Just five months into his presidency, Donald Trump is playing to his donors.
On Thursday, Trump hosted a fundraising dinner at the Trump International Hotel, only a few blocks from the White House. The dinner, which was closed to the press, was an event straight out of Donald Trump’s high-class New York. Tickets started at $35,000, and Trump reportedly raked in $10 million.
In the ludicrously expensive game of Washington campaigning, it’s common for politicians to rub elbows with donors behind closed doors. Hillary Clinton’s clandestine Wall Street speeches were a talking point for both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump on the campaign trail. And, although Trump tried to keep his remarks at the dinner out of the papers, a full audio of his speech has found its way to the internet.
On Friday, The Intercept, a paper notoriously attractive to leakers like Edward Snowden and Reality Winner, posted the audio of Trump’s speech. The speech proves that while Trump might have been a bit more open behind closed doors, his rhetoric doesn’t change much whether he’s at a rally, on Twitter or standing before a room full of millionaires.
Trump opened by thanking people in his administration and leaders of the RNC. He then re-lived his election victory, boasting about his upset in Michigan. The president then pivoted to hit on CNN, saying, “Boy, did CNN get killed over the last few days,” which drew loud applause from the crowd. He referenced the sting video featuring Van Jones, saying, “These are really dishonest people. Should I sue them?” Later declaring, “these are horrible human beings. It’s a shame what they’ve done to the name CNN but as far as I’m concerned, I love it.”
He later declared, “These are horrible human beings. It’s a shame what they’ve done to the name CNN, but as far as I’m concerned, I love it.”
Trump then went on to brag about the recent local election victories, saying, “We’re 5 and 0.” He ridiculed Democrats in Georgia saying, “They spent $30 million, and they had a kid that couldn’t even vote in his area. So I’d tell them, next time make sure you get a candidate who’s able to vote in his district.”
At one point in his speech, the president seemed to tease Paul Ryan, “I know Paul’s here […] he gave me a little hard time before the election. But now, we get along great. He’s actually a good man. But, we’ve passed more legislative bills, I believe, than any president before.”
Listen to Trump’s whole speech below:
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