President-elect Donald Trump held a raucous rally in Ohio on Thursday night, celebrating his victory in the US presidential election.
After thanking the crowd, Trump said, “America is going to start winning again, big league.”
The president-elect’s remarks Thursday night closely resembled those from his campaign rallies, touching upon his positions on the US economy, jobs, domestic policy, and immigration.
Trump also made a surprise announcement, confirming the nomination of retired Marine Gen. James “Mad Dog” Mattis for the role of defense secretary.
“But we’re not announcing it until Monday, so don’t tell anybody,” he quipped.
Trump also appeared to take a stand against far-right, white-supremacist nationalist groups that have appeared emboldened by his campaign. “We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all its forms,” he said to some applause and cheers. “We denounce all of the hatred and forcefully reject the language of exclusion.”
Trump, who hasn’t held a press conference in months, revived his attacks on news organizations from his podium.
He pointed directly to reporters covering the event inside the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati: “The people back there the extremely dishonest press. Very dishonest people … I mean how dishonest.” He then went on a lengthy tirade against journalists and pundits who predicted he would lose the election to Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Chants of “lock her up” were heard at the mention of Clinton – a common refrain at Trump rallies before the election.
After Trump won, he reversed an earlier promise to seek the prosecution of the former secretary of state over her use of a private email server.
The victory rally came nearly one month after Trump’s surprise win and amid a bustle of new Cabinet selections ahead of the president-elect’s inauguration on January 20.
Thursday night’s rally also played out under the lingering specter of vote recounts in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Ohio’s secretary of state, Jon Husted, dismissed those efforts in remarks at the event, saying “as your chief elections official, I signed the document certifying President-elect Donald Trump as the winner of the state of Ohio.”
The crowd erupted.
Calling the results “remarkable,” Husted said Trump “won by a margin of 450,000 votes in our state.”
Before the president-elect took the stage, a handful of speakers delivered remarks applauding Trump’s positions on domestic and foreign policy as the crowd chanted sporadically – at one point reviving the “drain the swamp” and “build the wall” chants often heard on the campaign trail.
Since the election, however, Trump appears not to have spent much time contemplating such matters.
The Washington Post reported last week that the president-elect had turned away daily classified intelligence briefings and had added some billionaire Wall Street bankers to his Cabinet, despite railing against such individuals before his supporters gave him the keys to the White House.
All told, Trump will preside over the wealthiest Cabinet in US history, according to the Los Angeles Times, if his picks are ultimately confirmed by Congress.
Trump closed his speech on Thursday night by asking supporters to keep believing in him. “The script is not yet written,” he said. “We do not know what the next page will read.
“What we do know is that the pages will be authored by each one of you.”