In joint address, Trump summarizes his first month, makes pitches to campaign promises

President Donald Trump addresses a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, as Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis., listen. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool Image via AP)

In a long and measured speech, President Donald Trump made his case for his first month, laying out claims to contest the persistent media narrative that his Administration is beset by leaks and instability.

He began by invoking the end of Black History Month, and condemning the dozens of bomb threats and anti-Semitic acts of vandalism and terror that have taken place across the country.

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Then, he launched into a summary of actions he’d taken as President, beginning with companies that he claimed to have kept from leaving the country.

“Since my election, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler, General Motors, Sprint, Softbank, Lockheed, Intel, Walmart, and many others, have announced that they will invest billions of dollars in the United States and will create tens of thousands of new American jobs.”

Then, Trump claimed he’d saved hundreds of millions of dollars by initiating a hiring freeze and renegotiating existing contracts, though he did not specify which ones.
“We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a 5 year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials — and a lifetime ban on becoming lobbyists for a foreign government. We have undertaken a historic effort to massively reduce job‑crushing regulations, creating a deregulation task force inside of every Government agency; imposing a new rule which mandates that for every 1 new regulation, 2 old regulations must be eliminated; and stopping a regulation that threatens the future and livelihoods of our great coal miners.”
Trump also touted the progress of the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines, “creating tens of thousands of jobs — and [he] issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel.”

Then, the president turned to crime, national security, and immigration, a topic that he placed at the center of the speech. Three of his guests were related to people killed by illegal immigrants.

“To protect our citizens, I have directed the Department of Justice to form a Task Force on Reducing Violent Crime […]I have further ordered the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice, along with the Department of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to coordinate an aggressive strategy to dismantle the criminal cartels that have spread across our Nation […]By finally enforcing our immigration laws, we will raise wages, help the unemployed, save billions of dollars, and make our communities safer for everyone. […] We must restore integrity and the rule of law to our borders.
For that reason, we will soon begin the construction of a great wall along our southern border. It will be started ahead of schedule and, when finished, it will be a very effective weapon against drugs and crime.
As we speak, we are removing gang members, drug dealers and criminals that threaten our communities and prey on our citizens. Bad ones are going out as I speak tonight and as I have promised.”
Trump insisted that the United States could not become a “beachhead of terrorism” nor a “sanctuary” for extremists. He pledged to “shortly” take new steps to “keep our nation safe.”

The president capped off this section of his speech with the nomination of Neil Gorsuch,”a man of incredible skill, and deep devotion to the law.”

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