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, boasting confidence that the country would effectively handle the health impacts of the virus and recover economic gains that were lost.

“I want

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Trump Addresses Supporters At White House, Before Florida Rally

Nine days after testing positive for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump delivers a White House address Saturday to hundreds of partisans, in hopes of relaunching his struggling campaign less than four weeks from Election Day.

Trump has declared he is feeling “really good” — but doubts linger over his health, with the president’s doctor appearing more concerned about pleasing his star patient than communicating transparently with the public.

“Right now I’m medication-free, I’m not taking any medications as of, you know, probably eight hours ago,” Trump told Fox News on Friday night, the first on-camera interview since his diagnosis and three-night hospitalization.

For months, taking their cue from a president who mostly shunned, and at times mocked, the wearing of masks, White House advisors were rarely seen masked inside the West Wing.

Since Trump and his wife Melania tested positive, the mood has shifted. A source with knowledge of planning for Saturday’s outdoor event said all guests will be required to wear a mask to listen to Trump give his address from a White House balcony.

Donald Trump returned to the White House on October 5, 2020 after spending three nights at Walter Reed military hospital Donald Trump returned to the White House on October 5, 2020 after spending three nights at Walter Reed military hospital Photo: AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM

A similar gathering two weeks ago, to announce the nomination of conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, has been singled out as a likely source of many of the dozens of positive cases since linked to the White House.

Anthony Fauci, the respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, has referred to it as a “superspreader event.”

Many questions remain unanswered about the White House outbreak, with more than a dozen cases recorded in the president’s inner circle, including his spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany.

“When was the president’s last negative Covid test?” asked Pete Buttigieg, a former contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, now tipped for a prominent role in a Joe Biden administration should he defeat Trump on November 3.

Joe Biden is currently riding close to 10 points ahead of Donald Trump in national polls ahead of the November 3 election Joe Biden is currently riding close to 10 points ahead of Donald Trump in national polls ahead of the November 3 election Photo: AFP / ROBERTO SCHMIDT

Trump’s biggest liability — overwhelming public dissatisfaction over his handling of the pandemic — has returned as the headline issue of the campaign thanks to his own infection, with cases again on the rise nationwide.

The seven-day average of new daily cases recorded between October 3 and 9 — 47,184 — was the highest since the week of August 13 to 19 with an average of 47,530 new cases, according to an AFP analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

“Over 213,000 Americans have died from this virus — and the hard truth is it didn’t have to happen this way,” Biden tweeted on Saturday.

Barack Obama’s former vice president — who is currently riding close to 10 points ahead in national polls and has solidified his lead in key battleground states — is continuing to campaign at his own pace.

In the Republican camp,

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White House says ‘appropriate precautions’ were taken for Trump’s outing to see supporters

The White House on Sunday night insisted that proper precautions were taken ahead of President TrumpDonald John TrumpJaime Harrison debates Graham behind plexiglass shield Doctors, White House staff offer conflicting messages on president’s health Trump given second dose of Remdesivir ‘without complication’, ‘not yet out of the woods’, Conley says MORE‘s motorcade visit outside Walter Reed National Military Medical Center where he is being treated for COVID-19.

“Appropriate precautions were taken in the execution of this movement to protect the President and all those supporting it, including PPE. The movement was cleared by the medical team as safe to do,” White House spokesman Judd Deere told reporters. 

He declined to say whether the president requested the motorcade, if the president met with anyone in-person on Sunday and why the press pool was not notified.

Trump waved at his supporters who were gathered outside the hospital during a “surprise” visit despite undergoing treatment for the coronavirus.

Trump was seen wearing a face mask, and Secret Service agents in the vehicle with him also appeared to be wearing personal protective equipment including medical-grade masks and gowns. 

Still, the appearance on Sunday drew criticism as many pointed out it broke with state guidance on the pandemic, and health experts said the appearance likely put Secret Service officials at risk.

Trump has been recovering from the virus at Walter Reed since Friday. His doctors said on Sunday that the president could be released as soon as Monday.

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2 alleged ISIS supporters in U.S. accused of plotting attacks on White House, Trump Tower

Two men faces charges in connection with an alleged plot to bomb or shoot at high-profile sites in the U.S., including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, a federal complaint shows.

Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

An email and phone call to Molina’s attorney seeking comment did not receive an immediate response. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the federal court for the Western District of Texas, Molina and Matthews used an online chat group in 2019 to discuss attacking U.S. targets on behalf of ISIS. The pair also allegedly discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group.

They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with others on an encrypted messaging application.

Matthews told Molina that they needed four recruits to carry out multisite attacks “that could be Netflix worthy,” the complaint said.

On Saturday, FBI agents arrested Matthews in Cleveland City, Tennessee, and Molina in Gonzales, Texas, a city about 75 miles east of San Antonio, according to special agent Michelle Lee. She declined to comment further on the case.

Nicole Acevedo contributed.

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2 alleged ISIS supporters accused of plot to attack White House, Trump Tower

Two men faces charges in connection with an alleged plot to bomb or shoot at high-profile sites in the U.S., including the White House and Trump Tower in New York City, a federal complaint shows.



a group of people standing in front of a building


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Jaylyn Christopher Molina, of Texas, and Kristopher Sean Matthews, of South Carolina, face charges of conspiracy to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

An email and phone call to Molina’s attorney seeking comment did not receive an immediate response. Court records do not list an attorney for Matthews.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the federal court for the Western District of Texas, Molina and Matthews used an online chat group in 2019 to discuss attacking U.S. targets on behalf of ISIS. The pair also allegedly discussed traveling to Syria to fight with the Islamic State group.

They were allegedly studying how to build car bombs, suicide belts and other explosives and discussed plans for attacks with others on an encrypted messaging application.

Matthews told Molina that they needed four recruits to carry out multisite attacks “that could be Netflix worthy,” the complaint said.

On Saturday, FBI agents arrested Matthews in Cleveland City, Tennessee, and Molina in Gonzales, Texas, a city about 75 miles east of San Antonio, according to special agent Michelle Lee. She declined to comment further on the case.

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