Trump uses policy speech to attack media, promises to sue accusers

Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump delivers remarks at a campaign event in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, US, on October 22, 2016. (Reuters)

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump promised on Saturday to foil a proposed deal for AT&T to buy Time Warner if he wins the Nov. 8 election, arguing it was an example of a “power structure” rigged against both him and voters.

Trump, whose candidacy has caused ruptures in his party, listed his policy plans for the first 100 days of his presidency in a campaign speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, near the site of a Civil War battlefield and a celebrated address by President Abraham Lincoln.

But he also defiantly raised personal grievances, describing how, if elected, he would address them from the White House in a way he said would benefit Americans.

The speech was billed by his campaign as a major outlining of his policies and principles. Many of the policy ideas Trump listed on Saturday were familiar, not least his promise to build a wall on the border with Mexico to deter illegal immigration and to renegotiate trade deals and to scrap the Obamacare health policy.

Moments after promising Americans that he represented a hopeful break from the status quo, he promised to sue nearly a dozen women who have come forward in the last two weeks to accuse him of sexual assault, calling them liars. 

Castigates media 

And he added a new threat to his repeated castigation of US media corporations, which he says cover his campaign unfairly to help Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

“They’re trying desperately to suppress my vote and the voice of the American people,” Trump, who often rails against media outlets and journalists covering his events, told supporters in his speech. Trump has not provided evidence for his assertion that the election would be rigged.

“As an example of the power structure I’m fighting, AT&T is buying Time Warner and thus CNN, a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump said.

Telecommunications company AT&T Inc has agreed in principle to buy Time Warner Inc, one of the country’s largest film and television companies, for about $85 billion and an announcement could be made as early as Saturday.

Trump also said he would look at “breaking” up the acquisition by Comcast Corp (of the media company NBC Universal in 2013.

“Deals like this destroy democracy,” he said in explaining his apparent deviation from the traditional Republican position that seeks to minimize the taxation and regulation of American companies.

Amazon.com Inc, the online retailer, should also be paying “massive taxes”, Trump said, reminding voters that Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper whose coverage Trump dislikes.

Trump, a wealthy New York building developer and television star, acknowledged in a debate with Clinton on Oct. 9 that he had used investment losses to avoid paying taxes. The New York Times reported on Oct. 1 that Trump’s declared loss of $916 million in 1995 was so large that he could legally have avoided paying any federal income taxes for up to 18 years.

At a campaign event later on Saturday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Clinton criticized Trump’s stance on news outlets, noting that she receives negative coverage too.

“When he blows up at a journalist or criticizes the press and goes on and on and on – you know, I get criticized by the press,” she said. “I believe that’s part of our democratic system.”

In a statement, Clinton spokeswoman Christina Reynolds described the speech as “rambling, unfocused, full of conspiracy theories and attacks on the media, and lacking in any real answers for American families.”

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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